Venison 101: Fresh Herb Rub

It was a darned good deer season here on the farm. My older son takes his job as hunter gatherer quite seriously — all the way to the last day of the season (youth day)…and as a result, we have a LOT of venison in the freezer. Yes!


Now what to do it some of the best meat in the world…., , here’s a recipe that’s at the top of my list of great rubs. It’s good on any red meat — no, it’s GREAT on any red meat.


Even though it’s a little chilly outside, fresh herbs are still abundant at the grocery store — so you’ve got some really special ingredients to use for a rub using all fresh herbs. I’ve used this rub time and time again on venison tenderloin after marinading in this special marinade … and more often than not, people don’t even know it’s venison!


I’d love to say I developed this recipe, but I can’t. I discovered it by accident in my dad’s desk. So I’m sorry to say I can’t even credit the chef of this recipe — because Dad had torn it out of a magazine from the 1970’s; I don’t even know which magazine it came out of. But Chef-Whoever-You-Are out there…thank you. You’re a star!



Alligator Hall, Sarah Sanford, cooking, grilling, summer grilling, venison, dry rub


Again, this rub is great on all red meat (the picture above shows it on beef) — it’s great even on duck. It’s also terrific on lamb or beef roasts all tied up in the oven. (This recipe is enough for a 5 lb. roast — or spread it generously on less!)


1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil leaves (lightly packed)

2 Tbs. fresh rosemary

Zest from 1 lemon (grated fine)

4 cloves garlic

2 Tbs. cracked peppercorns (coarse!)

2 Tbs. lightly crushed mustard seeds

2 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp. kosher salt

Put everything in a small food processor and process down to a smooth paste.  Rub and grill — and remember, don’t overcook your game! Go rare and let it rest — it’ll cook a little more as it cools.


Light pink turns gray fast! And gray = mealy. And mealy tastes like cardboard. Just sayin.










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