venison steaks and cowboy butter
Jennifer Daniela

Try This Venison Steak With the Cowboy Butter That Went Viral

Juicy, tender backstrap steaks meet their perfect match with spicy, savory cowboy butter.

The cowboy butter trend has been going around social media for awhile now, and while we don't know who originally came up with this viral recipe, we knew we had to try it for ourselves. What better meat to pair it with than some tasty venison steaks from our favorite cut—backstrap.

Backstrap is a tender cut, especially in deer meat. The muscles aren't used often by the animals leaving them softer with a low fat content. While it's not the only tender cut, it's not as delicate as a tenderloin. Plus, it is quite a bit bigger. This translates into hearty, juicy steaks, which are the perfect vessel for the spicy cowboy butter. While I'm a big fan of all things spicy, this butter packs quite the punch—those with more sensitive palates might consider cutting the red pepper flakes in half to make it less potent. Either way, this pairing is going to be in regular field-to-table recipes rotation.

Venison Steaks with Cowboy Butter


  • 1-1.5 pounds of venison backstrap (whole)
  • High-heat cooking oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Cowboy Butter

  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • ½ tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Recipe Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Pat venison dry using paper towels. Season liberally with salt and black pepper on all sides and rub into the meat using a small amount of oil and your hands. Allow to sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a cast iron or oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the backstrap to the skillet and sear on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. It should have a nice brown crust.
  5. Place the skillet into the preheated oven to cook until the internal temperature reaches 120-130 degrees, depending on how you like your steak cooked. Smaller cuts may take 5 minutes, while my 1.5-pound elk backstrap took 15 minutes. Do not cook over 130 degrees or the venison may become tough.
  6. Remove the backstrap from the skillet to a plate; tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to slicing. This will help retain the juices.
  7. While the venison is resting, melt butter and add in the remaining cowboy butter ingredients.  Serve with sliced venison for dipping.

READ MORE: Finally! Here's the Best Way to Make Venison Cheesesteak