Venison Backstrap Parmesan

You've never had a Parm like this before!

Need a recipe that even the pickiest eaters will be happy with? This is the one that could turn a vegan onto hunting.

Are there even deer in Italy?

Actually yes! (Had to Google that one) But I'm pretty sure you won't see this recipe on any restaurant menus, no matter where you are in the world. Fortunately for me, I happen to be married to an Italian girl who certainly knows her way around the kitchen.

All jokes aside, you could convince anyone that this is veal parmesan. The tenderness of the backstrap and the way venison hold up to strong flavors really creates a dish that you'll be showing off to your non-hunter friends.

Do I have to use backstrap?

While many recipes offer some flexibility in what cut you use, I wouldn't go too crazy with this one. Anyone who has grilled venison will tell you that there is a noticeable difference between the loin (backstrap) and basically every other cut from the animal. The only other steaks that I would say COULD be comparable would be the sirloin or maybe the roast (both located on the rear legs). However, I would only resort to those once your freezer has been cleaned out of those beautiful purple bricks of loin.

While I wouldn't suggest going to far off track with the cut, I would highly recommend interchanging the venison with other game meats. Elk, moose, pronghorn, and even (wait for it...) Specklebelly Geese work incredibly well. No matter what you've got left in that freezer, this recipe is sure to please.

Feeling lazy? Here are some tips to make this dish easier:

Use a fajita spice mix – While we absolutely love our own spices and rubs, there are some good ones out there that come in a competitive second place.

Play with your peppers – Not so much a tip to make things easier, but experimenting with peppers can lead to some incredible flavors.


Venison Backstrap Parmesan:


  • Oven

  • Stove Top

  • Cast Iron Skillet

  • Mixing Bowls

  • Baking Sheet


  • 1-2 lbs venison backstrap

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup parmesan (split into 2, 1/2cups)

  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs

  • 2 cups tomato sauce

  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella (shredded)

  • 1 tbsp basil

  • flour

  • salt to taste

  • pepper to taste

  • 1/2 olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 375°

  • With a sharp knife, slice backstrap into thin strips by placing hand on top of steak and carefully cut length-wise (parallel to the table).

  • Preheat oil in cast iron skillet, using the med-high heat setting on your stove.

  • Arrange mixing bowls next to stove; 1 with the flour, 1 with the beaten eggs, and finally 1 with a mixture of panko bread crumbs and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.

  • Cover each steak with flour, then egg, and finally dredge in panko-parm mixture (making sure you completely cover the steak).

  • Place a couple of breaded steaks in the skillet and fry until golden brown, typically between 2-3 minutes on each side.

  • Remove steaks from oil and place on a plate or bowl, over paper towels to let excess oil drain.

  • Spray your baking sheet with non-stick spray, or lightly oil surface making sure to cover the entire surface area.

  • Spread 1 cup of tomato sauce over bottom of baking sheet and lay fried steaks over the spread.

  • Cover the steaks with remaining sauce and top with parmesan, basil, and mozzarella.

  • Cover the sheet with foil and place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

  • Carefully remove foil and allow cheese to brown in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

  • Remove from the oven and let rest for another 5-10 minutes before serving.

  • Top with extra parmesan and Italian herbs to taste.

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