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Cooking Tips for Thick Cuts and Racks of Wild Game

Thick cuts are those such as the chop ready rack, boneless loin, boneless leg filets or sirloin cooked whole for slicing instead of cutting into medallions before cooking.

Here at the ranch, we have developed some procedures for cooking thick cuts that work quite well. Remember that the objective is to put enough heat into the meat to reach a final internal temperature of 130° to 140° F (medium rare) for venison/antelope and 150° F for wild boar (medium).

Method 1 - Sear & Roast

Start with a pan that can be used both on the stove top and in the oven. A deep cast iron skillet is ideal. Preheat your oven to 400° F. Add one tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat the oil over medium-high heat almost to the point where it begins smoking. When the oil is hot, place the meat in the pan and brown the meat thoroughly on all sides.

Remove the pan from the stove top and place in the center of the oven. Insert a meat thermometer in the center of the thickest part of the meat. As the meat cooks in the oven, check the meat thermometer. When the internal temperature of the venison reaches 120° to 125° F, remove the meat from the oven. Allow the meat to rest uncovered on a cutting board for about 10 minutes. The internal temperature should continue to rise to 130° to 140° F over the next few minutes. For wild boar, pull the meat from the oven when it reaches 140° F to 145° F and the internal temperature will rise to 150° F.

Method 2: Grilling

Set up your grill with two heat zones. One zone should be high heat and the other should be low/indirect heat. Oil your grill grates then place the meat over the high heat zone. Allow the meat to sear for about 5 minutes on one side then flip and repeat on the other side. Once the meat is seared move it to the indirect heat zone to continue roasting. When the internal temperature of the venison reaches 120° to 125° F, remove the meat from the grill. Allow the meat to rest uncovered on a cutting board for about 10 minutes. The internal temperature should continue to rise to 130° to 140° F over the next few minutes. For wild boar, pull the meat from the grill when it reaches 140° F to 145° F and the internal temperature will rise to 150° F.

Cutting

All meat should be allowed to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting to allow the meat's juices reabsorb after cooking. Once rested, thinly slice whole muscles across the grain. The slices should be no more than 1/4 inch thick and should be "fanned out" across the plate for an attractive presentation. Racks can be cut into individual chops by cutting down between the rib bones. The meat can be placed on a bed of an appropriate sauce or can be served with the sauce around the sides of the slices. We encourage you to avoid pouring sauce over the meat. It can overwhelm the delicate flavor and hide the beautiful pink color of the meat.