I’ve taken the classic French Dip sandwich and updated it with some venison backstrap. The signs of a well-made French dip are easily distinguishable from the bad ones. The bread to meat ratio must be correct. The cheese must be melted, the bun toasted, and the meat a beautiful medium rare. The au jus must be flavorful and compliment the meat as well. I believe I hit all those marks here for this sandwich.
When it comes to French Dips, there are two styles I’ve seen. There are the slow cooked pulled meat ones, and the medium rare sliced roast meat ones. I’ve never been a fan of the pulled meat ones, to me, that’s not a French Dip. The sliced meat sandwich is what I set out to make here. I chose to use venison backstrap for this as I knew I could give it the care it needed and it would turn out amazing. I marinated the backstrap in a garlic and pepper marinade from Tacticalories Seasoning Co. that was called Highlander. It’s a very savory marinade that lends itself well to its application.
I knew to get the meat medium rare, I needed to go above and beyond roasting this venison. Venison tends to dry out when roasted in the oven. So, my first option was sous vide. Sous vide allows me to control the exact temperature I want the meat. I took this to 125F to allow me to sear the meat as well without overcooking it.
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One important step in making this was my rest period for the meat. I actually let the meat chill all the way down to about 50F. Doing this allowed it to full retain all of its juices. Chilling it also makes slicing much easier. The au jus was made with the leftover liquid from the sous vide bag, some beef stock, and some of a wild-game blend from Tacticalories as well, called Bruiser Blend. I allowed it to come to a boil for about 10 minutes then it was ready for serving.
I had served this sandwich with a nice bowl of the Au jus, some crispy fried potatoes, and some organic Hickory syrup glazed carrots. Hickory syrup is different from maple syrup as it is made from the bark of shagbark hickory trees, if you ever happen to find some, I recommend picking it up! It’s much less sweet, and more well rounded in flavor. It is also completely interchangeable with maple syrup as well!
Venison French DipCourse: Wild Recipes
2lbs venison backstrap
2 sub rolls
6 sliced sharp white cheddar cheese
2 cups beef stock
1 bottle Tacticalories Highlander Marinade
2 Tbsp Tacticalories Bruiser Blend Wild-game seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp butter
- To begin, leave your backstrap whole but make sure the silverskin is removed. Marinate in 1 whole bottle of marinade for about 2 hours. Then begin your sous vide leaving the marinade in the bag with it. Set your sous vide for 125F for about 2 – 2.5 hours.
- Preheat your grill to its max temperature. Once sous vide is complete, remove from bag and sear on grill for about 1-2 minutes per side but not longer so you don’t over cook the meat.
- Begin your rest period for your meat. I left mine outside on a winter day for about 2 hours to completely chill it. After it is cool, slice the entire thing into 1/8” sliced or as thick as you want. Try not to eat too much of it!
- Empty the contents of the sous vide bag into a medium sauce pan and add 2 cups of beef stock and the Brusier Blend seasoning as well. Bring to a boil
- Slice your buns in half lengthwise leaving the bottom bun about ½ – ¾” thick. Spread your butter on all 4 pieces, about ½ Tbsp each and sprinkle with garlic powder. Toast the buns in an oven with the broiler on high, only about 1 minute, making sure to watch them so they don’t burn!
- Remove from oven, lay down enough sharp cheddar on the bottom bun to cover it but not go over the sides. Pile high with meat, and top with more white cheddar slices. Use about 3 slices per sandwich.
- Remove top bun and set aside, place your bottom bun, meat, and cheese into the oven and broil for about 5 minutes, watching carefully!
- Once done, remove from oven, place top bun on, and cut on a diagonal. Serve with a nice bowl of the Au jus and whatever sides you choose!