Coues Deer Pastrami

Venison Pastrami

This recipe slightly modified from Hank Shaw… Ive been experimenting with a few different recipes and his is by far the best with a little tweak here and there to suit my liking.

Salt: Salt is a big part of the curing process so be sure to get the ratios correct. The salt and cure ratio is this: 2% of the weight of the meat in kosher salt, plus 0.25% – that’s one-quarter of one percent – of the weight of the meat in curing salt. Do not skip the curing salt by it on amazon if you cant find at the store.

Venison Pastrami


  • A venison roast, hind leg or backstrap
  • Kosher salt 
  • Instacure No. 1
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus 3 tablespoon ground black pepper for later
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground coriander


  • Weigh your venison.For every pound of meat, you’ll need 10 grams of kosher salt and about 1.5 grams curing salt. Mix the salt, curing salt, sugar as well as the thyme, celery seed, caraway, juniper and the teaspoon of black pepper and grind them all together in a spice grinder.  Pack the venison with this mixture, massaging it into the meat. Vacuum seal or put the meat into a Ziploc bag or closed container and set it in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. A general rule is 2 days per pound of meat. Honestly its better to go over in days than under I had 1.5lbs of backstrap and I cured its for 3.5 days. I think thickness plays a roll as well a thicker muscle needs more time in my opinion.
  • Rinse the cure off the venison and pat it dry. It’s fine if you have a little bit of the cure stuck to the meat, but you don’t want too much. Put the venison on a rack in the fridge and let it dry uncovered for up to a day.
  • Dip the meat into the Madiera wine — and then coat thoroughly in the 3 tablespoons of remaining black pepper, ground coriander seed and i sprinkled caraway seeds sparsly over the whole loin. I like to grind this myself so the texture is a little coarse, a little fine. Press it into the meat well. 
  • Smoke the venison at about 165°F to 200°F I found that 175 degs was the optimum temps until the interior hits 145°F, which takes me about 3 hours.

Smoked foods, venison Servings: 2 pounds Calories: 106kcal Author: Hank Shaw