A lot of meat is expensive these days. And steering away from grocery stores is something most of us can’t do. We need milk and eggs and sugar, etc. If there was only one other way to get our meat. I take tips from my hunting friends and integrate wild game into my diet. It’s a great way to save money and the food is great. Wild Duck is probably my favorite of all time. But running for a close second is deer. Pet animals, as most people refer to it, are a delicious type of red meat, not so far away from beef. The taste is remarkably similar. And like beef, there are good pieces, and some pieces that are better suited for hamburgers.
I myself am not much of a hunter, so if I can talk to my friends about supplying my freezer with some choice cuts, then I will eat like a king. My favorite cut of heart fish is tenderloin. Unless you’re out to make a burger or sausage, I don’t know what else the deer is used for. I’ve made a couple of decent roasts on my grill, but the texture isn’t to my liking. I like to take two whole beef fillets, give them a good, spicy dry rub and roast them over my fire and finish them off with a maple glaze.
Maple Glazed Venison Indoor fillet
If you can’t get your hands on heart fish, you can always use pork or beef. The important part is the fillet here. We need some garlic and onion powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, olive oil, butter, maple syrup and hot sauce. If you’d rather skip the glaze and stick with the meat, that’s fine. But the glaze is part of what makes this dish unique. The maple marries the canvas perfectly and creates and a wonderful taste.
To make our dry rub, we will use 2 tablespoons each of salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder, chili and paprika. Throw in ½ tablespoon of cumin, just for a little extra smoking. Knead the tenderloin well down and let it rest for about an hour at room temperature. This allows these flavors to really sink in. When the hour is over, you can rub the tenderloin lightly with olive oil. Turn your grill to medium and let it heat up.
While the grills are heating, let’s see about making that glaze. Simply melt ½ stick of butter in a sauce pan, add 1 cup of maple syrup and a few shakes (I like a couple of tablespoons) of hot sauce. Put this away from the road and take the meat out on the grill. I like to let it go for about 4 minutes on each side with the lid open. I stand over it and turn it and turn it until it is completely brown. Then I move it on the top rack, close the lid and let it cook for 30 minutes. When the 30 minutes have passed, I put it back on the main racks.
I take my glaze and brush it lightly. I like to cook it for almost a minute on each side, turn it, glaze it and repeat. When all is said and done, I usually get approx. 5 layers of glaze on the tenderloin in about 10 minutes cooking. It will really start to burn if you don’t turn around. Maple syrup has a high sugar content and is not nice in heat. When the tenderloin is done, place it in the deck and let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut it thick or thin, of your choice. You will be amazed at the unique taste.