Bacon & Jalapeño Backstrap

I threw this together, sort of “off the cuff” last night for my hubby. He had requested Elk Steak for dinner, and I felt my regular recipes were getting tired. I wanted to use the grill, as it’s just too hot to turn the oven on right now. I didn’t want the elk to dry out on the grill, so the obvious solution to me was wrap it in juicy bacon! Of course! As I was looking for motivation online I saw a recipe that included jalapeños, and I knew that would be something my hubby would like. Thus, the Bacon and Jalapeño Backstrap was born. OK, I’m sure I wasn’t the first to wrap bacon and jalapeño around a piece of meat, but it was a new and novel idea for me!
As I stated earlier, I just threw this together, so the measurements are approximate.

Bacon & Jalapeño Backstrap 
1.5-2# Elk or Venison Backstrap, sliced across the grain in 1-2″ thick slices
1# bacon slices
4 jalapeños (or 1 per 2 slices of backstrap)
Tony’s Creole Seasoning
1/2 c cooking oil
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 TBLS red wine vinegar
2-3 TBLS Worcestershire Sauce
1 TBLS minced garlic
2 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)

Whisk together marinade in shallow dish. Rub steaks with Creole seasoning and black pepper. Place in marinade. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours, turning to coat half way through.

When ready to cook. Preheat grill. Halve the jalapeños and remove seeds and ribs. Grill jalapeños until they begin to soften. Remove from grill. (Leave grill on.) Place half a jalapeño on a slice of steak, wrap with bacon. Repeat with all the backstrap. Don’t be afraid to use all the bacon if there is extra! Grill over low heat, jalapeño side down until bacon is crisp and jalapeño is fully cooked. Flip, crisp bacon on other side. Remove and enjoy!

If you like gravy, reserve the marinade and make a gravy with it. Bring marinade to a low boil, add a couple tablespoons of flour and whisk, whisk, whisk. I had an extra half of a jalapeño left and some white wine, so added them too. I sliced the the jalapeño thin and added them before bringing it to a boil. Then added about 1/2 cup white wine after the flour was whisked in.

Serve backstrap and gravy with potatoes or rice, and greens or grilled veggies.

Garlic Lovers Dinner

Last night was very busy, but between my husband and I we still managed to get a healthy-ish, hearty and (most importantly) delicious dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.

Garlic Lovers Dinner

If you are a garlic lover like my husband and I, then you would just die for Block 15′s Garlic Parmesan Fries. Block 15 is mine and my husband’s absolute favorite restaurant. Well actually it is a “brewpup,” something I was unfamiliar with until I moved to Oregon. Brewpubs are huge here in Oregon. For those of you not familiar with the brewpub concept, it’s basically a microbrewery with a bar and restaurant attached, or a bar/restaurant where they serve a large selection of micro-brews. Anyway, about these fries. They are just to die for, which is good, because if I ate them all the time, I just might die of a heart attack! They are pretty fattening; beer battered, fried then covered in garlic and Parmesan. Now if you are like me and are trying to drop a few pounds, before you are forced to wear shorts again, or GASP! put on a bathing suit, you will be looking for a healthier alternative to your favorite indulgences. Once I read BudgetSavyDiva’s recipe for Parmesan-Roasted Green Beans, I knew I had my solution. Just add heaps of garlic, and I knew it would be a healthier alternative to my favorite fatty food. (Hooray! {Jumps for joy!})

Well last night I had some steak defrosted and Mr F had just brought home a package of green beans, so with a few minutes and copious amounts of garlic, I knew I could make a delicious dinner that we could enjoy without feeling too guilty (or bloated) afterwards.

So without further ado, here you are, a super easy, fast, tasty and for the most part guilt free dinner for all of you garlic lovers! (like me and Mr F)

Cracked Pepper and Garlic Steak with Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Step 1: Marinade steaks

                                  Step 2: Preapare Green Beans


Step 3: Roast!

Cracked Pepper and Garlic Steak with Garlic Parmesan Green Bean “fries”:


  • 2 steaks of your choice (we used T-Bone, but use whatever you have lying around. I recommend tenderizing if it is one of the tougher cuts of meat.)
  • ~ 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke (this is my cheater ingredient. It is optional, but I like to use it when broiling our steaks inside to give it that smokey barbequed flavor.)
  • 2 TBLS wine vinegar
  • Lots of chopped garlic
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Parmesan- grated or shredded
  • 12 oz. Green Beans


  • Baking sheet
  • 8×8 Baking dish (or similar)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Fork or something to toss green beans with. Heck! You could even use your hands… Please wash them first though.
  • Spatula
  • Broiler pan (you know that funky looking pan that probably came with your oven when you bought it.)
  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 c olive oil, 1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp liquid smoke, 2 TBLS wine vinegar, 2 heaping TBLS of chopped garlic (we buy ours in a huge jar, because we love it so much.)
  3. Dredge steaks in marinade, place in small, non reactive baking dish (read: 8×8 glass baking dish) Poor excess marinade over steaks. Season liberally with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover. Set aside and get to work on green beans!
  4. Place green beans in a medium/large mixing bowl, poor enough olive oil to coat green beans over top, (2 TBLS-1/4 cup) add 2 heaping TBLS chopped garlic. Toss with fork, or whatever is lying around, until well coated with both oil and garlic.
  5. Spread green beans evenly in one layer on a baking sheet. Make sure you get all of that savory garlic out of the bowl and onto those green beans!
  6. Season with a hearty amount of sea salt, then sprinkle shredded Parmesan (or dump by the handful) all over green beans.
  7. Place in oven, cook for about 3 minutes, shake pan to roll green beans around, then cook for about 3 more minutes. Green Beans should still be relatively bright green, and garlic just begging to brown on edges when they are ready. Remove pan. Switch oven to high broiler.
  8. Place steaks on broiler pan and poor about half the marinade over them. Broil in oven for 3.5 minutes. Remove, flip steaks, coat with remaining marinade. Return to broiler for 3.5 more minutes. Now this cooking time is for Medium Rare steak, (the only way steak should be eaten in my personal opinion) but if you are one of those silly people like my mother who enjoys their meat more well done, just add a minute or two to the cook time.
  9. Once broiled to perfection remove from broiler and pan onto serving plate. DO NOT SLICE YET! Sorry, pet peeve. Let the steak set for a minute and it will retain more of its juices. Yum. My mouth is watering. Serve up those green beans using a spatula to scrape up all that cheesy goodness.
  10. Set the table. Poor a glass of red “Two Buck Chuck” (hey it’s a week night, no need to crack open the good stuff.) Take a big whiff of all that garlicky goodness… and dig in my friends. You can thank me later. ;-)



Preparing ELK (and wild game) and Super Easy Hot and Tangy Cranberry Sauce for Beef, Pork, Chicken or Elk

Wow! That title is a mouthful in its self! In celebration of finishing putting away the Christmas decorations, I made this sauce out of my final leftovers from New Years Dinner. I took the last of the cranberry sauce, and spiced it up for my hubby and his favorite dish, elk steak. I am confident however, that you could serve this with any meat dish you like. I imagine it would be especially delicious with pork loin.

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, and being an avid outdoors-man, my husband keeps me up to my elbows in fish and wild game. Elk and venison (deer) happen to be very lean meats that are low in cholesterol, and high in vitamins and minerals; thus making them very healthy. Some say they taste “gamey.” I, honestly, don’t know what that means, but I think they are much tastier, and more interesting meats than say chicken, for example. If you can get your hands on some elk or venison, I highly recommend trying it! If you are afraid of the so-called gamey taste, then you can soak the meat in cola or milk for at least an hour prior to cooking. This helps draw the blood out, and tenderize the meat. (This also does wonders for wild duck.) Speaking of tenderizing, you will definitely want to tenderize game meat, as wild animals are highly active, thus making their meat naturally tougher than that of a cow; who stand around in a field all day eating grass and grain. Another thing you should know about wild game is it has a subtle earthy taste due to the animals diet, so it goes especially well with foods that match that earthiness. Think wild rice, mushrooms, squash and root vegetables… oh yum. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Last, but not least, of course, you must pair it with a good Pinot Noir from the Pacific Northwest.

Now that you are prepared to try anything, let’s try this repurposed cranberry sauce.

1 Cup of left over Cranberry Sauce
1 large Garlic clove, minced (aprox. 1 tsp.)
1/4 green Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1,2 or 3 tsp. Siracha Hot Chilli Sauce (1 for mild, 2 for medium, or 3 for HOT)
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Onion powder
1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan, simmer 10 min. Season with a little sea salt and black pepper (or a lot of black pepper for more heat) and serve with your favorite meat.

If serving with elk:
Slice thin (1/4-1/3 in. thick), tenderize, sprinkle with favorite grill seasoning and a drizzle of Worcestershire. Saute in a little olive oil on medium, flip when edges begin to brown. Do not overcook wild game or you will have shoe leather. Yuck!

I served mine with quinoa vegetable pilaf (check back later for recipe,) but it goes great with any cooked whole grain. Might I suggest a pile of short grain brown rice and roasted squash and root vegetables?

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