As part of a several-week, online food challenge, one week entailed cooking up my favorite baked potato on the Traeger Grill. These glorified spuds were part of Traeger’s popular hashtag of the #traegergameday contest. The challenge consists of contestants who vote online every Monday between two favorite game day treats; the winning choice must be cooked that weekend with the hashtag #traegergameday.
My entries for the week requiring baked potatoes included a broccoli and cheese version and a cheesy bacon-covered twice-baked potato. After submitting my entry, I decided to add another spin on the smoked twice-baked potato by adding fresh venison to give it a wild game flavor.
Having harvested a deer with my bow a few days before, I had access to fresh venison backstraps for a recipe. When processing, I sliced several one-inch thick steaks from the backstrap. The backstrap always cooks up a bit more tender than other cuts of meats. However, to add to the tenderness, I decided to put a few slices in a pressure cooker and shred it as a delicious topping for the smoked twice-baked potato. The results were fabulous.
Ingredients for pulled venison:
- 4-6 pieces of 1-inch backstrap venison
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 Pepperoncini
- ½ cup water
- Warmed Traeger Grills’ Traeger Que BBQ sauce
Instructions for venison:
- Place pieces of venison in pressure cooker.
- Add water.
- Season venison with garlic salt, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Pressure cook for 25 minutes or until pieces of venison are tender.
- Drain liquid and set aside pepperoncini.
- Shred venison.
Ingredients for twice baked potato:
- 4 large baking potatoes
- Olive oil
- Coarse sea salt
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
- Pinch of parsley
Instructions for twice baked potato:
- Wash and dry each potato.
- Cover in olive oil.
- Rub coarse salt all over the potato.
- Smoke at 400 degrees for 25 minutes on Traeger Grill.
- Remove from smoker and cut the potato in half.
- Leaving the skin of the potato intact, gently scoop out the inside and place in a bowl, repeating with each potato.
- Add sour cream, butter, and shredded cheese to the bowl with the insides of the potatoes
- Mix well adding salt and pepper to taste
- Add a pinch of parsley and stir
- Scoop potato mixture into each empty shell, overly filling it.
- Place filled shells on a baking sheet and place them back onto the smoker.
- Smoke an additional 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until the tops are slightly brown.
- Place pulled venison on top of the twice-baked potato
- Pour warmed BBQ sauce over the top
- Garnish with the cooked pepperoncini
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