Appalachian Food Thankful November

Thankful November – Cooking Deer Tenderloin

Matt cutting deer tenderloin

Over the weekend we celebrated the first real cold air of the season by cooking our supper outside. We built the first fire in the woodstove and the first fire in the pit out back.

When The Deer Hunter processes the deer he harvests he usually leaves the backstraps or tenderloins whole. We really enjoy them marinated and grilled.

Here’s the marinade he uses.

Deer Loin Marinade (makes enough for 1/2 tenderloin or small loin)

  • 1 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey

Mix well; marinate meat at least 5-6 hours. Cook to your desired doneness basting loin through out cooking with marinade. Discard any left over marinade.

Watch last night’s video to see The Deer Hunter marinate the tenderloin and cook it over our first fire of the season.

Today’s Thankful November giveaway is a copy of “The Complete Venison Cookbook From Field to Table” by Jim and Ann Casada. To be entered leave a comment on this post. *Giveaway ends November 19, 2021. Jim has a great website, you can visit it here.


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  • Reply
    Crystal east
    November 20, 2021 at 3:48 pm

    Thank you for the recipe!! Makes me think about my grandpa who would make us deer jerky for Christmas

  • Reply
    Barbara Parker
    November 16, 2021 at 9:13 pm

    Grandma used to cook venison and I just loved it. Along with one of her buttermilk biscuits, with the venison friend good and brown, well it was a treat fit for a king or queen or even a little kid!

  • Reply
    November 16, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    After seeing the video and you mentioning that children who play in a fire will pee in their beds, I’m reminded of the days when we heated our house with coal-fired fireplaces. Well, heating the house is a lie. We heated a room at a time. The bedrooms were never heated. I found ice in what had been a glass of water when place there the night before. Usually the kitchen would heat from the natural gas stove’s oven. We’d heat the dining room with the fireplace and the living room on holidays or if we expected company. I was warned about peeing my bed many times when poking those coal fires.

  • Reply
    Sandra Henderson
    November 16, 2021 at 8:54 am

    That looks so delicious! I love venison and wild game. Even better when cooked outside! I’d love to have this book!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 15, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    Whatever happen to the fire pit Matt built a few years back? I said it looked like a zombie trap to me.

    • Reply
      November 16, 2021 at 7:47 am

      Ed-it’s still there 🙂 Now I’ll always think of you and zombies when I see it 🙂

      • Reply
        Sherry Whitaker
        November 16, 2021 at 12:07 pm

        Oh wow! Would love to give this book to my son-in– law . This a deer hunter & is going in December to Ky. & Indiana.

  • Reply
    Tammye R.
    November 15, 2021 at 9:08 pm

    I just watched the video, that fire looked so warm. The meat looked so tender when Matt cut into it. Looked like y’all had a good day.

  • Reply
    Jenny Young
    November 15, 2021 at 8:39 pm

    I would love to be better at cooking venison.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 6:40 pm

    I have never eaten deer meat. From all I have heard it is tough and hard to cook. I would love to know how to refute these beliefs.

    • Reply
      November 16, 2021 at 7:50 am

      Nate-When I was growing up I didn’t care for deer because it was tough and gamey. Then I met The Deer Hunter and discovered the quality of the meat starts when you first harvest the deer. I quickly became a huge fan of deer meat and soon realized I’d rather have it than any other type of meat 🙂

  • Reply
    Janette Auditor
    November 15, 2021 at 4:39 pm

    I haven’t eaten alot of deer meat in my lifetime, but that sure looks tasty! The cookbook would be lovely!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    I don’t mean to throw a cold blanket on this subject, but have you seen that research has found the COVID-19 virus in the American deer population?

    • Reply
      November 16, 2021 at 7:50 am

      Robert-interesting article. I’ve also heard of the virus being found in cats and dogs-mostly family pets.

  • Reply
    Ramona Loman
    November 15, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    I’d love to learn more about cooking deer. My husband has his heart set on putting meat in the freezer this year. We normally have a hog and beef put up, so this is a very new thing to me.

  • Reply
    Roger Greene
    November 15, 2021 at 11:58 am

    My venison loin recipe is a bit simpler. Fry oinions in an iron frying pan with bottom just covered wih olive oil. Slice loin across the grain about 1/2″ thick. Remove oinions from pan, add loin and just brown each side of the slices, leaving the center slightly pink. Watch it disappear from the table. I suggest a twice baked potato and green salad as the sides.

  • Reply
    Istvan Slenkai
    November 15, 2021 at 11:35 am

    My mouth was watering during the whole cooking process. While I have no venison, I am going to try this marinade on some beef. As always, thank you for sharing Tipper.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 11:07 am

    My wife won’t consider eating deer meat so I have to cook all of mine outside. I once cooked her a couple of beef steaks on the charcoal grill and then cooked several deer steaks and burgers. Our daughter came in from school and almost inhaled a small deer round steak and asked if she could have another. My wife said, “Eat all of it you want.” A few minutes later my Mother-in-Law said, “That was really good deer meat.” and our daughter was very upset because she had been “tricked into eating Bambi.” The next day she admitted she liked it and ate more.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 11:01 am

    That’s looks so tasty. I saved the deer hunters recipe. Will have to try it. My husband is the one who does the deer and all. Would live to have this book. Thanks for sharing Tipper.

    • Reply
      Kat Swanson
      November 15, 2021 at 9:18 pm

      I need to.learn to cook deer meat….too many on my land and if I could learn to cook that meat, would encourage us to harvest a few

  • Reply
    Patricia A Small
    November 15, 2021 at 10:57 am

    No one in my house hunts so I don’t cook deer but I would love to give this to my grandson as he hunts and cooks as well!

  • Reply
    Sallie the apple doll lady
    November 15, 2021 at 10:49 am

    I could smell the smoke and taste that delicious meal! Nothing tastes better than when cooked in a wood fire. And venison, especially the tenderloin, is delicious when prepared right. My husband used a similar marinade and we bake onions like that sometimes using Italian salad dressing instead of butter. Thanks for sharing the marinade recipe as well as the experience of your family enjoying an outdoor meal.

  • Reply
    Denise R
    November 15, 2021 at 10:22 am

    I’m sharing your recipe with our daughter. Her husband is a deer hunter and when I told her about your recipe she said she wanted to try it. I love venison when it’s prepared right, too many times I’ve had bad, which is a shame. I love it prepared as a summer sausage, and cooked on a grill.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 10:21 am

    My husband and I sure enjoyed watching the video!! Those onions and sweet potatoes looked so good too!! And your wonderful family fellowship and music! Thank you!!

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    November 15, 2021 at 9:48 am

    The blacksmith got his 2nd deer this morning. It was a 9 pointer. I was hoping he’d get another one. I think I’ve got him convinced to can some. I even watched Matt’s video. Now we’ll have to try Matt’s back strap recipe.
    Stay well my friends.

  • Reply
    "Miss" Gina
    November 15, 2021 at 9:31 am

    Tenderloin is best part of the deer. Being careful to soak in cold water changing it often for a few hours will help remove the game taste…unless you like that. Recipe sounds great. It is also delicious floured and fried like country fried steak with gravy.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 9:15 am

    I don’t believe there is any better eating than deer backstraps & tenderloin. I like mine with a little brown gravy, mashed potatoes and buttermilk biscuits.
    I’ll have to give the recipe a try, it sounds good. I’ve got several great recipes from Jim’s monthly newsletter over the years, I would like to have one of his recipe books sometime.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 9:06 am

    Love the recipe….thanks for sharing


  • Reply
    Catherine Spence
    November 15, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I always tell my husband, “Get us the meat first, then we’ll worry about a trophy!” Having my canned deer meat makes meal prep so much easier during the school year!

  • Reply
    Richard Hopkins
    November 15, 2021 at 8:59 am

    You and the Casada brothers are treasures of Appalachia. My family has been in Rabun County, GA since before it was officially established. I’ve collected my family’s stories since 1980. I look forward to your post every day and to Mr. Casada’s newsletter every month. I’d love a copy of the book.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 8:49 am

    I’m going to share the marinade recipe with my brother-in-law who doesn’t know how to boil water, but loves to boast about his cooking skills when it comes time to cook backstraps on the grill.

  • Reply
    Kathy Gautier
    November 15, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Will try this on my next venison cooking. Sounds delicious! I am very familiar with Jim’s website, thanks to you, Tipper and love reading his works also. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 8:33 am

    Watched the video yesterday and that deer tenderloin sure looked good! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney
    November 15, 2021 at 8:27 am

    Your post today made my mouth “water”!

  • Reply
    Linda Daniel
    November 15, 2021 at 7:59 am

    We love venison. I would so enjoy this cookbook!

  • Reply
    Margie G
    November 15, 2021 at 7:40 am

    Venison is probably the healthiest and leanest meat available now. There’s a lot of ways to prepare it. I especially like it canned to use in stews or stir fry. The marinade recipe is a definite keeper. Thanks for the share.

    • Reply
      November 15, 2021 at 11:04 am

      I use basically the same marinade but add about a cup of zesty Italian to it ,, sure some good eating going on there in your back yard !!

  • Reply
    Brenda J Banter
    November 15, 2021 at 7:38 am

    The tenderloin is my favorite part of the deer.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 7:33 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! As a new homesteader with lots of deer on the property, I am thankful for any tips or recipes to make good meals even tastier. There is so much more to learn!

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    November 15, 2021 at 7:32 am

    I love cooking over an outdoor fire. The roasted sweet potatoes and onions and the deer back strap looked delicious. Food simply prepared and eaten outside is wonderful, especially in a loving family setting.

  • Reply
    November 15, 2021 at 7:29 am

    I always enjoy recipes that include only common seasonings and ingredients such as this one. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 15, 2021 at 7:23 am

    I happen to know that the Deer Hunter is an excellent cook and I am sure that that is his own recipe…he is very fond of using, changing and tweaking any recipe he uses!

  • Reply
    Lori Hughes
    November 15, 2021 at 7:22 am

    That makes deer meat sound good!!!! I prefer moose over deer. I had a mean big brother that almost ruined deer meat for me as a teenager. But I’ve since discovered ways to remedy that, thankfully. Thank you for sharing Tipper

  • Reply
    Martha D Justice
    November 15, 2021 at 7:21 am

    This sounds delicious ! Hopefully we will be blessed with some deer meat this season. My family loves it battered and fried but I’m sure they would love this as well ☺

  • Reply
    Becky Hale
    November 15, 2021 at 7:15 am

    interesting recipe…and my secret to making deer meat taste like grass fed beef if to remove EVERY LITTLE SCRAP of the “silver skin” and fat.. doesn’t leave it in large pieces for slicing up most of the time but certainly takes the gaminess out of it.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Moore
    November 15, 2021 at 6:38 am

    My sister-in-law, from the mountains of Virginia, makes deer meat taste delicious but hasn’t revealed her secret. Where I am moose meat is enjoyed —- when it too can be prepared without the gamey taste.

  • Reply
    Dan Reece
    November 15, 2021 at 6:26 am

    Thanks for keeping the real world alive with your stories. During today’s crazy world it’s very nice to remember what normal used to be. Great recipe might like a little Montreal type seasoning.


  • Reply
    Ken Caldwell
    November 15, 2021 at 6:21 am

    Looks like a good recipe, will have to try it out.

  • Reply
    Danilee Varner
    November 15, 2021 at 6:17 am

    Looks delicious!

  • Reply
    J. David Chrisman
    November 15, 2021 at 6:06 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to checking out Jim’s website (and tossing my hat in the ring for a copy of his book as well).

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