Recipe: How To Make Venison Bacon

A few weeks ago I spent a day job shadowing a meat cutter at Peppers and More Smokehouse, a local custom meat processing (and more) shop in Paxton, Neb. Ron Jay, owner, butcher, handyman and jack-of-all-trades, processes more than 200 deer during the Nebraska seasons, much of which end up as deer bacon.

I'm currently in love with this bacon, which is made from the roasts cut from the hindquarters. And I don't mean a flowers-and-feeling kind of love. I mean the kind of love that goes on behind locked doors. In fact, you should probably establish some kind of "safe word" before you try this wonderful new way to enjoy venison.

When I asked Ron for the recipe, he told me he'd be glad to make it for me, but I watched Ron's meat cutter Gary make a batch and this is the recipe I came up with.

Venison Bacon
**
Ingredients:**
- 2 lbs. Insta-Cure
- 1/2 lb. brown sugar
- 2 1/2 gallons water
- Three venison roasts cut from one deer hindquarter (bottom round, rump, and sirloin tip)

Directions:
- Mix dry ingredients and water well.
- Using high-volume syringe, inject cure marinade into meat at multiple points until all the blood is pushed out.
- Seal injected meat in vacuum tumbler for 1 to 3 hours (or marinate in fridge for 2 to 3 days). Rub with lemon pepper, black pepper, garlic powder and meat tenderizer.

- Smoke until internal temperature reads 130 degrees.
- Slice 1/4-inch thick.
- Fry and serve. Great with a traditional breakfast, in a BLT, or anywhere you want the sweet, smoky flavor of bacon.