One of the best parts of deer camp is sitting around in the evening and rehashing the day’s hunts over a good meal. If you happen to be the person tagged with prepping said meal, it's always helpful to have a plan that comes together quickly, doesn’t leave you with a ton of dirty dishes, and can easily be altered to feed anywhere from two to 20 hungry hunters.
This Tex Mex style backstrap is perfect for these occasions. Prep the veggies and put the sliced backstrap, or any wild game steak for that matter, in to your marinade while you are in for lunch. Once you get back to camp that evening, simply toss everything on the cooking grate over the evening fire or on a grill. Serve everything family style, and let each hunter fill his or her plate as they wish.
When it comes to pepper choices, I like to include lots of sliced bell peppers, along with whole jalapeños, banana peppers, and fresh ancho chilies. That way each diner can choose their personal heat level.
We warm both flour and corn tortillas over the fire to serve with the steak, peppers, and onions. I like to grill the peppers and onions first. Then I wrap them in foil and place the packet near the fire so the peppers will continue to steam and soften.
Next, heat the tortillas and stack them on a plate. Then cover them with foil and place near the fire to keep them warm. Once you grill the backstrap or other wild game steaks to your liking, open up the packets and let everyone dig in.
I purposely left the proportions vague on the main ingredients. Just adjust them to fit the number of folks you will be feeding. Any leftover Tex Mex seasoning can be stored in a jar or container with a tight-fitting lid and used at a later date.
Sliced venison backstrap or other wild game steak
Flour or corn tortillas, the fresher the better
Yellow onions, thickly sliced
A variety of peppers like bell, jalapeño, ancho, or other favorites
Tex Mex Seasoning:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili flakes
½ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon black pepper
Tex Mex Marinade:
½ cup olive oil
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
Prep the vegetables by peeling the onions and slicing into thick rings. Slice the bell peppers and remove the core and seeds. I prefer to grill the other peppers whole, but you can also slice them and remove the seeds for less heat. Place the prepped peppers and onions in a zip lock bag and store in the refrigerator or a cooler.
Slice enough backstrap or steak to feed the number of diners you have. Place the meat into a zip lock bag. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour over the steaks. Place in a refrigerator or cooler to marinate for 4-8 hours. Mix the seasoning ingredients and store in a jar or other air tight container.
When it is time to cook, drizzle the vegetables with olive oil or give them a quick spritz with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle liberally with the mixed Tex Mex seasoning.
Cook the peppers and onions over a fire or on the grill until the skin is lightly charred and onions are softened. Move them to a foil packet and place next to the fire to hold warm and steam.
While the peppers and onions cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Season well on both sides with the Tex Mex blend.
After the peppers and onions are off the grill, warm the tortillas. Stack and wrap in foil. Place the tortillas near the fire to keep them warm.
Grill the backstrap for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness level. Serve the steaks, pepper-and-onion blend, and tortillas family style. We like to serve this with chips and salsa and a cold beer or soft drink.
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