The idea for this recipe has been rolling around in my head for two years. It’s most prevalent during the nine-hour drive from my home in Fargo, North Dakota, to my favorite antelope hunting spot on Wyoming public land. So, when a friend called me last week offering two rabbits he had snared, I ran to my freezer and pulled out one of the remaining packages of antelope backstrap I had been saving for a special occasion.
- 1 antelope backstrap
- 2 rabbit backstraps
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Weber Steak ‘N Chop, or your other favorite seasoning
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 8 ounces white or ’bella mushrooms
- 2 tbsp yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 6 thin slices deli ham or prosciutto
- ½ of a 17.3 oz. package of Puff Pastry Sheet (1 sheet)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Salt, for sprinkling
- Butterfly the antelope backstrap. Season both antelope and rabbit backstraps with Weber Steak ‘N Chop seasoning.
- Over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sear backstraps until well-browned on both sides, about one minute on each side. Transfer to a plate.
- In a food processor, pulse mushrooms, onions and thyme until finely chopped.
- Add mushroom mix to a clean, hot pan and cook until liquid is evaporated, stirring often – for about five minutes. (There is no need for butter or oil here. You are trying to remove the liquid.) Remove and let cool completely.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap (about 15-inches long) down on a work surface. Lay out the ham or prosciutto on the plastic wrap into a rectangular shape that will be big enough to cover the entire antelope backstrap. Spread the cooled mushroom mixture evenly over ham/prosciutto.
- Stuff both of the rabbit backstraps inside the antelope backstrap. Then roll meat into ham-mushroom mixture, using plastic wrap to roll tightly. Twist ends of plastic wrap into a log and place in fridge to chill, which will help maintain its shape.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly flour work surface and roll out puff pastry into rectangular shape that is big enough to completely cover the backstrap. Remove backstrap from fridge, remove plastic wrap, and place on puff pastry. Brush all edges of pastry with egg mixture, then tightly roll backstrap into pastry.
- Once the backstrap log is completely enclosed in puff pastry, trim off any extra pastry, and brush generously with more egg mixture and sprinkle with salt.
- Place on baking sheet in the oven for 15 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the internal temp of meat is 125-130 degrees. (Make sure oven is all the way up to 425 degrees before putting it in. Because of the time it takes to get pastry golden brown, and how small the antelope backstrap is, it can be difficult to achieve a perfect medium-rare, so keep an eye on it). Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Serve with your favorite vegetable and enjoy!