Hunters probably don’t normally hang out with vegans, but some of our friends have made poor life choices. And we all have that one family members who looks down on a bloody deer steak.
If you happen to have one of these folks in your social circle, there is a way to save them from malnutrition and kale salads and it doesn’t even require an episode of Intervention. Instead, fry up some bacon.
Ask any reformed vegetarian and they’ll tell you what lured them back to the world of meateaters. The salty bite of crisp, cured pork belly has tempted even the most square-toothed of leaf chewer to give up their ill-advised lifestyle and give in to eating meat.
Once you’ve hooked them with the smell of bacon, they’ll willingly accept your intelligent argument that the best, most ethical option is meat sourced yourself, hunted humanely and cleanly killed. In other words, venison.
Be it deer, elk, moose or other wild, red meat, venison, combined with bacon, is a powerful tool in the war against vegetables.
This recipe requires that prime cut – the backstrap, cut into a thick hunk. If you’ve butchering an elk loin, cut it in fourths or fifths. A whitetail can be sliced in half. The key is too skip the steak and instead have a thick hunk of meat you can cut a pocket in a stuff with creamy Boursin cheese and crumbled bacon.
Then, because veganism can be a powerful drug, break out the big guns with another layer of bacon flavor wrapped around the whole thing. If this doesn’t save your vegan friends, you may have to accept that they’re gone forever.
Stuffed and Wrapped Venison Backstrap
2 slices bacon, cooked
1 cup Boursin or cream cheese
4 slices bacon, uncooked
1. Cover the backstrap on all sides with steak seasoning. Using a short, sharp knife, create a pocket in the backstrap by cutting a deep incision in the side of the meat, being careful not to slice all the way through.
2. Crumble or slice the cooked bacon into small pieces. Whip the Boursin cheese with a pinch of steak seasoning and the bacon pieces. Spoon this into the pocket.
3. Wrap the backstrap with the uncooked bacon. Pin in place with toothpicks.
4. Let the backstrap rest on the counter for 30 minutes while you prepare the grill.
5. Prepare a two-zone fire in the grill by piling hot coals to one side. (Alternatively, light one side of a propane grill, leaving the second burner off or on low.) Wipe the grill grates with a paper towel dipped in canola or vegetable oil.
6. Throw a handful of apple wood chips onto the coals, then place the bacon-wrapped backstrap onto the cooler side of the grill. Let the meat smoke-roast for 15 minutes. This will also help the bacon fat render and reduce flare-ups.
7. After 15 minutes, move the meat to the hot side of the grill to sear. Cook on each side 3-5 minutes, moving the backstrap as necessary to manage any flames that might occur. Place an instant-read thermometers into the meat. When it registers 125-130 and the bacon is cooked, remove the backstrap from the grill and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.