Recipe Package: Bacon-Wrapped Rack of Venison
Tender and juicy venison rack wrapped with award-winning applewood smoked bacon makes an easy-to-prepare meal perfect for entertaining. Package includes two 2-2.25 lb racks of venison, 8 bone, frenched; two 12 oz packages Neuske's applewood smoked bacon + free package of bacon for breakfast.
- two 22.25 lb racks of venison, 8 bone, frenched
- 8 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro
- 16 slices Neuskes applewood smoked bacon
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Set the venison in a glass or ceramic baking dish and rub with the smashed garlic. Pour the olive oil over the meat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Transfer the venison to a plate; discard the garlic and reserve the oil. Generously season the venison with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved oil in a large, ovenproof skillet, over medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the venison racks and cook until browned all over, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate to cool. Wipe out the skillet.
Press 1 cup chopped cilantro onto the meaty part of the venison. Wrap the bacon slices around the meat, between the rib bones, overlapping slightly. Using cotton string, tie up the rack to secure the bacon. Let stand at room temperature for up to 2 hours before cooking, or prepare to this step and refrigerate for up to six hours. If preparing ahead, bring to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Set the wrapped venison racks in the skillet, bacon side down. Cook, turning, until racks are browned all over, about 10 minutes. Turn the rack bacon side up and roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 115° to 120°. It is very important that the venison is not overcooked. Venison is best served rare. Transfer the venison to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Pour off the fat from the skillet. Add the chicken stock and boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Add the remaining ½ cup cilantro.
Carve the venison into 8 double chops and transfer to plates. Spoon the cilantro sauce over the chops. Serve with mashed potatoes or celery root puree, and green beans or oven roasted vegetables.
Additional optional sauce: Pistachio Pesto - In a food processor, blend shelled pistachios, basil leaves, olive oil, lemon zest, grated parmesan, salt and pepper and garlic. Serve on the side or drizzle over the venison.