Backstraps can be stuffed with just about anything you can imagine — asparagus, roasted bell pepper, your favorite cheese, mushrooms, ham, cream cheese, dried fruit and anything else that honks your horns.
This is one of my favorite combinations that’s sweet, sour, cheesy and spicy.
- 1 venison backstrap, trimmed of all silver skin
- olive oil
- 1 medium apple, diced
- ¼ cup red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- butcher string
- Lay the backstrap on a flat cutting surface. The idea is to open the meat up, leaving a "hinge" in the center. It's called "butterflying" the meat. Start with a sharp, thin-bladed knife, and cut into the meat just below the smaller end. You want to leave the small end uncut so it will hold the stuffing in when tied. Continue to cut into the meat while sliding the knife toward the opposite end of the backstrap, but not all the way through. If you happen to cut too deeply, it's not a huge deal, and you can fix it. When done, you should be able to open the backstrap up relatively flat with the hinge in the center of the meat. If your backstrap is a larger piece, you can butterfly it again.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet over medium-hot heat. Add apple, onion, garlic, lemon juice and jalapeno pepper. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle brown sugar over. You may also add a little more lemon juice over if you like your stuffing more tart. Allow mixture to cool. Mix with cheese.
- Rub some olive oil into the meat, and season with salt and pepper. Lay seasoned backstrap flat, with the inside facing up. Spread stuffing over meat, and press down to flatten. Leave the outside edges "unstuffed" so that, when tied, the meat will bind together. Roll the meat up on one end, and secure with butcher string. While pressing stuffing into meat, continue to hold together snugly while securing with string.
- Heat a thin layer of oil in a medium-hot skillet. Brown meat on all sides, and remove when medium-rare. While skillet is still over heat, add a splash or two of white or red wine, and stir to deglaze pan. Remove meat from heat and whisk in 4 to 5 tablespoons of chilled butter (we're making sauce). Allow to rest for a few minutes before removing string. Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice meat into medallions. Arrange on plates, and drizzle sauce over.