Last month, while on a turkey hunting trip in South Texas, I had the serendipitous opportunity to shoot a nice mature Axis buck in addition to a gobbler or two. Although I'm more of a bird hunter, I do enjoy big game hunting... and I really love cooking and eatin' me some wild venison.
That's what this post is about. Just last week, we received ~65 pounds of frozen meat from the locker, and I was most intrigued by the packages labeled "t-bone." That's not a usual cut of meat from a deer (most of the best stuff is filleted), but it certainly piqued my curiosity and I decided to thaw a package or two for a Saturday night feast.
So many venison dishes are overcooked and overseasoned, so I decided my preparation would be a simple one: a dash of Penzey's Chicago Steak Seasoning, and that was it. After bringing the Weber Genesis to about 500 degrees, I lowered the temp of my middle burner and seared it for two minutes, then turned it 90 degrees and seared it two more minutes, and repeated the process on the other side.
I topped the venison with vidalia onions, and plated it with grilled green and white asparagus, and a smoked baked potato smothered in with bleu cheese and sauteed mushrooms. To wash it all down, we opened a very tasty bottle of Spanish La Mano Mencia Roble.
As you might guess, it was outstanding. Axis venison is known as one of the best types of deer for the table, and every one of the South Texas guides I hunted with told me it was Axis they had in their freezers 365 days of the year. These chops were right on the money -- full flavored, beefy, and moist -- yet lean and sublime. Like its beef counterpart, keeping the t-bone as part of the cut afforded even more flavor and some bone-gnawing goodness. Not a bad Mother's Day weekend meal!