Sporting Chef Venison Cheesesteak


Venison Cheesesteak

In the tradition of the Philly cheesesteak sandwich, this recipe is a quickie that’ll fool some of your friends who claim that they don’t like the taste of venison

3 cups trimmed venison steak
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
Tabasco sauce
8 slices provolone cheese
4 Italian rolls, split

Place venison in a freezer for an hour or so until the meat is almost frozen. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the meat as thinly as possible. Allow to thaw completely, wrap with paper towels to absorb blood, and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Cook until onions are lightly browned. Add mushrooms, and sauté with onions and peppers until soft.
Move vegetables to one side of the skillet and add sliced venison. Cook meat until lightly brown, but not overcooked. Season with a dash or two of Tabasco.
Mound meat into 4 rectangular piles about the size of the Italian rolls. Top with equal portions of the vegetable mixture. Top with 2 slices of cheese for each mound and let melt.
Using two spatulas, scoop up each portion of meat and vegetables, and place in Italian rolls.
Makes 4 servings

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Blackened Venison Backstrap
The key to blackening is to use a heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, and screaming-hot heat. Restaurants that serve blackened meats and fish keep a white-hot skillet over a burner at all times.
I highly recommend that you open the doors and windows to provide as much ventilation as possible. Done properly, there’s plenty of smoke.
Adding insult to smoke, when you blacken a hunk of meat, you’re actually burning the peppery spices that coat the outside. Inhaling hot, peppery smoke might cause watery eyes and a burning throat.
If you have a high-BTU outside burner and a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, that’s ideal.

Four 8-ounce backstrap steaks, butterflied
2 tablespoons melted butter

Blackening Spice Rub
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon each, ground oregano, ground thyme and cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon each, ground black pepper, ground white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder
8 thick slices tomato
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves, minced

Coat steaks with melted butter. Combine rub ingredients, and coat meat evenly. Save extra spice mix for blackening fish, game, beef or pork at a later date.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat for at least 20 minutes. Place steaks in pan and cook about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. NOTE: Provide adequate ventilation, and do not breathe smoke or fumes.
Place two tomato slices on each plate. Set meat on tomato. Top with a tablespoon of sour cream, and sprinkle parsley over.


Known as “The Sporting Chef,” Scott Leysath has been an executive chef for more than 20 years and is a leading expert on cooking fish and game. Author of multiple cookbooks, including “The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook,” he hosts “The Sporting Chef” and “Dead Meat” TV shows on Sportsman Channel.