Campside Venison Fillet Steaks

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“One cold November day, about 25 years ago, my hunting partners and I arrived home and began the monumental task of butchering up our deer. We had 4 or 5 to process so we decided to do it together, all at once. About an hour into the task, some of us got hungry and, as I'm the camp cook, they prevailed upon me to fix the problem. I had already built a big campfire and there were lots of hot coals so I set up a metal grill over part of the fire and rounded up a 12" skillet and set it on the rack to heat. I went to the meat table, retrieved the biggest tenderloin strip and cut a half-dozen steaks, 1 1/2" thick -- some were 2". Then I grabbed a handful of ground beef suet (which we threw in with the burger to make it less lean) and tossed the suet into the pan. Long story short, I seasoned the steaks and fried them over very high heat and served them up. I have never seen steak disappear so fast in my entire life. When I ate mine, I discovered why -- they were very tender, moist and, incredibly delicious. In the end, I had to cut up and fry up MORE of them. Folks, this is a VERY simple recipe but, since that day, I've never prepared my venison Fillet Mignon any other way! I recommend this recipe for campfire preparation only and a well-seasoned 10"-12" cast iron skillet is a must. I was both a state and federal game warden for several years and a park ranger for the remaining ones of my career and I have never had deer steak this good at anyone's campsite (and I've been at a LOT of campsites where we were invited to try the food!). So....... Enjoy!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Set up your cooking station so that the skillet is approximately 8-12 inches above the hot coals of a campfire.
  2. Season both sides of the steaks in advance with the salt and pepper, rubbing seasoning into the edges of the steaks as well.
  3. When the skillet is very hot, toss in the ground up beef suet and when it melts and just begins to smoke, lay in all 4 steaks.
  4. DON'T move the steaks around, but after about 4-5 minutes, turn them, (with grabbers, not a fork -- if you penetrate them with a fork, you'll lose moisture!), and allow them to fry for another 4 minutes on the second side.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and drain all the grease but leave the steaks in the skillet. Top each with 1 teaspoon of butter and cover the skillet right away with a lid. Allow the steaks to sit in the covered skillet for 10 more minutes and then serve.

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