2017-12-07 / Outdoors

Venison steak secrets revealed

To the aspiring grill master, it’s a million-dollar question: What’s the secret to a good venison steak?

“Fresh, clean and no silver skin on it,” said Mike Gabourie Jr. of Gabe’s Country Smoked Meats near Maple City. “I like to do ‘em in butter. Seasoned, buttered and medium-rare. More on the rare side than anything. Otherwise they get real dry.”

Gabourie spices the steak up with an old standby, “Char Broil It,” an all-purpose natural hickory seasoning made by Alden Mill House in Alden, Mich.

The meat-and-potatoes plate is just that for Gabourie, who prepares steak with fried potatoes and keeps foo-foo fixings far from his charcoal grill.

He will, however, on occasion step his game up with a steak cordon bleu. He stuffs it with bacon, onions and Swiss cheese and pops it in the oven.

“I’m thinking about having one tonight,” Gabourie said.

Teresa Forton of Suttons Bay — whose husband, John Forton, has “seen a few things, but nothing he has wanted to shoot” in the woods, at least as of Monday — said there’s a variety of ways to prepare a venison steak.

Sometimes Teresa Forton will sautée the steak with a little butter and garlic or put it in a little olive oil. Other times she’ll cook it with mushrooms.

“You just want to barely cook it because it’s the best cut of meat; it’s very tender,” she said.

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