How to Butterfly and Truss a Venison Loin

If you are just beginning your venison cooking journey, then the title of this post may sound daunting. Maybe you started out looking for a venison loin recipe — but what the heck does it mean to “butterfly” and “truss” meat? Don’t worry, this process is easier than it sounds!

To butterfly a venison loin or other meat is simply to cut  it most of the way through, spread it out, and then pound it flat. Trussing is a method of holding a rolled, stuffed piece of meat together during cooking.

The photo below shows the delicious end result: Stuffed Venison Loin.

Picture of stuffed venison loin, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris, to give examples of stuffed venison dishes using the butterflying and trussing technique
Some believe serving venison can be hard because of its gamey flavor, but if cooked right it is the best meat known to man.. Use this butterflying and trussing technique to make delicious stuffed venison tenderloins and surprise those picky eaters!

It’s been a few years since I published my Ten Tips to Know When Preparing Venison post. The article seemed to garner immediate fame when I published it, rocketing up to the first spot on my Top 10 Blogs list. It stayed there for many years — a good sign that more and more people are cooking venison. 

Venison: A Versatile and, Yes, Sophisticated Meat

The more people taste well cooked venison, the more they realize that this versatile wild game can lends itself to many different recipes and flavors. People used to think venison was this tough, gamey meat, unfit for a sophisticated dinner spread. Now, people have learned that the secret to an amazing venison dish is all in the preparation.

Back in that ten tips post, I claimed that anyone can love venison. I still believe it! Far too many people believe that venison has a one-dimensional gamey flavor and tough texture. When I first started authoring recipes, I wanted to bring venison out of the lowbrow wild game market. Cooking with venison shouldn’t be considered “niche”; it should be celebrated, enjoyed, and made accessible to all.

Stuffed Venison Loin: A Foodie’s Delight

One of the most delightful ways to enjoy venison is stuffing it with some other flavor and making a delicious pairing. You’ll notice I recommend dishes to pair with my venison entrées a lot—it’s because venison’s flavor is so complimentary. It brings out the best in everything else on the plate. Naturally, stuffing venison is a great way to bring out the meat’s complimentary effect.

Butterflying and Trussing a Venison Loin 

Now for the butterflying and trussing: this technique can take your venison dish to the next level. I promise, once you serve a stuffed venison dish at your next get-together, city slickers and rural rebels alike will be clamoring for some of that “gamey” goodness!

PS: Have you ever tried my Stuffed Venison Loin recipe? It’s perfect around Thanksgiving, but the flavors are delicious any time of the year.

See me demonstrate this technique in a video. Also, be sure to check out my Ten Tips to Know When Preparing Venison post!

How to butterfly a venison loin

the butterfly technique to stuff venison loin, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

With a long sharp knife on the right half of the loin, slice loin 2/3 of the way through.

step 2 of the butterfly technique, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Turn over and repeat.

step 3 demonstrating how to butterfly venison loin, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Spread the venison loin as flat as possible.

step 4 of the butterfly technique - pounding the venison loin, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Pound the loin to about 1/4 inch thick.

Final step of butterflying technique, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Completely flatten the butterflied loin and spread stuffing over it, leaving 1/2-inch border around the edges. Gently roll loin in to a log and begin to truss.

How to truss a venison loin

the trussing technique to stuff venison loins, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Using butcher’s twine about 6 times longer than your loin, wrap around the venison loin approximately 1 1/2 inches from the end and tie a knot.

step 2 pf trussing technique, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Hold the short end of the twine above the knot with your left hand. Pull the long end of the twine away from you and slip it under the part of the twine that you are holding taut above the loin. Repeat wrapping process every 1 1/2 to 2 inches until entire loin is trussed.

demonstration of step 3 of the trussing technique, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

Turn the venison loin over and stretch the twine around the end, wrapping around each truss until it reaches the first initial truss. Tie ends together and trim excess.

Final step of the trussing technique to stuff venison loins, photo by Stacy Lyn Harris

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