I have to admit, I see no clear winner in this week’s Food Fight Friday. Both entries from regular Wild Chef readers Neuman23 and Nick Granto look absolutely fantastic. I particularly like the fact we have two backstraps–one deer and one elk–cooked two different ways, showing the versatility of this magnificent cut. Sure you can steak it and grill like Neuman23, but left whole (or cut into large chunks), the backstrap is perfect as a vehicle for a delicious stuffing as Nick Granto shows. I will give props to Neuman23, as his steaks were grilled on the Cabela’s Fire Box he won in a Wild Chef contest last month.

Neuman23’s Elk Steak


I broke in that new grill this last week. Worked wonderful. I ended up grilling a couple of steaks off of an elk backstrap seasoned with the Cabela’s Whiskey Steak seasoning you had sent me. I let the steaks marinade overnight. As they were grilling, I glazed them with a garlic and butter mixture. I topped the steaks with some sauteed mushrooms and onions. The steaks were served with hobo potatoes, grilled asparagus, and grilled asparagus. To wash it all down was a nice ice cold Pale Ale. The only thing that could have made this taste any better would have been to add some bacon, but I just didn’t think my taste buds could handle that.

Nick Granto’s Butterflied Loin


This is a venison loin butterflied lengthwise, marinated for two days in olive oil, Montreal steak seasoning, and a small amount if Worcestershire sauce. The loin was stuffed with applewood-smoked gruyere cheese, sauteed onions and portabella mushrooms then tied. It was then quickly seared and placed in roasting pan. I covered it with two strips of bacon, then surrounded it with the rest of the sauteed onions and mushrooms and cooked the whole thing until it was medium-rare. Served with couscous, asparagus, and sweet potato. Beverage was a semi-dry red wine from New York’s Finger Lakes.

If you’re grilling up a backstrap this weekend, or cooking any fish or wild game, shoot a photo and send it to, and I’ll feature it here.