Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nilgai Antelope Shoulder Roast

The nilgai is an antelope primarily found in India, eastern Pakistan and southern Nepal. 
They were also introduced to Texas in the 1920s and there are now about 15,000 wild nilgai in that state. For a pre-Christmas dinner, I purchased a 4.54 nilgai shoulder roast from a Texas free range animal. 
I found a recipe for antelope pot roast from Texas hunting site and hoped for the best. I'd previously had antelope steaks from a Wyoming antelope and it is probably my least favorite game meat ever - the sage brush diet does not translate into great meat - it was lean, dry and very gamy. I hoped this would be better. The meat was very lean and very dark. 
The recipe called for wrapping the meat with six slices of bacon (I had seven and wished I had more), a good idea for lean meat, and baking it in the oven for 40 minutes per pound. I made a rub of 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 3 tbsp of cider vinegar which was rubbed on before putting on the bacon. I then cut up about four potatoes, two turnips, quite a few small carrots and a large onion and cut them into approximate one inch pieces. The roast and a 1/4 cup of beef broth were placed in a roasting pan and into an oven at 350 degrees. 
About every hour I added another 1/4 cup of beef broth and with an hour left, added the vegetables. 
The result was way short of what I hoped for. It was cooked too long which made the otherwise dry meat even dryer and it was quite gamy. I did find the pieces that had a little fat on them better tasting. 
The vegetables, on the other hand, were very good. Everyone was a good sport and had some, but it was not a best seller and we had quite a bit that ultimately was not eaten. 
There may be a good way to cook antelope, but I haven't found it yet (I do hope to keep trying). 

1 comment:

  1. South Texas style: don't get fancy with this kind of meat. It's already fancy on its own ;)

    Preheat oven to 350. Put nilgai in pan with beef (or even chicken, which I prefer) stock. Sprinkle with onion and garlic powders, pepper, and ground cumin (not a fan? No prob. Sub ground rosemary). I'd say 30-40 mins per pound, but keep an eye on it.

    Serve in tacos with Spanish rice! Soft corn tortillas, tomato, avocado, salad greens, fresh cheese, and a spritz of fresh lime. It'll be a hit! Promise :)