One of the perks that comes with being a chef who hunts is that I’m sometimes gifted exotic foods. For example, in the past week I was given beet and mint ice cream, a box of olive oil from someone’s farm in Greece, and a bag full of oryx meat that a Texas guy had hunted in a nearby Texas ranch. I was teaching a cooking class and doing a book signing and these were some of the lovely things that people brought with them.
I had never tasted oryx before, nor had I ever hunted it, but I can tell you that it is an antelope from Africa that has been introduced to certain parts in the U.S. for game hunting. It can be an expensive thing to hunt oryx, and since I tend to be more of a local woods girl than a big game ranch hunting girl, I had never had the opportunity to hunt oryx. Until, I randomly did a book signing and cooking class and a lovely man brought me some!
It was delicious. It had the following characteristics:
1. It was dense, more dense than elk or venison that I had tasted
2. It was flavorful and very “red,” meaning you have to be a hard core red meat type of person I imagine to be down with the flavor
3. Even though it was dense it was also tender, and although it was very lean it was very juicy. This was helped by the fact that I was eating the backstraps.
Here is my recipe for oryx fajitas that I put together. You could easily make this with venison, elk, beef or your other favorite protein.
Season your meat well on both sides with salt and pepper.
First, the meat.
Second, the veggies.
Mm, I’m getting hungry.
My stomach is growling.
Give this a try guys! Cinco de Mayo is here and wild game fajitas are a fun way to celebrate.
Here are some places that will mail order antelope and other exotic protein, plus I sell some fun exotic meats in my shop:
- 1 pound oryx venison, elk or beef backstrap
- Salt and pepper
- 6 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 2 cup red pepper sliced
- 2 cup onion sliced
- 2 cup mushrooms sliced
- 10-12 flour or corn tortillas
- 1 cup cilantro roughly chopped
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 1 cup cheese
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- Season the meat on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat two large skillets on high heat, and add 3 tablespoons of grape seed oil in each. Place the onions, peppers, and mushrooms in one and the oryx meat in the other.
- Brown the oryx meat for 3-4 minutes on each side, until no more than medium rare. Remove from the heat and let rest on a cutting board for at least 5 minutes so that the juices retreat back into the meat.
- Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and stir. Reduce heat to medium and let them cook for 15-20 minutes until they are completely tender.
- To assemble the fajita, slice the oryx meat into thin slices and layer it on a tortilla. Next add a few tablespoons of the vegetables, cilantro, avocado, cheese and a good dose of lime juice. Enjoy!