Always cook venison steak in thick slices. Deer meat is on the dry side so cooking it thinly sliced  would just toughen it up. Venison steak is prepared much like a beefsteak.  I like mine well done with no blood running and every time I get tasty, tender well done steak. There are two differences when preparing venison steak. One is in the serving and the other is in the brining. Hunters advice against marinating venison and suggest brining instead. "Marinades damage the structure of the meat, making it more tender--but also mushy. They penetrate less than 1/4 inch and can leave residues on the meat surface that burn during cooking. They are, in my opinion, useless." Source

Brining: The salt solution prevents the meat fibres from toughening up and helps the meat retain its moisture.  The brine penetrates deep into the meat and colours its flavour. Don’t brine for longer than one day or the meat will be too salty. There is room for individuality in the choice of fresh herbs. Start with a brine of 2 tablespoons of salt per 1 litre [4 cups] of cold water. Add herbs, preferably fresh.  A few bay leaves, juniper berries, a bit of cracked black pepper, chilli pepper, thyme, and a small sprinkling of celery seed are all good. I didn’t have juniper berries and cautiously omitted the chilli. Once brined, the venison steak cooks up like beef. The cooked and rested venison is then thinly sliced. 

2 Tbsp salt
1 litre of cold water
2 bay leaves
few juniper berries if available
small sprinkling of cracked black pepper
small chunk of fresh or even smaller amount of dried chilli pepper
a sprig of fresh thyme or a sprinkling of dried thyme
1/4 tsp celery seed [don’t use more]

2 venison steaks
sprinkling of black pepper
2 Tbsp oil

2 + 1 Tbsp butter

  • Let the venison sit in a brine for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Take it out of the brine and dab both sides with paper towel.
  • Pepper the steak on both sides.
  • Heat up a non-stick pan on just under medium heat.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of oil to the pan.
  • Add a 2 Tbsp of butter to the oil. It should sizzle.
  • Bottom of the pan should be coated with 1 to 2 mm of butter.
  • Add the steak to the pan and do not touch it.
  • Place a lid on the skillet.
  • Do not move steak or lift the lid for 6 minutes.
  • Just before turning the steak, add another knob of butter to the pan.
  • Turn the steak and place the lid on the pan.
  • Again, do not touch steak or lift the lid for 6 minutes.
  • Remove steak from the pan, put on a heated plate, and cover with the lid.
  • Keep the pan juices warm over minimum heat.
  • Let the venison steak rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • This allows the meat fibres to relax - giving a more tender bite.
  • Thinly slice and arrange on a platter.
  • Pour some of the pan juices on top and serve.

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