Pronghorn Fajitas

Grilled Pronghorn Fajitas

Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Serves 6.
By Tom Dickson.

This story is featured in Montana Outdoors July–August 2015 issue

Some years, we hunters bring home a lot of venison (by which I mean the meat of deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, or wild sheep). A few seasons ago, I was lucky enough to bag two white-tailed deer, a bighorn ewe, and an antelope. That year my wife and I seemed to eat nothing but grilled venison steaks as we whittled down the mountain of white packages packed into the basement freezer. Friends and colleagues who kill an elk, or an elk and a deer or two, tell me their family might eat venison five nights or more each week, year round.

But during some seasons, hunters might harvest only one big game animal or even none at all. Last year all I could muster was a single whitetail doe. It’s times like these that we have to be much more judicious about venison consumption so we can make the meat last throughout the year.

One way to get a lot of meal out of not much meat is with fajitas. Because the bulk of the dish is grilled vegetables, all you need to add is 1 pound of steak to satisfy a hungry couple and 2 pounds for an entire family.

Fajitas are great for hot summer evenings because you can grill the meat and vegetables outside. Make the marinade the night before, then toss the meat in the mixture and refrigerate before leaving for work in the morning.

This recipe combines the best features of several different ones I’ve tried over the years and contains an ideal mix of spices, meat, vegetables, and tortilla. I call these “pronghorn” fajitas because the animals don’t produce much meat, and you can feed a lot of people without using up too much of your precious antelope venison. But any venison will do.Bear bullet

Tom Dickson is editor of Montana Outdoors.


INGREDIENTS
¼ c. fresh lime juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 T. roughly chopped cilantro leaves
4 T. vegetable oil
2 t. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. chili powder
1 t. sugar
1 t. dried crushed oregano
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
2 lbs. venison loin, rump, or flank steak
½ t. salt
1 t. ground black pepper
6 large flour tortillas
3 bell peppers (red, yellow, and green), seeded, cut into ½-inch-wide strips
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
Lime wedges and ½ c. chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS
In a bowl, whisk together lime juice, garlic, cilantro, 2 T. oil, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, sugar, oregano, pepper flakes, cumin, and coriander. Pour into a large zip-lock bag, add the venison, and seal. Place in a large bowl and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours, turning occasionally. Remove the meat from the bag and pat dry. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.

Preheat the grill to high. Put the pepper and onion pieces on skewers as for kabobs. Brush with 2 T. vegetable oil. Set aside.

Grill the steak to preferred temperature, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from heat, cover loosely with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, put the skewers on the grill and cook the peppers and onions for 10 to 15 minutes, turning several times to give all sides a slight char. Remove vegetables and slice thin.

Thinly slice the steak against the grain.

Microwave the tortillas 15 seconds on high, to warm and soften.

Divide the venison among the tortillas and top with the vegetables. Top with the chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice and serve immediately with a cold beverage.

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