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Fried Venison Cutlets & Campfire Eating

There something about campfire eating.

Maybe it’s the coziness or the color. Maybe it’s the flavor the wood and smoke impart on the food.

I just took a trip to Arkansas and we did quite a lot of campfire eating.

The very first thing I ate when I arrived were those things in the shovel. Can you see what they are?


Warmed, salty, roasted peanuts.

I have not had peanuts until this moment.

The second thing I ate was this…

Fried venison cutlets.

Sliced thinly off of the backstrap on the deer hanging in the walk-in cooler, and mixed in a combination of breading, and dipped in very hot oil in my favorite thing of all… a skillet.

I have no idea where this picture came from but I like the knife an awful lot.

There were homemade sausages too as an appetizer. All cooked over the wood.

I’ve always loved this particular fire pit. What I like most about it is that the grill is attached to an arm which can swing off of the fire if you want it to.

And the outer edges can be cooler so you can keep your plates warmed on it.

I found out that my friend in Arkansas sells them at his store. They’re made by a man in Texas who knows his stuff.

This was the result. Crispy fried venison cutlets. A bit like the schnitzel I had by an Austrian woman in England a few weeks ago.

Try some campfire eating this winter. It will bring out the caveman in you. You’ll love it.

“Fried Venison Cutlets”

This is a set of guidelines. Amounts will vary depending on the amount of venison you have.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time20 minutes


  • Aged venison backstrap cut into thin slices on a bias and pounded until evenly thin
  • Bread crumbs
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable oil


  • Sprinkle the cutlets with salt and pepper. In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, seasoning again with salt and pepper.
  • Pour 1 inch of vegetable oil into a medium-large skillet and heat over an open fire.
  • Brush the cutlets with a bit of oil on both sides and dip them into the flour mixture until covered. Set aside on a plate.
  • Test the temperature of the oil by adding a cutlet and seeing if the oil begins to bubble assertively. If it doesn't, remove the cutlet and let the oil become hotter. If it does, continue adding more cutlets. Turn them over halfway through cooking. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  • Remove to a plate covered in paper towel and sprinkle with a bit more salt to keep them crispy. Serve immediately with lingonberry sauce or a favorite chutney.


  • Lissa
    Posted December 18, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Holy shit your book is good! I've had it on my wish list for a while and finally got it. The writing is engaging and flows in the most enlightening way. I'm almost through the Marc Buzzio story. I love the way that you tell Marc's story but also shed light on serious issues that the average public is not aware of that need changed. The Marc Buzzio story alone is worth every penny I paid for this book.

    • Post Author
      Posted December 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm

      Thanks so much Lissa, that made my day : ) My month actually.

  • Lissa
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 8:02 am

    🙂 just place a large order with Salumeria Biellese. Excellent service. They are shipping today and I should get it Wednesday!

    When are you going to have a new book out?

    • Post Author
      Posted December 20, 2010 at 10:58 am

      So cool! Make sure you tell them I sent you. I love Marc and Paul. My next book will be out next Fall! If you sign up for my newsletter I'll send you a note when it's out.

  • Rachel
    Posted December 20, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    This looks like it was such an amazing experience. What kind of sausages were they? For some reason food always tastes better outdoors, especially when you prep and cook it outdoors, it gives you a type of awareness that brings you very close to nirvana. Maybe because it brings us closer to the origins of our ingredients and how they were meant to be enjoyed? I think so.

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