Jackalope Wellington

Latest posts by Jeff Benda (see all)

The idea for this recipe has been rolling around in my head for two years. It’s most prevalent during the 9 hour drive from my home in Fargo, North Dakota to my favorite antelope hunting spot on public land in Wyoming. 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 have been saving for a special occasion.

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Jackalope Wellington

Recipe by Jeff Benda
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Ingredients

  • One Antelope backstrap

  • Two Rabbit backstraps

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons Weber Steak ‘N Chop seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves

  • 8 ounces white or bella mushrooms

  • 2 Tablespoons yellow onion, diced

  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 6 thin slices deli ham or prosciutto

  • ½ of a 17.3 oz. package Puff Pastry Sheet (1 sheet)

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • Salt, for sprinkling

Preparation

  • Butterfly the antelope backstrap. Season both antelope & 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 1 minute on each side. Transfer to a plate.
  • In a food processor, pulse mushrooms, onions, and thyme until finely chopped.
  • Add mushroom mix to clean hot pan and cook until liquid is evaporated, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. *There is no need for butter or oil here. You are trying to remove the liquid. Remove and let cool completely.
  • Place piece of plastic wrap (about 15 inches long) down on a work surface. Lay out 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 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 to help maintain its shape.
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. 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 oven for 15 minutes until pastry is golden brown and 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!

Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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