More than a party trick, cooking a piece of meat Caveman Style, directly on the coals with no cooking grate or pan of any sort, is a surprisingly good method to prepare meat. The intense heat of the coals sears the surface of the meat quickly, keeping the center rare and juicy. The lack of seasoning allows the true flavor of the meat to shine through. If I am at home, I build the fire in my PK Grill. If we are at camp, I cook the meat on a bed of campfire coals.
The fast sear on the surface keeps the interior of the meat tender and juicy.
2 pounds of venison backstrap
Not convinced? Try it some time. Start with a bed of coals from hardwood logs or lump charcoal. Charcoal briquettes don’t get hot enough for this method of cooking and stay covered in fine ash. Light the fire and allow the coals to burn down to a nice bed of embers in either a charcoal grill or campfire ring.
It only takes a couple minutes per side to cook the meat on the glowing hot coals.
Once the coals have burned down, fan away any loose ashes with a magazine or cardboard. Using tongs, place the meat directly on the bed of coals. Give it 60 to 90 seconds without moving the meat. Once the first side is done, use the tongs to flip the meat. Brush away any embers that might be stuck to the meat. Cook the second side for another minute to minute and a half.
Simply use your tongs to flick away what few coals stick to the meat.
Immediately upon removing the backstrap from the coals, season it liberally with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I like a drizzle of sesame or olive oil over the meat before slicing. Allow the backstrap to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.