Venison steak tips, dredged in blackening spice and seared in a hot cast iron skillet is one of my all-time favorite venison appetizers, especially when it's served with my balsamic blue cheese sauce for venison.
Blackened venison tips are a secret of fine meat cutting and butchery, and a perfect example of things I squirrel away for myself when butchering deer with friends.
When you cut out a venison backstrap or loin there's some trimming involved. Before you remove the silver skin, you remove another muscle called the chain, a sort of raggedy-looking piece of meat with some fat and sinew here and there.
That long piece of meat may not be as prized as the lean, tender backstrap, but it's still part of the muscle, and it's still tender and delicious.
Other cuts for venison steak tips
While backstraps are the most delicious, you can make venison steak tips with a couple different cuts.
- Top round
- Inner loin
- "Gooseneck" the small cylindrical roast attached to the top round.
What I want to share with you here is a delicious venison tips recipe I make every year with my tips, but more so, I want to invite you to consider the chain and trim from your backstraps, and encourage you to never, ever put them in your grind pile.
Balsamic Blue Cheese Sauce
The following recipe for blackened tips, and the sauce that accompanies them were the signature appetizer at an Italian restaurant I worked at run by a chef from Milan, Italy.
The sauce especially is a great compliment for meats of all kinds, but it's pictured here exactly as we served it in the restaurant. I can pretty much guarantee it will be one of your new favorite sauces, and anyone that complains about gamey flavor in their deer meat will be asking for seconds.
Blackened Venison Steak Tips
- 1 10 inch cast iron pan
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 8 oz venison tips cut into bite-sized pieces
- recipe blackening spice
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Small handful of finely julienned green onions soaked in ice water
- 3 teaspoons high heat cooking oil or light olive oil
- 1 recipe balsamic blue cheese sauce warmed (see recipe)
Homemade Blackening Spice
- 5 Tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon onion powder
- 2 Tablespoons dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and reserve.
Venison steak tips
- Toss the venison tips with the salt teaspoon of the oil and allow to rest overnight in the refrigerator, covered, or for at least for 30 minutes to allow the salt to penetrate.
- To cook the tips, heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet with the remaining oil, rubbing the oil around with a paper towel to make sure the whole pan is lightly greased.
- Turn on a fan, turn off the smoke detector, or open a door (or cook them in a cast iron skillet over a fire outside).
- When the pan is smoking hot, press the tips on two sides into the blackening seasoning in a mixing bowl, then put into the hot pan. Cook the tips on both sides for a minute or two until blackened, then remove to a paper towel to weep liquid for a moment while you sauce the plate.
- Put ¼ cup of the sauce the middle of an appetizer sized plate, the arrange the tips on it without them touching each other. Garnish with the julienned green onions and serve with toothpicks. They go great with a dry red wine.