Whitetail Hunting photo

A venison preparation tip from Hank Shaw, author of the award-winning food blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook

A venison medallion is a 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch slice of backstrap cut before or after cooking. Panfrying one perfectly every time takes practice. Here’s how to get that delicious crust and medium-rare center:

1. It’s hard to cook an ice-cold medallion properly. Salt your meat and let it come to room temperature for at least 15 minutes. Pat the meat dry before heating it–wet meat doesn’t sear.

2. Cook whole backstrap of smaller deer. This makes it easier to get it to medium-rare. Small ones pre-cut into medallions will overcook.

3. The thicker the medallion, the lower the heat. Never cook whole loin pieces on high heat for more than a few minutes. I cook pre-sliced medallions on medium heat to get the crust-and-medium-rare combination.

4. Don’t mess with it. Let the loin cook in one spot for a while before turning, and turn only once.

5. Let it rest inside a foil tent for 10 to 15 minutes. This helps the venison stay juicy.