Every year for Valentine’s Day, Ryan and I try to get out of our comfort zones and try a new recipe for supper that night. It’s kind of became a Valentine’s tradition that one or both of us cook a crazy meal that we would normally not try. This year, we went with Axis Wellington using backstrap from an axis deer. But, we’re not a mushroom eating family. I absolutely hate them, and Ryan mainly lives without them because of me, so I decided to sub mushrooms with bacon because, well, who doesn’t like bacon?! Two days later, below was the delicious result. So if you’re looking for a rewarding challenge in the kitchen, give this recipe a go. You won’t be disappointed.
Read the written version of this recipe as prepared by Emily Long
About Axis Deer History:
The story of Axis deer in America starts in the 1860’s, when Hong Kong gifted the King of Hawaii with three bucks, four does, and one male faun which were shipped to the island of Molokai. From there, they were brought to the island of Lanai, and by the 1950s they had made their way to Maui, brought over for hunting opportunities.
The deer quickly spread out as an invasive force, decimating farmer’s crops, competing with local animals, destroying important ground nesting bird habitat, and even stripping bark off of sacred ohia trees. Axis seem to enjoy everything that farmers grow in Hawaii, including fruits, vegetables, and even sugarcane.
Axis deer are not only a Hawaiian problem, they were also introduced to Texas in the early 1930’s.
Brought over as an exotic meant for enclosed game farms, the animals quickly escaped and started breeding in the wild. By the 1980’s, self-sustaining herds were found to be roaming the countryside, competing with native cervid populations.
About Adam Berkelmans:
Adam Berkelmans, also known as The Intrepid Eater, is a passionate ambassador for real food and a proponent of nose-to-tail eating. He spends his time between Ottawa and a cozy lake house north of Kingston, Ontario. When not cooking, he can be found hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening, reading, traveling, and discovering new ways to find and eat food.