Beast Feast Backstrap Lomo al Trapo
One of the best things about the Realtree.com editorial crew is that everyone is crazy about wild game. So much so that Photo Editor Bill Konway holds an annual Beast Feast where hundreds of people show up to enjoy wild game dishes from basic to extraorinary.
Year in and year out, one of the most popular dishes is venison backstrap Lomo al Trapo. We've done the dish here at Timber2Table before, but that recipe used red wine to soak the towel. Bill's uses a dry towel and finishes with flaming gin. He then tops the dish with a fresh chimichurri sauce.
Here's Bill's recipe:
Lomo al Trapo is traditionally a Columbian dish using a beef tenderloin that is cooked in a towel. It can also be easily adapted to cooking a venison loin, and it will become a quick favorite of your crowd. The prep and cooking is a crowd pleaser as well. The towel, amount of salt, and two fires always leave guests smiling and anxious to taste.
Lomo al Trapo
1 whole venison loin
1 clean, flour sack-style towel about 16 inches square
Regular table salt that will be used to cover nearly the entire towel, to a depth of about 1/2 -3/4 of an inch (About a full container or two of salt will suffice.)
Several sprigs of rosemary, or other herb that you like.
1 bunch parsley, rinsed, leaves finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, leaves finely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
To make the chimichurri sauce
Put the parsley, cilantro, capers and garlic in a medium mixing bowl, and toss to combine. Add the vinegar, salt, red and black pepper and stir. Pour in the olive oil and mix until well combined. Let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes so that the flavors blend. I prefer, when possible, to allow it to set for several hours. This is a very easily personalized recipe that you can adapt to your personal tastes.
For the Lomo al Trapo
Place the loin on the salt-covered towel along with the herbs.
Roll it all up tightly, like a burrito, tucking the edges of the towel as you go. Once rolled, use butcher's twine to tie it up and prevent it from unrolling.
Immediately, take the entire bundle and place it nicely, directly into an open campfire. You might want to move a couple of the burning sticks over the bundle, especially if the fire is smaller. In about 10 minutes, using tongs, roll the bundle over 180 degrees.
Give it another 5 minutes and then, using a meat thermometer, check the internal temp. I like mine to be about 130 degrees. Once you get there, remove the bundle from the fire; most of the towel will have burned away, but remove any bits remaining.
Using the back of a chef knife, crack open the salt egg and remove the loin with a fork. The salt will have formed a hard crust around the loin from the heat and moisture. You can brush off any remaining, loose salt from the meat. I always think that the grayish meat at this point looks pretty unappetizing, but there is a great solution. More fire!
I place the meat on a cookie sheet and pour on about a cup of gin and then set it afire. This is best done outdoors. The flames will brown and crisp the outside and have no real effect on the inner meat temp. I slice the meat thin, drizzle on the chimichurri sauce, and then squeeze a lemon over the entire thing.