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Bushbuck Bites: Stuffed Venison Backstrap with Horopito Sauce

Bushbuck Bites: Stuffed Venison Backstrap with Horopito Sauce


This stuffed venison backstrap recipe with native New Zealand horopito brandy sauce breathes new life into the tender venison back cuts. The backstrap is butterflied, seasoned, and filled with a heady mix of mushrooms, pecans and herbs before being tied, panfried then baked in the oven to medium rare perfection.

To serve, a peppery horopito and brandy cream sauce is poured over the sliced venison portions, which compliments the meat beautifully. You can use any variety of mushroom. I used field mushrooms, but button, porcini or shiitake would work well.

If you don't like pecans, you can substitute walnuts or even pine nuts. If you don't have access to horopito just leave out and add plenty of freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Recipe by Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen


Stuffed Venison Backstrap with Horopito Sauce - Ingredients

The measurements in this recipe were used for a large backstrap. Adjust the ingredients according to the size of your backstrap. Serves 6-8.


  • 1 kg Venison Backstrap, trimmed, silver skin removed

  • Salt & Pepper


  • 2 cups Mushrooms, diced into small cubes

  • 1 onion, finely diced

  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 1 Tbsp fresh sage, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped

  • 3 Tbsp Panko breadcrumbs

  • 50g Butter

  • Salt & Pepper

Horopito & Brandy Cream Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp butter

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 Garlic clove, minced

  • Good Handful of horopito leaves, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp Fresh rosemary, chopped

  • 1/2 cup brandy

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • 3/4 cup cream

  • Lots of freshly cracked black pepper to tate


Stuffed Venison Backstrap with Horopito Sauce - Recipe

Stuffed Venison Backstrap Recipe

1. Preheat your oven on fan bake to 180 degrees

2. Butterfly your backstrap by cutting a slit down the length to open it. Be careful not to cut right through it. Salt and pepper inside and outside of the venison.

3. For the filling, heat a pan with olive oil and add mushrooms, onion, thyme, sage and pecans.

4. Cook on medium heat, stirring often until everything has softened, about 6-8 mins.

5. Add in panko breadcrumbs and butter and mix well until everything is combined.

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6. Spread the filling evenly down the middle of the backstrap. Pull the backstrap together and secure with cooking twine, making sure the filling is fully enclosed.

7. Heat a heavy based pan with oil until it's almost smoking and sear the venison on all sides until it's nicely browned all over.

8. Add your pan to the oven and cook for about 5-6 mins, or until the internal temp of the venison reaches 55 degrees celsius.

9.Remove venison from pan, cover with foil and let it rest for about 10 mins then cut into 1 inch slices.

Horopito and Brandy Cream Sauce Recipe


1. Using the same pan you cooked your venison in, and add butter and olive oil and heat it over a medium heat.

2. Add in shallot, garlic and rosemary and cook until the shallot is softened. 

3. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Scrape up any brown bits off the bottom of the pan.

4. Add in beef stock and horopito, whisk well and simmer for 5 mins.

5. Lower heat, add in cream, stir well and gently simmer for another 3-5 mins or until sauce has thickened. Don't let it come to a boil.

6. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper.

Pour over venison and serve. This dish goes beautifully with crispy garlic roast potatoes and sautéed green beans.


Kaelah James
Kaelah James

Kaelah James, aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, is a New Zealand speafisher, huntress and incredible wild food cook. She's built up a following on Instagram by sharing her delicious recipes and she's now come on board as a Bushbuck ambassador and contributor to The Campfire blog. She will be sharing wild food and catch-and-cook recipes, as well as the stories behind hunting and gathering the kai. 

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