Wild Recipes

Grilled Red Pepper Sage Leg of Venison

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Recipe Contributed by Field Staff Writer A. Zada

Hunting season is closing in and with all the training I’ve been putting in, I have nothing but deer on my mind. I wanted to make something special and different with the last Venison leg I had packed away in the freezer from last season. After much debate on how to cook the leg (roasting, smoking or stewing), I figured I’d try something new and I’ve never seen before. Why not debone it and grill it? I knew the process would be a bit more tedious and there was a big chance this thing would come out very chewy and tough. Le’s face it, there is a reason why you don’t see grilled leg of venison recipes everywhere, or is there? I was willing to take the risk for the big reward and let me tell you it was well worth it!

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  • 1  Leg of Venison
  • ½ cup Red pepper paste
  • 4  Sage leaves
  • 3 sprigs  Rosemary
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 1  Red Onion
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 oz. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1-½ Tb Salt


  1. First debone the leg, it can be a bit tricky but just be patient and use a boning knife or paring knife. Cut straight down one side of the leg on top of the bone. Gently pull away the meat from the bone using the knife. Make small slices at a time until you’ve gone completely around the bone. Be sure not to cut all the way through to the other side of the leg.
  1. Make a slice halfway through the thick part of the large lobe to open the leg like a book. Try to make the leg as even thickness as you can. Try to take off large pieces of silver skin but don’t get too carried away and start separating the lobes.

    Leg of Venison Deboned

  1. Place all the rest of the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process for 20-30 seconds to make the marinade.

    Marinade for Leg of Venison

  1. Rub the marinade all over the venison leg and place in a vacuum seal bag and seal (you can also use a large freezer bag). Place in refrigerator overnight.
  1. Remove leg from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for about an hour. Heat a grill to medium high heat.
  1. Place leg on hot grill and cook for 15-17 min per side until the internal temperature is 125-130°F, about medium rare. You don’t want to overcook this as it will be very tough.
  1. Let the leg rest for 10 minutes before you slice it.
  1. Identify the direction of the grain on each part of the leg before you slice it and make sure to always cut across the grain.




Ara Zada

Born and raised in Los Angeles Ara Zada is a chef, author, TV personality, food stylist and avid bow hunter. He has worked with Outdoor News, PBS, Food Network, ABC, CBS, NBC, TNT, Jaime Oliver Food Foundation and a range of others. His first cookbook ‘Lavash’ was released Oct. 2019. When he’s not cooking he’s shooting his bow, teaching his kids about the outdoors, training for triathlons and filling any available time with parkour.

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