Seared Venison Tacos

Recipe contributed by Justin Townsend
Photo by Justin Townsend/Harvesting Nature

Want to show off your wild game cooking skills without the fear of ruining your hard-earned venison?
Try this taco recipe shared by chef Justin Townsend. It’s a great way to use just about any cut of venison, because you are cooking the meat hot and fast.  Justin recommends using a cast iron skillet, but suggested that cooking the meat on a hot grill would be equally delicious.

Yield: 8-10 tacos


10 flour tortillas

2 lbs venison, cut into thin slices

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 limes, juiced (about 2 Tbsp)

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

2 Tbsp sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin seed (if have whole, toast and then grind)

4 garlic cloves, minced (4 teaspoons)

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

½ cup finely chopped cilantro (Note – there is great flavor in the stems!)

Garnishes: Thinly sliced purple cabbage or lettuce, salsa verde, queso fresco, and pickled red onion (see bonus recipe below!)


  1. Marinate the steak: Whisk to combine the olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, black pepper, and cumin in a large, non-reactive bowl or baking dish. Stir in the minced garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro.
  2. Place the steak in the marinade and turn over a couple of times to coat thoroughly.
  3. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
  4. Bring a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and sear meat
  5. While cooking meat, warm the tortillas
  6. Garnish with queso fresco, salsa verde, fresh cilantro and lettuce, and pickled red onion.

Serve with warmed black beans and rice.

A note from the kitchen: Queso Fresco is a fresh cheese that is essential to Mexican cuisine. It is pure white, soft and very mild in taste. One of the benefits of using this creamy cheese is that it balances the bit of hot chili in a dish.


Justin Townsend has been a hunter and angler since he was a child. He is a professional chef who has combined his passion for the outdoors and his love for food to create the online publication, Harvesting Nature. Currently, Justin serves as the Editor-in Chief of Harvesting Nature.


BONUS RECIPE – How to Make Pickled Red Onions (By Cookin’ In Camo Chef Tyler Viars)

2 medium onions halved and sliced thin

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup distilled vinegar

¼ cup water

1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt

2 Tbsp black peppercorns

1 ½ Tbsp sugar

1 ½ teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves smashed

2 bay leaves

Place the sliced onions in a mason jar. Add the remaining ingredients to a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil for roughly two minutes. Pour hot pickling liquid into the Mason jar, ½ inch from the rim and so the onions are submerged. Screw on the lid and reserve until ready to use*.
(*Pickled onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a month.)

Categories: Big Game, Featured

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