After taking a doe Thursday night, it was time have some friends over a couple of days later and make some grilling boats! There are of course many variations of this recipe and I don’t think that I have ever made the same recipe twice. However, last night’s version was consumed with such enthusiasm, I feel that I have to share! Here is the short list of easy ingredients to find:
- 2 medium-sized prepared/washed venison backstraps
- 1 small jar of horseradish sauce
- Garlic powder
- Your favorite brand of seasoning salt
- Black Pepper
- 1 onion of your choice (I generally use a white onion)
- 1 package of bacon (approximately 12 pieces)
- Worcestershire sauce
- Start by cutting the backstraps in half, and lay each one lengthwise across a 12-15″ sheet of aluminum foil, leaving a few inches of foil on each end to allow for folding and crimping.
- Spread a generous amount of horseradish sauce over the top of each portion of backstrap.
- Season each backstrap with a moderate coating of garlic powder, seasoning salt, and pepper.
- Cut onion slices to allow for a 1/4 of an onion to cover each portion of meat.
- Wrap three pieces of bacon around each half-backstrap.
- Fold the edges of the foil around each portion of meat to form a “boat” to collect juices and to keep from leaking onto coals or grill.
- Add approximately and 1/8-cup of Worcestershire sauce to each boat.
My personal favorite way to grill is by using Kingsford brand charcoal, loaded within a Weber style grill. The small portable camping style Weber grill is the perfect size for four backstrap boats and is a great addition to your hunting gear when traveling away from home.
After the coals are white-hot, place each boat evenly around the grill and shut the lid. I like to check the meat within about 15 minutes, and by then the Worcestershire sauce and juices should be boiling, and the edges of the bacon beginning to crisp. It’s at this time that you should start keeping an eye on the venison. I like to eat my venison prepared rare to medium rare and my best estimate is to plan for a 20-25 minute cooking time. It’s a good idea to make a cut into the center of a backstrap at 15 minutes to gauge how close to being finished your venison is. When the center of a portion of meat turns from purple to red, the end is near and take care to avoid overcooking!
I would like to say that two backstraps from a medium doe fed 10 of us, but we managed to polish off the entire serving with four adults and a small child. I am sure with normal portion sizes for non-ravenous adults, you could plan for feeding six to eight with a medium-sized doe. Yes, we were pigs and it was awesome! Add a healthy salad to the mix and you will have quite a feast.
By Jeff Sturgis, www.whitetailhabitatsolutions.com
Images courtesy Jeff Sturgis