There are so many things that I love about cooking with wild game….
- It’s truly 100% organic
- It’s grass-fed, making it very nutritious
- It’s frugal (if you process the meat yourself)
I really enjoy the thrill of the hunt when I go antelope hunting with my hubby. It really is something special to go all the way from harvesting the animal in it’s natural habitat, to cutting up the meat, to then serving it in delicious ways.
(Warning for my sensitive readers- dead animal photo ahead)
I’ve killed three antelope since moving to Wyoming. I didn’t hunt growing up and learned everything from my hubby (and Hunter’s Safety, of course). So if you are someone who didn’t come from a hunting family, there is hope for you!
Today I am sharing my absolute FAVORITE meal. No kidding. I would pick this over a steak any day of the week.
Since we don’t have venison as often as we do antelope, it’s a rare treat. But boy-oh-boy, I savor every last bite when it is available! (We usually don’t do this with our antelope, but you definitely could. The meat just might have a bit more of a “gamey” flavor.)
If you don’t have venison available right now, you can substitute a beef fillet or tenderloin instead. But if hunting is an option in your area, I highly encourage you to find a good mentor, take a Hunter’s Safety course, and get out in the field!
Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin
- 1-2 lbs venison tenderloin (aka backstrap) cut into medallions that are around 1 inch thick. (Or use the beef equivalent)
- 1 lb bacon (use nitrate-free if you can)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I use the real, raw stuff)
- 1/8 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce will work in a pinch)
- 1 Tablespoon Sucanat OR Rapadura OR regular sugar
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
In a baking pan (a 9×9 or a pie plate usually works for me), combine all of the ingredients except the tenderloin and bacon.
Place the medallions in the marinade mixture. Turn them over once to coat, then allow to marinate for 2-6 hours in the refrigerator. (I try to flip them at least once during the process).
When you are ready to cook them, remove from the mixture and discard the marinade.
Wrap one slice of bacon around the edge of each medallion. Secure with a toothpick.
Grill to your preference. I like the bacon to be crispy, but for the inside of the meat to still be a little pink.
Remove from the grill. Allow to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Cooking notes: I am far from a Grill Queen, so I hesitate to tell you exactly how to cook these. You know your grill and preferences best, so just cook them like you would your favorite steak. However, for maximum flavor, I would advise NOT overcooking them.
If you are in a pinch, these can definitely be grilled inside as well. In the photos, I am using a cast iron grill pan. It took longer to cook them on the stove top than on our gas grill, but it still worked.
The marinate infuses the meat with flavor, while the bacon fat bastes it as it cooks. It’s heaven on a fork people.
Serve with mashed spuds or a fluffy baked potato and a side of steamed garden veggies! Whoever thought local food might be boring never had a bite of this!
If you are a venison fan, check out my Slow Cooker Vension Chili, too!
Are you a fan of wild game? Have you ever been hunting?