Basil Crusted Venison Tomahawks

Basil Crusted Venison Tomahawks
Recipe by: Ethan Demi

“I grew up eating venison backstraps the same way I'm sure most people do, the same one or two ways your father always made them.
As I got older and my culinary skills advanced, I started thinking out of the box a little more. The first backstrap preparation that really caught my eye was a tomahawk steak (a backstrap with a handle). This quickly became my favorite cut to experiment with. It's tasty and it probably gives off the impression to my dinner guests that I'm a better cook than what I actually am so it's a go-to for me. This particular recipe was inspired by a recipe that I saw from Elevated Wild. I liked it because it was very similar to the way my father taught me how to bread and fry backstraps in egg wash and Italian bread crumbs. This just takes it a step or two further with the fried herbs and bone in presentation. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you try it, please let us know what you think!”



  • 6-8 tomahawk steaks depending on size (or backstrap medallions cut 3/4" thick)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain panko style breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 lb fresh basil
  • 1/4 lb fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • flour for dredging
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt & pepper
  • oil for frying



  • Trim all silver skin from each steak, then season with salt & pepper
  • Pluck basil and parsley leaves and fry separately in hot oil (about 350) for 30 seconds, remove from oil and place on plate covered with paper towels
  • Add friend herb leaves and bread crumbs to food processor until mixture is uniformly dark green
  • Mix eggs with milk and beat well
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Dredge steaks in flour, then egg wash, and coat in fried herb mixture (careful to keep off of bone)
  • Heat cast iron pan over high heat with just enough oil to coat bottom of pan (I prefer avocado oil) and sear all sides of steaks
  • Place steaks on baking sheet and place in oven for 5-10 minutes or until internal temp reaches 130
  • Let stand for 5 minutes and then enjoy


Alternative Method:

If you have a sous vide machine I prefer to cook steaks with sous vide for 2 hours at 130 degrees in a sealed bag with 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 cloves of garlic and a large sprig of rosemary (And of course each steak seasoned with salt and pepper). I then remove from the bag and let cool for 15 minutes before dredging and searing so that I don't increase internal temp above 130. Of course, you can cook steaks to your own desired doneness. However, you are doing yourself a terrible disservice by cooking lean venison steaks past 135 degrees at the very most.