Venison Negimaki With Jimmy Kennedy

By Jimmy Kennedy
Cook Ambassador

This negimaki is just steak and scallion rolled up. They’re marinated in a teriyaki sauce and broiled.

Venison Negimaki

Negimaki is a standard appetizer on most Japanese restaurant menus and a must-order for many sushi regulars. This particular version blends American flavors with Far East cuisine. These marinated, seared and barbecue-teriyaki glazed rolls are made even better by adding my favorite cheddar cheese. They shine as appetizers, but negimaki can also be served as a main course for tailgating or as a potluck addition. They can also be made with local fish, chicken, beef or vegetables. I recommend using Cabot Extra Sharp, Seriously Sharp or Farmhouse Reserve Cheddar Cheese.

Gyūniku Negimaki (Steak and Scallion Rolls)

Barbecue-Teriyaki Sauce:

1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce

1/2 cup of soy sauce

1/2 cup of sherry or sake

Combine the ingredients in a small cast-iron pan and heat over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat immediately and let cook on a simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. The sauce will cook down quite a bit.

For the rolls:

2 thin, boneless venison steaks (4 to 5 ounces each)

4 wild leeks (ramps) or scallions, split lengthwise and cut into four pieces

1/2 cup or so of barbecue-teriyaki sauce (recipe above)

2 or 3 ounces, Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar or 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, cut into thin strips, approximately the same size as the scallions

The venison steaks will need to be made as thin as possible. The best way to do this is to place it between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap on a cutting board and gently pound it with a meat mallet, the flat side of a cleaver or even the bottom of a heavy, glass soda bottle. When the steaks are nice and thin, about 1/8 inch thick or so, cut them in half crosswise. Arrange a line of the leeks or scallions and the cheese strips down the entire length of the steaks. Roll the pieces tightly into cylinders and hold in place with toothpicks.

Preheat the oven’s broiler or light the grill. Dip the venison rolls into the barbecue-teriyaki, making sure they are good and covered with the sauce. Place the rolls in a cast-iron skillet, grill pan or griddle and broil for 3 or 4 minutes on each side. It’s a good idea to baste them a little on each side while they are cooking. When they are done, remove from the heat and place on a cutting board. Remove the toothpicks, and using a sharp knife cut the rolls into 1-inch long pieces. Stand them upright and add a little more sauce and enjoy.

Makes about 16 1-inch rolls.

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