• Hunt the Wild

Venison Tartare

Venison tartare

½ lb of thawed venison backstrap all fat and silverskin trimmed off

1 quail egg (can be substituted with chicken egg)

Rice wine vinegar

Soy sauce

Olive oil

Black sesame seeds (optional)

1 small loaf good rustic bread


When I first tried venison tartare it reminded me of exceptional sashimi… I like to treat it like that now in how I prepare it.  This recipe is about finesse in flavors and texture.

Thaw ½ lb backstrap then roughly dice or chop half a pound (approximately) into small chunks. While traditional tartare is ground I prefer small chunks.  Make sure you are using previously frozen meat to ensure all bacteria has been killed.

In a small serving bowl add the tartare and sprinkle black sesame seeds lightly.  Stir in to incorporate and have a few sesame seeds on each small piece. The Sesame will add texture and a little bit of fat.  You can omit the sesame if you wish. Then using your hand or a spoon make a small divot in the middle of your tartare in the bowl.  Crack a quail egg and reserved only the whole yolk. Gently without breaking place the yolk in your divot in your tartare.

In two small dipping bowls, have your soy sauce blended with a little olive oil in one, and your rice wine vinegar in the other. These are sauces for dipping your tartare in.

You can do the bread in two different ways one is simpler. Simply slice and lightly toast on a baking sheet. You can then dip your tartare in either sauce put on a piece of bread and snack away.

The second option is to slice your bread and lightly fry it and some olive oil in a skillet. This is an exceptional way to have more texture and fat in this recipe. You have the crunchy outside of the bread butt chewy middle as it is not been baked.  I love this method.

Wine pairing options - pinot noir, champagne, or chardonnay.

Pinot Noir's bright red fruit flavors and acidity pair well with venison in general. Champagne finesse matches the finesse of the venison tartare while the mousse (bubbles in the mouth for the uninitiated) is a foil to the texture of the raw meat. Chardonnay yep chardonnay don't think the oak butterball nor the stainless steel kind... Think the refined  lightly oaked, French or Pacific Northwest versions… again the finesse pairs well with the subtle flavors of the tartare and Umami of the sauces.

-Joel Strimling


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