Don’t let the name deceive you, this culinary staple has nothing to do with France.
In fact, this delightful gift of God was actually first created in the early 20th century in Los Angles. There are a few restaurants fighting over the origin, but it is safe to say that the only thing “French” about this American gem, is the bread.
This sandwich is typically made with roast beef (ribeye) but this, of course, is the venison version. However, if you place a traditional beef French Dip along side this venison version, you will not be able to tell the difference. And if you can, it’s because it’s better than beef.
This is an extremely easy and fast meal that can be done on a weeknight, or served in large quantities for a football party. This recipe I will be using half one half of a backstrap. Which should yield 4 sandwiches. But if you want to use a full strap, you can easily make up to 8 sandwiches. This recipe is also an awesome option for “leftover” straps that you had from the night before.
I’m not kidding you, of all the wild game recipes I have made in my life, this one is very close to the top of my list. It can come off as gourmet, or very casual.
Either way, I promise this will be a new staple for you on your wild game menu.
½ of a venison backstrap
1 loaf of “take n bake” French baguette
1 sliced onion
1 bunch of fresh thyme
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp of butter
Salt and pepper
3-4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
12 slices of provolone cheese
1 can of beef broth
1 tbsp beef bouillon paste
Horseradish Cream Ingredients:
4 tbsp of drained, spicy horseradish (or add more or less to taste)
1 ¼ cup of sour cream
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Start by thawing the backstrap in the refrigerator the day before (if possible). Then move to room temperature. Salt and pepper the steak liberally. Let sit for a minimum of 1 hour before cooking.
It is very important to make sure the internal temperature of the steak is at room temperature. This will ensure even cooking and a perfect pink center from edge to edge. Which will eliminate the gross “gray meat” ring you often see.
In a bowl, mix all horseradish cream ingredients. Then Stir. Cover with plastic. And put it in the refrigerator.
Once the steak is at room temperature, add oil to a smoking hot cast iron skillet. Add the backstrap. Sear for about 1 min each side. Turn off the heat. Add butter, garlic and 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme. Spoon melted butter over the steak giving it garlic and thyme butter bath.
In a 325-degree pre heated oven, transfer the skillet into the oven until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 132 degrees.
This will probably take around 15 minutes. But don’t take my word for it. Invest in a meat thermometer. Backstrap sizes vary greatly. And you DON’T want to overcook this! I like the digital ones you can leave in the meat while cooking.
Go ahead and put your loaf of bread in the oven as well at this time if you haven’t already precooked it. (I usually cook the bread earlier in the day). Then add beef stock, bouillon paste and some more fresh thyme in a pot and simmer. Add more bouillon paste if you like. This is for dipping, also known as “au jus”.
While the steak is cooking, sauté your onions. Add olive oil, onions, garlic, chopped fresh thyme, salt and pepper to a skillet. Sauté until tender.
Remove the steak from the oven. Rest the steak on a cutting board for at least 5-10 minutes. Do NOT rest the steak inside the cast iron pan. It’ll keep cookin.
While the steak is resting, slice your French baguette in half and broil in the oven for 30 seconds. Then remove. Add your sauteed onions on top of the bottom piece of bread. Then add slices of cheese. Broil again until the cheese is melted.
Slice your backstrap as thin as you possibly can and add to the sandwich.
Shmear your horseradish cream on top. Pour your au jus sauce in a small bowl for dipping.
Take a deep breath and get ready for the best damn sandwich you’ve ever had.
Venison French Dip w/ Horseradish Cream? Sssstop…