Jalapeno Poppers with Venison & Pimento Cheese

It’s been a while since I had deer meat in my freezer and my prospects of getting venison is always going to be tough since I don’t hunt.  But I have friends and family who hunt, and I fish so a trade is usually a good possibility.  Around Thanksgiving a friend of the family killed a nice seven point and gave me the entire deer.  In return I gave him some really nice filets of redfish.  Read about where I caught them here…

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So I have backstrap, inner loin, roasts and ground venison to cook with.  I gave my mom some of the meat because she hasn’t had any in her freezer in a while either.  Fun fact I learned, my mom won a chili contest once using ground venison.  I had no idea.

Anyway on to this recipe!  I’ve done jalapeno poppers before using cream cheese, but never pimento cheese.  I figured these were probably going to turn out a little oily because pimento cheese has a lot of mayo in it. But I was surprised at the result.

First I injected and marinated the backstrap with Zatarain’s Creole Garlic injectable marinade overnight.  You could probably marinate for as little as an hour, but I didn’t plan on eating the poppers for dinner until the next day so I let them sit in the fridge.

  

The next day I pulled the venison out of the marinade and I cut them into 1/4″ thick medallions. Next step was to halve the jalapenos, removed the seeds and then fill with pimento cheese.  As you can see I got pimento cheese with Jalapenos to add a little more heat to the dish.  Finally I have hickory smoked bacon that will be wrapped around the stuffed jalapeno.

 

Putting everything together is simple. Cheese inside the jalapeno, venison on top of the cheese, wrap in bacon and then season with a little cajun seasoning.  One thing I would note is if you are going to use thick cut bacon you will probably want to pre-cook it a little bit before wrapping the jalapenos.

I didn’t cook these on the grill, instead I set the oven to 350 and let them go for about 20-25 minutes.  The fat from the bacon on top and oil from the pimento cheese on the bottom kept the venison from drying out in the oven.  The end result was delicious, I will be cooking these again.

Ingredients:

Venison Backstrap or loin (substitute beef if you like)

Zatarains Creole Garlic Marinade

Large Jalapenos ( I used 8, this made 16 poppers)

Palmetto Pimento Cheese with Jalapeno

Hickory Smoked Bacon

Cajun Seasoning to taste

 

Assembly:

Marinate meat at least one hour, then cut into 1/4″ medallions

Cut jalapenos in half and remove inside

Take a spoonful of pimento cheese and spread into jalapeno halves

Place meat on top of stuffed jalapeno

Wrap jalapeno with bacon and then season with cajun seasoning

Bake in 350 degree oven or place on grill, cook until bacon is done.