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grilled venison tacos recipe
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5 from 3 votes

Grilled Venison Tacos

Everything here is variable. That's the nature of taco night. But the key here is the grilling of the venison, which makes this recipe different from, say, a venison taco done with ground meat. I also really like serving rajas, roasted poblanos and onions, with this -- they just seem to go well together. But if you don't like them, skip it. Hey, it's taco night. Do what makes you happy!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: tacos, venison
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Hank Shaw



  • 2 pounds venison flank, backstrap or leg steak, all sinew and silverskin removed
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil to coat
  • Chipotle powder, ancho chile powder or taco seasoning


  • 4 poblano, ancho or green bell peppers
  • Vegetable oil to coat
  • 1 white or yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • Salt


  • Corn or flour tortillas
  • Dry cotija cheese or shredded jack cheese
  • Diced tomato (plum tomatoes are best)
  • Sliced serrano chiles
  • Sliced avocado or guacamole
  • Cilantro


  • I like to make the rajas first. Coat the poblano chiles with a little oil and hold them over a grill or your stovetop burner with tongs until the skin blackens. Put the charred chiles into a paper bag to steam for a half hour or so. Peel off the charred skin and slice the poblanos into strips. If you've never done this, my friend Elise has a great tutorial here.
  • Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the sliced onions until they char a little at the edges. Add the poblanos and garlic and cook another minute or two. Add salt to taste, turn off the heat and set aside.
  • Get your grill ready. It should be very hot, and when it is you need to scrape down the grates with a wire brush. Coat the venison with some vegetable oil and salt it well. Set it on the grill and leave the grill cover open. Sear it hard without touching the venison for 2 to 4 minutes, depending on how hot your fire is and how thick your venison is. You want good grill marks. If your venison is thicker than an inch, you can get cross-hatched grill marks by picking up the meat with tongs after 2 to 4 minutes, then rotating it 45 degrees and searing it for another 2 minutes or so.
  • Flip the venison and sear until it's medium-rare, or rare. How to tell? Use the finger test for doneness. When the meat's ready, move it to a plate or tray and sprinkle some chipotle powder on it. Let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing it very thinly against the grain.
  • Heat the tortillas until they are flexible (read the package's instructions or make them by hand) and keep them warm by covering with a kitchen towel or putting them in a tortilla box. Serve the tortillas, venison, rajas, and everything else spread out on the table so everyone can mix and match while they build their own tortillas.


If you want to go all out, make two kinds of venison meat for tacos: This recipe and my recipe for Venison Yucatan.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 646mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 294IU | Vitamin C: 65mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 5mg