Grilled Jalapeno Backstrap on Wild Rice

This recipe is tasty and filling, and goes a long way thanks to the rice. It’s also easy to make with microwavable wild rice mix, which is ready in 90 seconds. (Photo by Jerry Dilsaver)

It’s almost time to begin filling the freezer with more venison, so it’s time to make room by eating the last packs from last year.

I found a misplaced package of backstrap in my freezer that seemed just right for this recipe. It’s an easy recipe that combines several things to produce a meal that is great to enjoy on the deck or patio during a September evening.

I like this, and my wife, who doesn’t really care for spicy food, said it’s a little spicier than what she usually cares to eat, but it tastes good enough to put up with the spice and enjoy it. That’s the best recommendation I can give. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.

I recommend Texas Pete Cha Sauce, which has a sweet, smoky flavor and isn’t overly spicy in amounts that allow its flavor to shine. However, if you like heat, you can add more and jack it up a notch or three.

I’ll also recommend Brownwood Farms Jalapeno Cherry Salsa. Farmer’s markets and roadside stands are where I’ve had luck finding it. It really adds to this recipe and is good on many things. I believe I could eat it on ice cream.

The marinade

Once the backstrap is cut into pieces, it’s time for the marinade. The combination of Dr. Pepper and Cha sauce tenderizes the meat while adding a little, but not overbearing, flavor. The onions seem to absorb more of this flavor. Once ready to cook, it’s important to drain the backstrap and onions well so the marinade doesn’t dilute the cooking mixture.

I use homemade fig preserves as the base for my cooking mixture, but they are available in most stores, plus farmer’s markets and roadside vegetable markets. Fig preserves have a lot of sugar, so understand this if it matters in your diet. I haven’t found a low-cal or sugar-free version, but one may be available.

The mixture of fig preserves and Cha sauce is a great one for me and I use it on a variety of things, particularly red meat and pork. I like it enough to usually have a small jar available for use at any time. Sometimes I make a little extra with this and use it as an after-cooking topping for the backstrap. It really is that good.

Tip: A foil pan is a good choice for holding all the ingredients together on the grill.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4-pound venison backstrap
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion
  • 3 servings wild rice
  • 1 Dr. Pepper
  • 4 TBSP Texas Pete Cha sauce
  • 1/4-cup fig preserves
  • 2 TSP minced garlic
  • 1 TBSP cooking oil
  • 3 TBSP Brownwood Farms Jalapeno Cherry Salsa
  • Salt and pepper to taste

PREPARATION:

  1. Cut the backstrap into approximately 1-inch size pieces.
  2. Slice the onions into strips.
  3. Put the backstrap pieces, onions, 2 TBSP of Cha Sauce, and garlic in a Ziploc bag and cover them with Dr. Pepper. Shake the bag to mix the marinade and pieces thoroughly, squeeze the air out and allow them to marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the grill to low-medium.
  5. Remove the marinating Ziploc from the refrigerator and strain out the backstrap pieces, onion slices and any garlic you can save. Set these aside in a colander or something that will allow them to drain thoroughly.
  6. Mix the fig preserves and 2 TBSP of Cha Sauce.
  7. Purchase or make a foil pan large enough to hold all the backstrap and onion pieces.
  8. Sprinkle the backstrap pieces and onion slices with black pepper and salt (to taste – I add no salt).
  9. Move the backstrap pieces, onion slices and any saved garlic to the bowl with the fig preserves and Cha Sauce and stir to coat them well.
  10. Sprinkle 1 TBSP of cooking oil into the foil pan and add the backstrap pieces and onion slices, spreading them out as best possible. Spoon any remaining fig preserves and Cha Sauce mixture over the backstrap pieces.
  11. Place the foil pan on a grill vegetable tray and cook 4 to 6 minutes on the first side, then turn and cook 3 to 5 minutes on the second side. Spoon some of the juice over the backstrap pieces as a baste, then again in a couple of minutes. The cooking time may vary a little with different grills. I think this tastes best with the meat cooked rare to medium rare, but cook the backstrap pieces to your preferred doneness.
  12. Cook the wild rice.
  13. Prepare a plate with a bed of wild rice and spread some backstrap pieces and onions over it. Add a spoonful or two of the liquid remaining in the pan over the backstrap pieces.
  14. This can be an option, but I believe topping the plate with 1 heaping TBSP of Brownwood Farms Jalapeno Cherry Salsa really sets this off.
  15. Serve immediately.

The post “Grilled Jalapeno Backstrap on wild rice” first appeared on CarolinaSportsman.com.

About Jerry Dilsaver 145 Articles
Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island, N.C., is a freelance writer, as well as a former national king mackerel champion fisherman. Readers are encouraged to send their favorite recipes and a photo of the completed dish to possibly be used in a future issue of the magazine. E-mail the recipes and photos to Jerry Dilsaver at captainjerry@captainjerry.com.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply