Don’t just fry them, instead try pan seared venison steaks with a beer-bacon pan sauce.
If the words “pan seared venison steaks” didn’t get your attention, then “beer-bacon pan sauce” probably did.
Pan searing venison steaks are one of the favorite ways to cook venison in our house. Topping them off with a simple pan sauce only makes it that much better. The taste that results from this simple recipe would make even non-venison eaters want to go back for seconds.
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If you have never made a pan sauce before, don’t be intimated. Once you learn the basics, the options for other sauces are only as limited as your imagination.
Pan Seared Venison Steaks with Beer-Bacon Pan Sauce
- Thawed Venison Steaks
- Small amount of Diced Bacon
- 1 Small Chopped Onion
- 2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
- 1 Bottle of Your Favorite Beer
To get things started, make sure your steaks are patted dry with a paper towel. In order for a good pan sear, all the moisture has to be off of the steaks. Otherwise, when the steaks are added to a hot pan, the moisture on the steaks will just steam and not create those dark flavor spots on the meat.
Add salt and pepper to both sides of the steaks. In the meantime, add a little bit of olive oil to a pan and turn up the heat to about medium high. Don’t overdue it with the oil. Just use the oil to keep things from sticking and no more.
Once the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the steaks a few at a time. You should instantly start to hear them searing. Depending on the thickness of your steaks, flip them accordingly. I would suggest about 45 seconds per side. Once they are flipped, you should see some dark spots from the heat.
Repeat this process until all the steaks are cooked. As they finish on the pan, place them on a plate to rest. Cover the plate with aluminum foil to retain heat.
Now get ready for the beer-bacon sauce! Pan sauces traditionally come together very quickly so having all the ingredients ready to go really helps. Whatever you do, do not drain the pan after cooking the steaks. You want all of the fat and flavor to remain in the pan. It’s the best part of the sauce!
To start, keep the heat high add a small amount of diced bacon, the small chopped onion, and the minced garlic to the pan and cook until the onions are soft and bacon is a little crispy.
Next, add in about 1 cup of your favorite beer. I would recommend a darker beer for more flavor, but you can use whatever you like. Use a wooden spoon and begin scraping the bottom of the pan. During this process, you are adding all the flavor bits stuck to the bottom of the pan back into the sauce. Continue to stir while the sauce keeps boiling to reduce the liquid in the pan.
After a few minutes of liquid reduction, add a few tablespoons of butter as well as all the juices collected on the plate of venison steaks.
Continue to stir the pan sauce for a few more minutes while the liquid in the pan continues to reduce from boiling. By this time you should have about 1/3 cup of liquid left in the pan. Finally, add a very small amount of flour just to thicken the sauce for better consistency.
We are making a pan sauce here, not a gravy. Pan sauces are designed to be heavily concentrated and full flavored. A few tablespoons on top of your steak is all you need. Pan sauces can also be made in the exact same way only using fruit juices, wines, or even water, instead of beer. I have had a lot of success with apple juice mixed with blueberries that were added in during the reduction part of this process.
After trying these venison steaks with the beer-bacon sauce though, you may not want to experiment with anything else. Enjoy!
Check out more recipes from Brad Smith
Let us know if you try this one out in the comments!
Images via Brad Smith