Whitetail Hunting photo

“As a chef and a hunter, a big part of hunting for me is using the entire animal–a way of life we learned from the Native Americans. One of the great things about venison is that it goes very well with wild turkey. Plus, venison is one of those ingredients that just say fall and family to me.”

Editors’ Take: If we’re fortunate enough to have a fresh backstrap for Thanksgiving, this is what we’re making. The grilled meat and the spicy rub will provide a nice flavor contrast to the roast turkey and duck. The only tricky part will be finding a plate big enough for all three dishes. Of course, there’s always seconds.


1 large backstrap, all silverskin removed
1⁄2 cup peanut oil
1⁄2 cup deer rub

Deer Rub:
2 Tbsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. coriander
1 Tbsp. palm sugar
1 Tbsp. long red chile, ground
1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1. Let backstrap reach room temperature. Rub with peanut oil. Season with the rub.
2. Heat grill (or grill pan) to 400 degrees. Sear for 3 minutes per side.
3. Remove from grill and let rest for at least 10 minutes. Place back on grill until hot, then slice thin and serve.

Tim Love is the chef of Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth.