Hickory Smoked Venison Backstrap with Traeger’s Roasted Root Vegetables


I am bringing you a very special recipe this week after receiving many requests for a wild game recipe. I teamed up with my friend and co-writer Tim Montana of the band Tim Montana and the Shrednecks. You may have seen him and his band on the road with Kid Rock or ZZ Top or seen them on TV’s Fox and Friends or maybe you have heard his new single “Hillbilly Rich” on Sirius XM’s The Highway. The video for “Hillbilly Rich” by Tim Montana and The Shrednecks is also now on CMT!

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“Hillbilly Rich” music video on CMT

Tim is a husband, a father of 3, an avid hunter, country rock star, songwriter and a dang good cook! He is also a close friend of the fine folks at Traeger Smoker Grills and they are going to help us out this week!

I told Tim that we are big on using a smoker and/or grill when we cook with the rest of the cast of  I Love Kellie Pickler for Hillbilly Supper Club. We hope to do a lot more in the future with the awesome Traeger Smoker Grill.

Recently, Tim invited my wife, Andi and me over to write songs and cook some venison on his Traeger Smoker. It was a heck of a lunch.
Tim harvests and processes his deer himself. Here’s the recipe… Enjoy!




4 Venison backstrap steaks (about 6 oz each)
2 cups Whole Milk
1/8 cup of Extra VirginOlive Oil
Lawry’s Garlic Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Soak deer meat in whole milk in air tight container over night. This will rid the meat of any gaminess that it may have.

Place venison on a cookie sheet and coat lightly with olive oil. Then apply an almost generous portion of garlic salt and fresh cracked pepper. Simple goodness.

Prepare smoker with hickory wood and bring to a steady 350 degrees. Here we use the  Traeger Smoker Grill. You can explore cooking methods on their website at www.traegergrills.com .


Once your smoker is at 350 degrees, place meat directly on grate and close lid.
After 8 minutes, turn meat and smoke for another 8 minutes or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 to 150 for medium rare with a meat thermometer.
It is important not to overcook venison as it is a very lean meat and will dry out easily.

We recommend removing the meat at medium rare as it will still be hot and continue to cook a bit after taking it off the heat. Re internal temperature of meat… be aware of food safety recommendations and use your own judgement.


Remove from heat and let rest… Slice across the grain in thin slices at a slight angle and cover loosely with foil or keep in 150 – 170 degree oven until ready to serve with root vegetables.


Traeger Roasted Root Vegetables



Follow Recipe here: http://www.traegergrills.com/recipes/vegetables/roasted-root-vegetables

Prepare Traeger Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe and serve with Venison!


Don’t forget the honey! It is so good over the vegetables This whole meal is delicious, lean and healthy and even easy on the carbs.

Tim Montana and Ken Johnson sippin’ some Big Sky Brew

We recommend pairing with an ice cold glass of Moose Drool or Big Sky IPA from Big Sky Brewing Company while watching the new Tim Montana and The Shrednecks video for “Hillbilly Rich” on CMT!

Writing songs in Nashville… Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Ken Johnson and Tim Montana



© Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2017

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