Eggs Benedict with Venison Tenderloin, Pepper Maple Bacon, and Arugula - The Bend Magazine

Eggs Benedict with Venison Tenderloin, Pepper Maple Bacon, and Arugula

The flavor of the forest comes to breakfast

By: Kayla & Justin Butts   Photos by: Rachel Benavides

Who is the hunter in your life? Is it abrbig burly man, donned head-to-toebrin camouflage, the veteran of manybrhunts? Or is it a young woman, thebrfletching of her arrows tinged inbrpink, taking her first-ever deer?brNo matter who brings your game to the table, serve thembra breakfast worthy of the hunt. This “Eggs Venedict” celebrates the venison while honoring the work of the hunter.brThe key to this recipe is the layering of complementarybrflavors. The base of the dish is a homemade Englishbrmuffin that gives a hearty, tasty platform to stack flavorsbrupon.brNext comes the fresh bacon. Fresh bacon from a localbrfarm is not cured in any way; no nitrates, no additives.brFry the bacon with a generous amount of sea salt andbrcrushed red pepper, then finish the bacon, just at the endbrof cooking, with a touch of maple syrup

Next, slice and pound out your venison tenderloin into medallions, and cook them in the bacon drippings. The robust flavorbrof the lean venison pairs perfectly with the salty-sweet bacon,brand the peppery drippings add even more flavor.brPoaching an egg is an old world art, not easily mastered on thebrfirst try. Heat the water to simmering and add a splash of vinegar to help your eggs achieve a nice round shape. If you havebrtrouble poaching in water, you can always use an egg poacherbrfor quick and uniform poached eggs—don’t worry, we won’t tell!brThe trick to a good hollandaise is to heat the sauce to the lowestbrtemperature that will cook the egg yolks. If your hollandaisebrsauce “breaks,” it becomes a chunky mess of semi-scrambledbreggs rather than a golden, silky-smooth cream. To preventbrbreaking, don’t heat the eggs or add the butter too quickly. Cookbryour eggs yolks in a ceramic bowl, which conducts heat verybrslowly, over a pot of simmering water. Then slowly whisk in thebrcooled melted butter for a lovely, creamy hollandaise.brThe fresh tanginess of the arugula brings all the flavors together.brYou can find freshly–picked arugula this month at The Downtown Farmer’s Market in Corpus Christi.brThis breakfast will inspire your hunter to look more sharply intobrthe forest than ever before and to shoot more keenly, simply tobrbring more of this good food home to your kitchen – so filling,brso savory, so delicious.

Eggs Benedictbrwith Venison Tenderloin, PepperbrMaple Bacon, and Arugula

Serves 6br
Prep time: 30 minutesbr
Inactive Prep time: 2 hours, plus 8 hoursbr
Cook time: 45 minutesbr
6 English muffins, recipe followsbr
6 poached eggs, recipe followsbr
Hollandaise sauce, recipe followsbr
1 lb uncured, thick-cut pastured bacon, cut in halfbr
1 tbsp maple syrupbrSea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to tastebr
3 cups milkbrVenison tenderloin, cut into 1/2” medallionsbr
3 cups Arugulabr
1 bunch chivesbr

English Muffinsbr
2 1/3 cups bread flourbr
1 tbsp sugarbr
1 tbsp instant yeastbr
3/4 saltbr
1 1/2 tbsp butter, room temperaturebr
1 egg, lightly beatenbr
3/4 cup milk, at room temperaturebr
Corn meal or semolina, for dustingbr

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter, egg, and milk andbrmix well until a soft dough is formed. Knead for 5-10 minutes, untilbrthe dough is smooth and shiny. Place the dough in an oiled bowl andbrcover with a tea towel. Let dough rise until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.brGently punch dough down and divide into 6 rounds. Flatten yourbrrounds until they are disks about 3” in diameter. Let your muffins restbrfor 20 minutes on your cast-iron griddle or frying pan that has beenbrsprinkled with corn meal or semolina flour. Cook muffins over low heatbruntil their exterior is golden and their interior is cooked through (registers about 200°F on an instant read thermometer).br

Poached Eggsbr
6 pastured eggsbr
White vinegarbr
1/2 tsp saltbr


Place 4 custard cups, or an egg poacher in a deep sauté pan. Add water so that it covers the cups by 1/4”, followed by a splash of vinegarbrand salt. Heat the water until it just begins to boil. Crack your eggs,brone by one, into a small bowl and add them to the custard cups one atbra time. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the white of the egg is mostlybrset, but the yolk remains runny. Remove finished eggs with a slottedbrspoon and repeat with additional

4 egg yolks of pastured eggsbr
1/4 tsp saltbr
1/8 tsp cayennebr
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperaturebr
1 tbsp lemon juicebr
1 tbsp water (optional)br

Add about an inch of water to a sauce pan and heat on low untilbrsimmering.Place a ceramic bowl over simmering water. Whisk yolks,brsalt, and cayenne together in the ceramic bowl and cook over lowbrheat for one minute. Slowly add melted butter, whisking continuously,bruntil a smooth sauce is formed. Add lemon juice and cook another 1-2brminutes, whisking occasionally. Add water if sauce is too

For Eggs Benedict:br
Submerge venison in milk and refrigerate overnight.brIn a large sauté pan, add bacon strips that have been seasoned liberally with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp, about 5-7 minutes per side.brDrizzle bacon with maple syrup while bacon is still hot. Reserve on abrplate lined with paper towels.brRemove venison from milk, rinse with cool water, and pat dry withbrpaper towels. Heat bacon drippings over medium heat. Pound venisonbrwith a meat tenderizer until 1/4” thick. Season venison medallionsbrliberally with salt and pepper. Add venison to pan and cook to mediumbrrare, about 5 minutes on each side.brCut English muffins in half and apply butter to inside of each half. Broilbron low for 2-3 minutes, until golden.brTo assemble eggs Benedict: Place 1/2 cup arugula on an Englishbrmuffin half. Add venison filet, two slices of bacon, poached egg, andbrtop with two tbsp hollandaise sauce. Finish with cayenne and choppedbrchives. Repeat with remaining ingredients and serve immediately.