One criticism I frequently hear about antelope is that it isn't very good to eat. This is a crap excuse. If you don't like the meat you shouldn't hunt the animal. That said antelope, in the field do have a particular odor. This odor is strong and some find it unpleasant. However if the antelope on your plate tastes like it smells in the field, the problem is you and your preparation techniques not the meat.
You've made your shot and it was a good one. The antelope is down. Take a picture or two if you like. Now field dress the animal immediately. If possible rinse our the body cavity. Antelope blood has a strong sent to it. If you get the blood out of the meat you will eliminate the scent and much of the flavor.
If you remember yesterdays picture, my antelope was hanging in the garage. I do this to cool the carcass, to finish getting the blood out and to age the meat. Depending on the weather I will do this for as little as 3 days to as much as a week before I butcher. As part of the butchering process I clean the meat and ensure no hair, fat or dried blood is packaged with the meat. Taking a little extra time processing the meat gives you a better end product. Then the meat goes into the freezer.
As a personal preference, I seldom eat the meat of what I have just processed on the same day I butcher. This is true no matter what kind of animal, domestic, wild or poultry. Fresh caught fish is another story.
As with all rules there is an exception. With the antelope the exception is tenderloins. Antelope have small, tiny even tenderloins. These are yummy.
I like to harvest my tenderloin and marinade them in a mixture of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I never actually measure the stuff, but I completely cover the meat in olive oil and then mix in enough balsamic vinegar to blacken the mixture. I've cut up some garlic to add a touch of flavor. It looks like this in the bowl.
After marinating the tenderloin will look slightly blackened. This is from the balsamic vinegar and is expected. Those little pieces of meat are "mistakes" made when cutting the loin out of the cavity. These "mistakes" are my way of "testing" the meat when grilling it.
Method of preparation:
- Cut the tenderloins out of the still warm body cavity.
- Soak them in water to remove blood
- Clean off all blood and extra membranes
- Put in bowl
- Cover with olive oil
- Add enough balsamic vinegar to blacken the mixture
- Add cut up garlic cloves
- Cook on grill to medium rare or medium
As Waterboy can attest no meal involving red meat is complete without a pan full of these sautéed to perfection.