Wild Recipes

Venison Pastrami

Latest posts by John Vile (see all)
4.2 from 6 votes

In my opinion, there are few recipes are versatile as pastrami. From the pastrami Rueben, to my favorite panini made with pastrami on rye bread with provolone cheese and spicy mustard, to simply throwing a bag of this delicious smoked, cured meat in your pack as a snack for those long sits in the deer stand or duck blind. My recipe includes non-traditional ingredients like brown sugar and ancho chile powder in the dry rub.

This recipe is fairly simple, but it does take time for the meat to cure. I like using the bottom round roasts from white-tailed deer, as they are the perfect size and thickness for curing. A key step in this recipe is to desalinate the roasts before smoking, otherwise you run the risk of your pastrami being too salty. I also prefer to steam the meat after smoking which results in an incredibly tender final product. Try adding some slices to your next charcuterie board, you won’t be disappointed.

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Venison Pastrami

Recipe by John Vile
4.2 from 6 votes
Course: Wild Recipes


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  • 2, 1-lb venison bottom round roasts

  • Dry cure for 2-lbs of venison

  • 2 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • ½ tablespoon fresh ground black pepper

  • Pastrami Rub
  • 4 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder


  • Combine the dry cure ingredients in a bowl and mix together until brown sugar is no longer clumped. Liberally apply dry cure to roasts making sure to coat all sides.
  • Place roasts in a Ziploc bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing. Place the roasts in the refrigerator for 5 days, flipping the roasts over each day.
  • After 5 days, remove the roasts and rinse them in cold water to remove any of the cure ingredients. Place the roasts in a large bowl and fill it with cool water. Let the roasts desalinate on the counter for an hour while you prepare the pastrami rub.
  • Combine the pastrami rub ingredients and mix until the brown sugar is no longer clumped. Remove the roasts from the water and lightly blot with a paper towel. Liberally apply the dry rub to all surfaces of the roast and let the rub set-up as you start the smoker.
  • Set temperature of smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and use a fruit wood for smoking, such as cherry or apple pellets. Place roasts in smoker for 2-3 hours until the internal temperature hits 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Once they hit the target temperature, remove them and place the roasts on a wire rack set on top of a sheet pan.
  • Turn the smoker or oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Add 1-2 cups of water to the sheet pan and cover in foil. Carefully place the pan in the oven or smoker to steam for 1 to 11/2 hours. Carefully remove the foil and place the roasts on a cutting board and allow the roasts rest for an hour. Slice against the grain and enjoy.

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John Vile

I live in NE Pennsylvania with my wife and two children. My passions include chasing whitetail deer during archery season, hunting waterfowl on local creeks, rivers, and agricultural fields, freshwater fishing, and assisting my wife with the vegetable garden. I spend almost every available minute on the water and in the woods with my kids and wife, and for us, spending time in the outdoors as a family is a way of life.

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