Tom McMillan: 'My Top Two Ways to Fix Venison!'

McMillan marinates venison tenderloins anywhere from 1-6 hours before placing on the grill. (Jeff Phillips photo)
McMillan marinates venison tenderloins anywhere from 1-6 hours before placing on the grill. (Jeff Phillips photo)

For 'Deer Week' co-host Tom McMillan, preparing venison for the table is really pretty simple ... simple and delicious, that is

For Tom McMillan, time is usually of the essence.

First of all, McMillan's top priorities each week center around being happily married and raising a family on the Kansas ranch that he lives on.

Then there are his regular duties of hosting MCMILLAN, the popular reality hunting show on Sportsman Channel.

And finally, there are his multi-faceted business interests that range from raising cattle to keeping his Deer Week sidekick Michael Waddell in line to running a 3,000-square foot hunting lodge and 2,500-square foot "Rut Hut" as a part of his McMillan Outfitting, Inc. guiding business.

In terms of the latter, with some of the best hunting ground in the Great Plains at his disposal and plenty of clients who want to venture west to climb into a treestand, it's no wonder that McMillan tends to be a little bit on the busy side as summer turns into fall.

So when it comes to preparing food, the usually on the go McMillan wants it be quick, easy and good, especially if it's some hard-earned Sunflower State venison backstrap or tenderloin.

Which is why McMillan's top two venison recipes are ... well, they are quite simple.

"When it comes to cooking venison, my number one favorite recipe is one that I got from a hunting client," said McMillan. "It's equal parts barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce."

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 cup of ranch dressing
  • 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

After mixing up a batch of that venison marinade, McMillan then bathes the wild meat in the concoction and lets the refrigerator do its work.

"You want to marinate those (deer) tenderloins in that sauce anywhere from an hour to six hours," he said.

Marinade Directions:

  • Pour marinade mix over venison in sealable plastic bag or dish with a cover
  • Place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour, up to 6
  • Remove from refrigerator prior to cooking to allow venison to warm up close to room temperature

Then what?

"You grill it," he said. "And I think you'll be surprised (at how good this simple dish is)."

When he's even more pressed for time – especially when there's a hunting camp full of clients and/or a TV show to film – McMillan turns to an old western Kansas standby.

And that's to grab a cast iron skillet in order to chicken fry up a supply of venison.

"My second suggestion (for venison), when in doubt, fry it," said McMillan. "You can't go wrong with (venison) backstraps that have been cubed up, floured and fried."

"That's as simple as it gets," he added with a smile.

But simple doesn't mean that it isn't good. Or efficient in the use of the always ticking clock.

Just ask Tom McMillan, one of the country's best known whitetail hunters and outdoors television personalities, a family and business man to boot with limited time on his plate.

But plenty of good eats on that plate too, especially when it comes to hard won venison fresh from a wild Kansas grocery store.