Venison panini with sun dried tomato and hot pickle relish recipe

One of the easiest things to make for lunch – and something that can be very delicious if done correctly – are paninis. I love experimenting with paninis and typically make them with sliced turkey, but when you have some venison calling to you from the freezer it can make for a great protein smashed between melted cheese and veggies. 

You can use any cut of tender meat, but the eye of round – the small piece of meat nestled in the hind quarter – is a perfect size for this recipe. 

Preparation: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 
  2. Season venison generously with Bat Boy rub. Make sure you get in creases and both ends.  
  3. Get a nonstick pan or cast iron skillet very hot. Heat olive oil, but don’t burn it. Once heated, add seasoned venison to pan. Sear long enough to allow the meat to form a crust, but not burn. Sear all sides. Once finished, bring temperature to low and melt butter in pan. Spoon butter over the roast for 1 minute. 
  4. Once finished, put the roast into the oven for six minutes or until internal temperature is at least 130 degrees. Once done roasting in the oven, pull out and allow it to rest. Season with salt and pepper. 
  5. While meat rests, prepare the relish by chopping all ingredients together on a cutting board. You can also pulse it in a small food processor to desired consistency. 
  6. Once relish is finished, thinly slice venison. Set aside. 
  7. Begin heating a skillet grill over medium-high heat. If using a panini press, follow instructions. While skillet grill heats up, begin putting together panini. Spoon mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. On one slice, stack lettuce or arugula, meat, relish and cheese. Put second piece on top. 
  8. Once skillet grill is heated up, spray with oil and add panini. Once the first side is golden brown, turn and allow the other side to cook to golden brown. 
  9. Once panini is finished, set on cutting board and cut in half. Serve hot with a side of chips or a side salad. 

Ingredients

Serving size:

Time to make: 30 minutes

  • 1 venison eye of round
  • 1 pack of Appalachian Huntsman Bat Boy rub
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 slices of choice bread, sliced thin
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise 
  • Lettuce or arugula
  • Aged cheddar cheese

RELISH

  • 1/8 cup of hot pickles
  • 1/8 cup of white onion
  • 1/8 cup of kalamata olives
  • 1/8 cup sun dried tomatoes
Andrew Spellman

A West Virginia University Reed College of Media alum, Andrew has a deep passion for his field of work. He is currently a sports and outdoors writer for The Dominion Post in Morgantown, WV, and a current issues and affairs writer for Project Upland. He also runs his blog, Hill & Holler, on the side.

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