The Hunting Widow's Broil

What better way to have a special family moment than to gather around a well set table to eat a glorious meal that someone in your family...shot and brought home?! Okay, maybe only in Montana. This is a special shout out to all the "Hunting Widows" out there to show you how to make venison fun, easy, and delicious! This is one of my favorite recipes because it is bomb proof, fast, and even your pickiest eater won't know it's venison.

First: You need a BACKSTRAP! This is the tenderloin part of the venison and is usually a nice long loin piece (similar to a London Broil, but you can also use venison steaks). It's best fresh, but it works well frozen so dig through that "wild game garage freezer" and find your loin...that's okay I'll wait...got it? Great! Now you will want to thaw it. (See Tips below.)

Second: Where are your fun jellies? The raspberry chipotles, jalapeno mangos, or whatever favorite jelly you have on hand will serve as your sauce. I'm sure you've run out of cream cheese by now (to serve them on). My mom's Orange Ginger Cranberries are my favorite sauce for this recipe, but use whatever you like. (Canned, jellied cranberries work in a pinch, too.) Are you back? PUT DOWN THAT CREAM CHEESE!

Third: You're ready to broil. Take out your broiling pan (it's probably still under your oven in the little drawer you only clean when your mother-in-law comes to visit). Now prep your pan (See Tips.) Salt and pepper your meat to taste. Place your meat on the grill top of your broiler pan, and slather the loin with your sauce. Make sure your rack is at the highest place in the oven, and set your oven to BROIL. Wait a few minutes for it to get good and hot then just slide it in. YOU'RE BROILIN'! Time is VERY important, so five minutes only on the first round. After five minutes you will want to flip your meat. Sauce the other side and cook for about three to five more minutes, depending on how well done you like it. You can sauce it again when you take it out just for looks.

Last: LET YOUR MEAT REST at least five minutes before you cut it! Slice thinly against the grain of the meat for nice tender pieces...serve with your favorite potatoes, a green veggie of your choice, and your sauce on the side. Happy Hunting!

Tip One: NEVER put venison in the microwave to thaw! If you have a day or two, unwrap the meat from the white butcher paper and put it on a plate in the fridge. If you are shorter on time, place the meat in a plastic freezer bag, seal it, and put it in a bowl of cold water in the fridge--this will cut your thaw time in half!

Tip Two: ALWAYS put a little liquid in the bottom of your broiler pan. It's over 500 degree heat and your first drippings will burn on the bottom, so about three tablespoons of water will work. (You don't want to steam the meat, but keep your kicthen smoke free!) If you are making gravy from drippings, use wine or chicken/beef stock (that's another lesson)!

Sara's nephew, David Rizzolo, with his first deer.