Tips on Frying Deer Tenderloin

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If deer meat is fried it should be cooked quickly to avoid toughness.
If deer meat is fried it should be cooked quickly to avoid toughness. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The tenderloin, also known as the backstrap, is a choice cut of deer, or venison, meat that is located along the backbone. This meat is very tender and can be a delicacy if properly cooked. Fried deer meat should be cooked to no more than a medium doneness, as medium-well or well-done deer meat is dry and very tough.

Breaded Tenderloin

Slice room-temperature tenderloin into ¼-inch slices. Combine 2 cups of milk and hot sauce to taste. Marinate the tenderloin in the milk mixture for a minimum of one hour. Heat oil to medium-high. Mix 3 cups of flour, salt and pepper to taste. Whisk together an additional 1/2 cup of milk with 2 eggs. Dip the marinated tenderloin slices in the flour mixture, then in the milk and egg mixture, and repeat this process. Add the medallions to the frying pan and cook for approximately 90 seconds per side, or until lightly browned. Drain and serve.

Unbreaded Tenderloin Medallions

Bring the tenderloin to room temperature. Pat it dry with a clean towel. Slice the tenderloin into 1/2- to 3/4-inch medallions. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the medallions to the frying pan. Cook for 90 seconds. Turn, in the order that the medallions were put into the pan, and cook for an additional 90 seconds to two minutes. This dish can be spiced with salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Top each medallion with a teaspoon of butter.

Pan Frying

Slice tenderloin to the desired thickness; the thinner the tenderloin the quicker it will cook and therefore the more tender it will be. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the tenderloin slices. When blood rises to the top of the slice, turn the slice and repeat on the other side. This will be done medium to medium-well.

Salt and Sugar Cured Tenderloin

Mix 3 cups of rock salt, 1 cup of brown sugar and 2 tsp. of garlic. Rub this mixture into the tenderloin. Place the tenderloin in a non-metallic container and cover it; place the container in the refrigerator. Turn the tenderloin twice per day for one week. Juices from the tenderloin will settle out into the container; do not drain these juices off. Bring the tenderloin to room temperature. Remove the tenderloin from the container and slice it into 1/2-inch slices. Heat fat or oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the tenderloin slices in the frying pan. Fry for 60 to 90 seconds; turn the slices, fry for 60 to 90 seconds, and remove the slices from the pan.

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