Deer medallions with cilantro jalapeño sauce. [Lindsey Bartosh]

The general deer season wrapped up last weekend. I didn’t have a tag, but I know plenty of people who did, so it got me thinking about some of my favorite ways to prepare deer.

After spending a few years experimenting with different wild game meats, I have found that deer is best served medium rare. A well-done deer steak gets tough and the flavor develops oddly. I don’t want to say it tastes bad cooked to a gray and thorough state—it just tastes kind of weird. And definitely not its most optimal! 

I like this recipe for deer because it has a very unique flavor profile. The sauce is sweet and salty from the coconut aminos, there’s a kick of heat from the jalapenos, a fresh pop from the ginger and cilantro, and a slight acidic burn from the lime. It’s a very delicious and surprisingly easy way to eat deer medallions. 

Deer Steak Medallions


  • 4 deer steak backstrap medallions cut about three inches thick (or elk, pronghorn, moose, etc.)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced into rings
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of two limes
  • 4 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 2 avocados
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place cherry tomatoes and asparagus on a baking sheet (lined with aluminum foil for easy clean-up). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
  3. Roast in oven for 12-15 minutes until the cherry tomatoes start to burst.
  4. Prepare the cilantro jalapeno sauce: In a large bowl, combine chopped cilantro, diced jalapenos, two teaspoons fresh grated ginger, the juice of two limes, and four tablespoons of coconut aminos. 
  5. Let steaks come to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before cooking.
  6. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. 
  7. Once steaks are cooked to your liking, pour the cilantro jalapeno sauce into the hot pan around the steaks. Allow to cook for one minute.
  8. To plate, place a steak medallion on a plate. Top with half an avocado and roasted cherry tomatoes and asparagus. Pour more of the cilantro jalapeno sauce over the entire plate. Enjoy!

Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website