Friday Fav: A Great Piece of Meat

The beauty of the growing foodie blogger scene is that there are more and better resources when it comes to raising your game while cooking wild game. Venison is a lean, flavorful meat that screams to receive a better treatment than frying it in butter and garlic. A few weeks ago I opened my email to see the latest post from Laura’s Wild Kitchen, a Rosemary Steak with Fig and Gorgonzola. Just the title of it made my mouth water, and I decided I needed to give it a try.

Last night I pulled out a 12 ounce chunk of venison back strap and decided to put my own spin on the recipe due to circumstances and opportunities. The recipe called for fresh figs, but the King Soopers in Cheyenne didn’t have any, so I went dried. It is also grilling season in Cheyenne, and about 85 degrees outside, so roasting the cut of meat in the oven wasn’t an option. Here is my version of Laura’s recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 venison backstrap 12 ounces
  • 1/6 cup fresh rosemary (pulled off the stems)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces dried figs (quartered or halved)
  • 1/8 vidalia onion (finely chopped)
  • 1oz gorgonzola (crumbled)
  • 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Let the backstrap come to room temp while you prep everything else. (You can just let it sit out as you chop and prep everything.) Preheat the grill to 450. Combine the figs, onion, cheese, balsamic vinegar and 1/2 T of olive oil and toss to combine. Set aside.

Use a blender or food processor to blend the rosemary until it is finely chopped. Add the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon of olive oil to a small bowl and combine with the rosemary. Stir until it forms a bit of a paste. Salt and pepper the backstrap to taste and then cover with the oil and rosemary.

Grill over direct high heat for two minutes on each side. Remove and grill over indirect heat for an additional 3 minutes for rare, 4 minutes for medium rare. If you are cooking it medium or worse, don’t use this recipe, you will ruin it.

rosemary grilled steak with figs and gorgonzolaRemove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the backstrap into 1/2 inch medallions, plate them and then top with the fig and cheese mixture.

This dish would pair well with an Old Vine Zin or a nice brown ale. The earthy flavors of the cheese and fig pair super well with the venison.
There is little doubt in my mind that this is the best venison dish that I’ve ever made. It was nice to use fresh rosemary from the garden and venison I put in my freezer myself. We will definitely use this recipe again in the future.
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