Miso-Marinated Venison Backstrap

Miso paste is a great way to add lots of umami flavor to your grilled wild game

By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes Print Recipe
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If you’ve ever had a great steak at a Japanese restaurant and wondered where all of that umami flavor came from, miso paste was probably somehow responsible. Miso what? Miso paste is made from a mixture of soybeans, rice, or barley that has been fermented with salt and water. The result is a salty, umami-rich flavor bomb that works well in soups, stews, marinades, salad dressings, and all sorts of other places.

Slice the backstrap and serve with rice or vegetables.

Miso paste comes in two colors, white and red. The white has fermented for less time and is milder in flavor. The red has fermented over a much longer period and is bold and pungent. If you aren’t familiar with the flavor, try the white first. These days, white miso can be found at just about any larger supermarket.

We add it to a marinade for venison backstrap. The resulting rich flavor is unlike anything you can get with other seasonings and is a perfect complement to the venison. Marinate the backstrap for at least 4 hours, and up to 12, before grilling.

I like to serve miso-marinated backstrap with rice or lightly sauteed fresh green beans.


2-pound section of venison backstrap or 3 to 5 backstrap steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick

4 tablespoons white miso paste

3 tablespoons mirin

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Freshly ground black pepper


Cooking Instructions

Season the backstrap to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Don’t worry about salt right now; the miso and soy in the marinade will add plenty of saltiness. Place the peppered backstrap in a zip-style bag.

Season the backstrap well with black pepper.

In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Use a whisk to break up and blend the miso into the liquid. Pour the marinade into the bag with the backstrap and seal. Roll the backstrap around to make sure it is evenly coated with marinade. Refrigerate for at least 4 and up to 12 hours.

Stir the miso paste into the marinade and pour over the venison.

Preheat your Traeger Grill to 350 degrees and grill the backstrap to an internal temperature of 125 to 130 degrees, flipping once about halfway through. For full backstrap sections, this will probably take 20 to 25 minutes. For steaks, 15 to 20 minutes total cook time should do. Rest for 5 minutes and slice against the grain for maximum tenderness. 

Grill the backstrap to medium-rare and slice against the grain for tenderness.

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