The backstrap is the quintessential cut of venison. It’s easy to remove, easy to slice, and best of all, easy to make delicious. For trimming up a truly perfect backstrap steak for the table, only a few rules apply. Slice it across the grain, about an inch thick for the grill and a half-inch thick for the pan, and fillet the steaks away from the thick layer of sinew that holds the muscle in place.

Avid bowhunter Michelle Brantley has processed dozens of deer in her day, and she knows how to make venison taste good enough to reach for seconds. Her tips for slicing and trimming backstrap work just fine for whitetails or elk, mule deer or moose, and they apply whether you’re immediately throwing your steaks on the grill or packaging them for the freezer.