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Saturday, February 21, 2009

You're so Deer to Me

My husband is a deer hunter and now, Young One has joined him. I look forward to hunting season every year, mostly because it gives me a weekend or two completely on my own, which is delightful.

This is the first year that we've really enjoyed eating the venison. Most years, I would store it for a year, cook a bunch of it to send with them on their hunting trip and then throw the rest of last year's away to make room for this year's. Terribly wasteful, I know. I'm very ashamed of that, especially knowing that people go hungry. I grew up eating a lot of venison and I didn't like it. The deer that we ate as kids was not good--it tasted like the woods, acorns and branches. It was wild and you definitely knew that you were eating something that was not beef. The area where my dad hunted was wilder. Our current hunting cabin is on many acres of woods, but it's surrounded by corn fields. The deer are smart. They eat corn. When they eat corn, they taste really good.

Now, please don't get all PETA on me. I have canine teeth for a reason and I love meat. Can't help it. I also strongly believe in population control. If you've ever seen deer starve to death in areas of overpopulation, then you would support the practice of hunting.

Stepping off my soap box now.

Venison is very lean. It's a very healthy meat and very Weight Watchers friendly. So, we've been using it and enjoying it this year. The tenderloin, a delicacy served at very expensive restaurants is highly sought after. We saved it for a night when Young One was at a sleep over. It's very small, usually comes in two pieces, and serves two. I made this recipe and it was divine. You could sub beef or pork or other wild game. Turkey tenderloins would be divine.

(As I'm writing this, I have visions of people thinking that I'm like Sarah Palin, with my gun totin' man. Eating wild game is probably the ONLY thing that Palin and I have in common and I don't think I do it nearly as much as she does.)

Bacon Wrapped Brown Sugar Venison Tenderloin
Absolutely delicious! I'm having trouble figuring out the Points on this one because you discard most of the marinade, I would say, weigh your meat, and figure based on the type of meat, add the amount of bacon you had, and add a Point for the marinade that the meat soaked up. That's very ball park, but it's the best I can do!

2 lbs venison tenderloins (a single deer loin or Moose or Elk or Pork or Beef)
a few slices of
bacon (Plain, thin-sliced Bacon is best)
1 cup
dark brown sugar
2/3 cup
soy sauce (Regular NOT low-sodium. You'll want the saltiness)

Mix brown Sugar and Soy sauce together in a zip bag. Add loin, check zip bag seal (a very important step!), and shake gently to combine.
Let meat marinate in mixture at least 3 hours or overnight in fridge. Remove loin from bag, and place on a slotted bake sheet with a drip pan or aluminum foil below to catch dripping. Discard marinade.
I bunched the two tenderloins together. I wouldn't bunch together more than two. Wrap a piece of bacon around the very end of the tenderloins, securing the bacon strip with a toothpick.
Repeat this process until the entire loin is wrapped. The Place on center rack in oven and bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes. This should cook the meat to about Medium.

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