Smoked venison loin has been a favorite of mine for years and for good reason. It easy to make, everyone likes it and it can served multiple different ways. However this version is a little different than a standard smoked loin. I came up with this on a whim after being elected to supply some meat for a holiday party charcuterie platter.
Therefore I needed to make something that would hold up to being left out at room temperature for a few hours. So I decided to take a venison loin and brine it in the style of Canadian bacon, but with a different flavor profile. So what you get is a smoky, salty and herb forward cured meat that pairs well with just about anything.
Servings: Varies depending on the size of the loin.
Times: Brine time (48 hours), Resting time (12-14 hours), Smoke time (up to 2 hours)
As noted in the recipe, I do not recommend cooking the loin passed an internal temperature of 130 degrees F. It can become dry just like a steak.
The loin should be sliced thinly for serving. At no more than 1/8 of an inch thick.
Best served room temperature or slightly warm.
For sauces, this pairs well with mustard, hollandaise sauce, horseradish cream sauce and varies mayonnaise based sauces.
If you are not a fan of salty cured meats, cut the brine time down to 24 hours.
1 gallon water
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons pink salt (instacure #1)
1 teaspoon juniper berries (crushed)
1 bunch fresh sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, crushed
ground black pepper (freshly ground is best if you have it)
one whole venison loin, (all silver-skin removed)
In a large pot add all of the ingredients except the venison loin and black pepper.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
Place the brine in the refrigerator until it is thoroughly chilled.
Add the venison loin to the brine. Refrigerate for 48 hours.
Remove the loin from the brine and rinse it under cold water. Dry the loin off with paper towels.
Lightly dust the loin with a little ground black pepper. Place the loin on a rack that is sitting over a tray. Place in the refrigerator uncovered for 12 to 24 hours. This allows for the brine to evenly distribute through the meat and for it to develop a tacky surface for the smoke adhere better).
Smoke the loin in a 200 degree F. smoker until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F.
Let the loin rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing. It will keep in the refrigerator for about 7 days.