When asked what they want for dinner, my crew, at least the boys, often answer with “meat and potatoes.” This backstrap recipe is right up their alley. It starts with roasted rosemary potatoes that get cooked for a bit, lightly smashed, then cooked some more so that they turn out both creamy and crispy at the same time.
To go with the potatoes, we make a pan-seared section of backstrap, slice it into medium-rare medallions, then top both the venison and potatoes with an easy brown butter pan sauce featuring crispy fried slivers of green onion.
2 green onions (scallions), white and green parts, very thinly sliced
2 pounds fingerling or new potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
The potatoes take the longest to cook for this recipe, so start them first. In a large bowl, toss the whole fingerling or new potatoes (we use a mix of yellow and red) in the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle over the salt and dried rosemary. Toss well. Spread the potatoes on a half sheet baking pan.
Place the potatoes in a preheated 350-degree oven and roast whole and uncovered, for 60 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven and use a large fork, spatula, or meat mallet to smash the potatoes to about half their original thickness, bursting the skin as you do. Check one for seasoning and add additional salt or rosemary, as needed.
Place the potatoes back in the oven and roast an additional 30 to 45 minutes until the bottoms are crisp and the interior is creamy smooth.
Start your venison about 20 to 25 minutes before the potatoes are done. Trim all silverskin from the backstrap. Season well on all sides with the Myron Mixon Wild Game Rub.
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil.
Sear the backstrap for 1 to 2 minutes per side, 6 to 8 minutes total, for rare. If you prefer your venison medium-rare, continue to sear for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Set the backstrap aside and loosely tent with foil to rest.
Add the stick of butter to the skillet. As the butter melts, scrape up the bits left from searing the backstrap. Add the thinly sliced green onions and cook for 4 to 8 minutes until the butter is a rich deep brown color and the onion slivers are slightly crisp. Brown butter sauce can go to burnt butter sauce very quickly, so don’t walk away while making it. The color should be a dark golden brown and the aroma should be almost nutty.
Slice the rested backstrap into thin medallions. Plate a layer of the smashed potatoes, top with a few slices of backstrap, then spoon the hot brown butter sauce over both, making sure to get plenty of the cooked green onion. Serve with a nice salad for a full meal.
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