Backstraps are special. It is a very good friend that will part with some hard-earned backstrap and just give it to you. If you are a non-hunter you will have to try to get invited over to dinner to enjoy this delicacy.
This is a really simple recipe that will really elevate your backstrap dining experience. Works great with any game animal, you just have to adjust your cooking time for the size of the loin.
- Antelope backstrap
- ¾ cup red wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- Montreal Steak seasoning
- ½ lb. Bacon
I like to wet age game meat in the refrigerator for a while prior to cooking. I do so by placing it in a zip lock bag with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of baking soda. Remove all the air and seal the bag. I will let this stay in the refrigerator for up to a week. This really tenderizes and breaks down the toughness in just about all cuts of game meat.
Each backstrap is enough for three to four people, so judge your meat supply and dinner guests accordingly, and be sure to trim away all the silverskin and fat from the meat.
In a bowl mix together the wine, soy sauce, Worcestershire, brown sugar, mustard, and cayenne pepper. Pour into a gallon size zip lock bag along with the loin. Seal and refrigerate from 2-8 hours.
Remove the meat from the marinade, there is no need to dry it and season the strap well with the garlic and steak seasoning on all sides. Wrap a piece of bacon around one end of the backstrap and start spiraling it around towards the other end. When you get to the end of a piece of bacon, lay another over it and secure with a toothpick through both ends and into the meat. Continue until the entire strap is “mummied” in bacon. Hit the outside of the bacon with a touch of the steak seasoning and you are ready to cook.
You can either bake this roast or grill it. To bake preheat the oven to 400 °F. Place the meat on a rack over a foil wrapped cookie sheet. (Really simplifies the cleanup. For a rare roast, bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature is at 130 °F. If you like it a little more done just cook a few minutes longer until a 140 °F temp is achieved. You could also place under a broiler for the last 5 minutes of cooking to crisp up the bacon.
If you prefer grilling, you will need a hot grill with indirect heat. Do not leave unsupervised during the cooking process as this bacon wrapped beauty can turn into a fireball very quickly. Cook times is similar above, and always rely on a quality meat thermometer to check doneness.
Remove from the heat and let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes. Do not overcook game meat! It is at its prime when served rare to medium rare, and just gets tougher the more you cook it. Slice with a sharp knife and serve.
I prefer a big, jammy California Zinfandel with this meal, or a crisp Pilsner on the beer side.