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Spice Ash Crusted Venison Steak with Black Kale Salad Recipe

This unique recipe uses toasted spices to create a coffee-like spice rub for your venison backstraps.

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This venison backstrap recipe sets itself apart from many others by creating a tasty, charred exterior out of whole spices (cinnamon, star anise, juniper, peppercorns, and clove). The char creates both a beautiful contrast and a nutty, fall flavor. By simply burning (or baking) these whole spices and then blending them into coffee-like consistency, you’re set with a homemade rub that cannot be beaten. Serve your juicy and charred venison steak with a kale salad and you’ll be serving up a fall dish that’s sure to impress.

In the video, Michael Hunter teaches the techniques needed to make the special spice ash rub, sear your venison steak restaurant-style, and make a homemade dressing.

Serves: 2
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes

Spice Ash Rub:

  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons clove
  • 1/4 cup star anise
  • 2 tablespoons juniper
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns


  • Steak seasoning
  • Spice ash rub
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Butter and oil for sautéing

Black Kale Salad:

  • 2 cups chopped black kale
  • 3-4 heirloom tomatoes chopped
  • 1 green onion sliced
  • 1 radish thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Make the Spice Ash Rub: Toast the spices on high heat until they turn black and start to smoke. Make sure your exhaust fan is on high to remove the smoke. Cool to room temperature. Blend the spices in a blender on high until is it a fine powder. Sift through a fine strainer to remover and chunks of spices. Set rub aside.
  2. Sear the Venison: Season the venison steak with salt and pepper and then add the spice ash rub. Heat a heavy bottom pan or cast iron pan for 3-5 minutes before searing. Add a little oil to the pan and add the steak. After 2-3 minutes flip the steak it should be crispy on the bottom and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Rest for 3 minutes and slice.
  3. Make the Black Kale Salad: Toss all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and serve on a plate with the sliced venison steak.
Spice Ash Crusted Venison Steak with Black Kale Salad Recipe
This recipe for seared venison steak with spice ash crust makes the perfect dish for date night.

About the Author: Michael Hunter

Michael Hunter is a Canadian-born professionally-trained chef, co-owner of Antler Kitchen & Bar, a hunter, forager, husband, and father. Hunter began cooking at the early age of thirteen and fell in love with food and the restaurant industry. Growing up on a horse farm, Hunter has a natural connection to nature. An honours graduate of the Humber College Apprenticeship Chef Program obtaining his Red Seal, he has worked for some of Canada’s top chefs and kitchens. In 2015, Hunter and Jody Shapiro opened the restaurant Antler Kitchen & Bar to great acclaim. Since then, Hunter has been invited to cook at culinary festivals around the world including the United States, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Russia, and Brazil. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

To learn more about Michael Hunter or to get your copy of "The Hunter Chef Cookbook," visit:

The Hunter Chef Cookbook
Michael Hunter's "The Hunter Chef Cookbook" features a collection of over 100 recipes and butchery guides.


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