This time of year, grilled venison backstrap hits our table on a pretty regular basis. We like it just fine by itself. But we eat a lot of venison, and I like to switch things up a bit from time to time. Bacon is the duct tape of the kitchen, and I have never thought to myself, “You know, this recipe would be better without the bacon,” so I wrap the thick venison steaks with a slice.
For seasoning on this one, I went with a Mexican theme, using the Kelly Realtree Chipotle Salt grinder and a pinch of ground cumin and coriander. The sauce is where it’s at for this recipe. Roasted Poblano peppers get pureed with heavy cream and seasonings into a fresh-tasting, rich sauce. It works pretty well over any grilled wild game (and scrambled eggs), so keep it handy when you want a south-of-the-border spin on just about anything.
2 pounds venison backstrap
cut into 1.5-inch-thick steaks
2 pounds venison backstrap
1 slice of bacon for each steak
A healthy grind from the Kelly Realtree Chipotle spice grinder
A tablespoon each of ground cumin and coriander
For the sauce
2 poblano peppers
roasted and skinned
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 cup chicken stock
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cumin
Start by setting your oven on broil. Place the fresh peppers on a baking sheet and place under broiler. Leave the door cracked to allow steam to escape. Once the skins have charred (1-4 minutes, depending on oven), pull the peppers and flip them on the pan. Return to the oven and char the remaining side. Immediately move the peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to trap the steam in the bowl. This will soften the charred skin.
Once the peppers are cool enough to touch, move them to a cutting board and remove the charred skin from the surface of the pepper. Open the roasted peppers and remove and discard the seeds. Roughly chop the flesh from the peppers and set them aside.
Season each steak on both sides with the salt grinder and a pinch of the seasoning blend. Wrap the backstrap with bacon and pin it in place with a toothpick. Grill over high heat for 3-5 minutes per side, depending on your desired doneness. Flip the steaks up on their side and rotate over the heat to crisp the bacon. Careful not to leave the steaks in one place for too long and burn the bacon.
Remove the steaks to a warm platter and cover with foil to rest. In a skillet, melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Cook over medium-high for five minutes until the onions soften. Add the garlic and chopped roasted peppers. Stir in the cumin and the flour, then cook for two to three minutes more, stirring constantly to cook the flour. Add the chicken stock and bring the mixture to a boil until it thickens slightly.
Remove the sauce from the heat and transfer it to a food processor. Pulse the mixture several times until smooth. Pour in the heavy cream and process a few more times until the sauce is well blended. Return the sauce to the skillet and bring it to a simmer, stirring constantly, until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
To serve, plate the steaks, then top with sauce. Garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro if desired.
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