Venison and Horseradish Toast

Reheated leftover venison steak is like leftover fish or Chinese food. It never tastes the same. Actually, it’s exactly what wild game cooks try their hardest to avoid, and that is overcooked, gray, lifeless meat. That is the nature of reheating food, which is why I try not to cook more venison than could be eaten in one sitting. Unfortunately, I do miscalculate from time to time, and then I’m left with the decision of giving it to the dog or suffering through it myself.

Fortunately, all that nonsense stopped after I came to the obvious conclusion that day-old, medium-rare venison tastes delicious cold. It’s like roast beef – good in a sandwich or topped over toast, like it is here. Although cold, leftover venison retains its rosy-pink color while remaining succulent.

This recipe was made specifically for leftover, chilled venison. However, if you don’t have leftover meat, cook the backstrap the night before. Pile meat on bigger slices of bread to make a meal of it or crostini for an easy party appetizer. If you have English cheddar on hand, add it to the mix.

Venison and Horseradish Toast

Servings: 4


  • 1½ lbs. of venison backstrap (or other tender, whole muscle roast)
  • ½ tbs of olive oil
  • ½ tbs of butter
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 tsp of prepared horseradish
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise 
  • French or sourdough bread
  • Softened butter, to taste
  • Microgreens
  • Coarse finishing sea salt, such as Jacobsen or Maldon

Cooking Instructions: 

  1. Three hours prior to cooking, take venison out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature. Tie meat with kitchen twine and then generously season with kosher salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add butter and oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high. When the oil-butter stops bubbling and begins to smoke, pat venison loin completely dry with paper towels. Sear the meat on all sides, aiming for a good crust.
  3. Transfer meat to a rimmed cookie sheet or baking dish and season with freshly cracked pepper. Finish the venison loin in a 300 degrees oven until the internal temperature reaches 125-127 degrees, about 15 minutes. Remove meat from the oven, and then tent with foil to rest for at least five minutes. Finishing temperature should reach 130-135 degrees. Allow meat to cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator to chill, covered.
  4. The next day, combine horseradish and mayonnaise to make the spread – multiply the recipe as needed. Cut bread into 1-inch-thick slices and thinly spread butter onto one side of each piece. Toast until golden at the edges.
  5. Thinly slice chilled venison against the grain. After bread has been toasted, generously spread horseradish-mayonnaise onto each piece and top with thinly sliced venison, microgreens and finishing salt, to taste.

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About Jenny Wheatley

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley is a hunter, writer and editor in Omaha, NE. In addition to her role as associate editor at Nebraskaland Magazine, she runs the blog Food for Hunters. See what she's cooking @foodforhunters on Instagram.

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