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By: Krissie Mason, Pnuma Contributing Chef
October 2016

Raised a Minnesota farm-girl in a hunting family, Krissie Mason is an avid outdoorswoman, food enthusiast, and her wild game recipes appear regularly in Outdoor Life. We are pleased to have Krissie working with Pnuma as our Contributing Chef and to share her recipes with you.

What better way to start off than with Krissie’s Maple Marinated Venison or Elk Steak!

Here’s a delicious maple marinade recipe for a cast-iron seared venison top round. Slices of tender, tantalizing medium-rare venison become juicy slices for any steak sandwich you want to create. That is if you don’t gobble them up hot off the grill! I’ve combined those tongue wagging slabs with thick cut bacon, heirloom tomatoes, griddle grilled sweet potato, lettuce, and a peppered wild plum aioli spread. And while I’ve used venison, if you’ve already tagged out on an elk, this is equally suited for that wonder mountain meat!

Here’s how to make it:

Vermont Maple Seasonings Marinade (for approx 1 ½ lbs meat)

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon fennel
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 pinch cayenne
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
5 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 jalapenos quartered lengthwise

Mix all ingredients, except jalapenos, into a paste. If desired, add more seasoning according to what your taste buds are telling you. Halve the mixture and massage into meat tissue on each side. Wrap in plastic wrap to keep marinade in close contact with the meat. Refrigerate anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours.

When you are ready, heat the griddle to medium high. You don’t want it too high, or your brown sugar and maple syrup components will burn. When the griddle is hot drizzle some olive oil on the pan and lay-on the steak searing the first side. I know it is tempting, but don’t flip flop the meat from one side to the other. Leave it alone, brother!

After about 5-7 minutes turn the meat and allow to sear for another 3-5 minutes. The absolute best way to serve this cut is medium rare to rare, so take care of that steak that you worked so hard to harvest!

Throw on the jalapenos, seeds and all, and char. A bite of one of these along with a jigger of whiskey, or Kentucky bourbon, will warm you inside out like nothing else when you come in from your deer stand, or down off the mountain.

Remove steak and jalapenos and let rest for about 5 minutes. Slice thin and devour, letting the juicy goodness from the plush, butter tender venison drip into your ‘stache and beard, or prepare this succulent bite as a hero ingredient you can literally wrap your hands around in a steak sandwich of your choice.

#1 Here’s what you’ll need for the marinade and for a venison, or elk steak BLT.

venison or elk steak ingredients

All images ©Krissie Mason

#2 Apply half of the marinade and massage into to meat. The other half of the marinade goes onto side two. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.

grilled venison steak

All images ©Krissie Mason

#3 When ready to cook, lay marinated venison on cast-iron griddle that has been heated to medium high and drizzled with olive oil. Sear for 5-7 minutes. Flip meat to reveal luscious crusty goodness while side two sears. Approximately 3-5 minutes.

#4 Toss on some quartered jalapenos. A bite of one of these along with a jigger of Chattanooga Whiskey will warm you like nothing else when you come in from the cold.

venison steak

All images ©Krissie Mason

#5 Remove from griddle and let rest for 5 minutes. This allows the juices to settle and be re-absorbed into the seared muscle.

sliced venison

All images ©Krissie Mason

#6 Slice thin and devour letting the juicy goodness from the plush, butter tender venison drip into your ‘stache and beard.

wrapped and ready

All images ©Krissie Mason

#7 Wrapped and ready.

Raised a Minnesota farm-girl in a hunting family, Krissie Mason, is an outdoorswoman, food enthusiast, and has been reconnecting with her culinary country roots and family hunting traditions of late.  She is the brain’s and brawn behind Scratch + Holler media, and a regular contributor to Outdoor Life. Krissie fully supports a field-to-fork wild food chain and has been expanding pantries and stretching wild game palates with her ambitious and delicious wild game recipes.

*All copy and images are protected by copyright

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