This is one dish that’s guaranteed to disappear faster than you’d expect. A three-pound section of white-tailed deer backstrap should sate four diners, with enough for leftovers. If there are more at the table, make a second three-pound roast rather than using a longer section of loin. You can also use elk or moose with this recipe.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 lb venison backstrap
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 6 freshly roasted chestnuts, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 6 thinly sliced strips maple-smoked bacon

Preparation

  • Slice a three-pound section from middle of backstrap; trim off any silver skin. With a sharp boning knife, cut into roast about three-quarters of an inch from one end and continue cutting to three-quarters of an inch from other end to create a pocket. Be careful not to cut all the way through roast.
  • Lightly season pocket with salt and pepper and fi ll with chestnuts. Truss roast with butcher’s twine so pocket is firmly closed and chestnuts are locked in. In a skillet over medium heat, brown meat on all sides. Let cool.
  • Place three celery stalks crosswise in a roasting pan. Season entire roast with salt and pepper, and set on top of celery. Using a basket-weave pattern, cover roast entirely with bacon.
  • Cover venison with a tent of aluminum foil and roast for 40 minutes at 350°F or until meat has reached an internal temperature of 140 to 145°F (lower if you like venison slightly pink). Let roast rest for 10 minutes, then remove twine, cut meat into slices and serve with broccoli and mashed potatoes.