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Antilope:
Blesbok - DAMALISCUS PHILLIPS

 

The blesbok is a so-called goat-Antelope.

 

Habitat

Blesboks live in the centre of South Africa, up north to Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. They are one of the most common antelopes and are real herd animals. A fully grown blesbok has a shoulder height of about 90 - 100 cm and a weight of around 40 to 50 kg. Blesboks breed fast and have almost no natural enemies. They are grass eaters and mainly live on open grassland.

 

Breeding / Hunting

Blesboks are mostly semi-wild animals. Farmers often have several blesboks on their land, but they do not have them for any particular purpose. Therefore, their behaviour on the huge African farms is because of that always the behaviour of a wild animal.
They cannot be approached from closer distance than 300 metres. Most of the blesboks still live as real wild animals in the northern parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, but they are hardly ever hunted.
In most areas the hunting season for blesboks starts in the beginning of April and lasts until the end of August. This is the normal African hunting season. Compared to gnu's, the number of hunted blesboks is larger but it is not as large as orix or kudu.

 

Meat

Blesbok meat is dark red meat. It is very tender and has a wonderful taste. The legmuscles are also very tender and can be cut into good steaks. Because of its unique taste blesbok should be prepared as natural as possible.

 

Cuts:
Like other antelopes blesbok meat is sold in the saddle parts; fillets, and inner fillets, 4 cuts and goulash

 

Recipe proposal:

Roast Antelope with Sweet Onion Sauce

Ingredients (Serves 6):

1 boneless loin of Antelope (3 to 4 pounds)
2 tablespoons oil or clarified butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 sweet onions (preferably Vidalia), chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine
2-1/2 cups beef stock, veal stock, or game stock
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

 

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Heat oil in a heavy, ovenproof roasting pan over medium high heat. Season the roast with salt and pepper and sear on all sides in oil. Remove the roast from the pan. Add onions, carrot, celery, and garlic to pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove pan from heat and place the roast on top of vegetables. Place pan in preheated oven and roast to medium-rare, 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the roast from pan and keep warm in foil. Place roasting pan over high heat on stove top, add wine, and deglaze pan. Reduce to a medium sauce consistency. Add stock and reduce by half. Strain into a saucepan, discard vegetables, and reheat sauce. Reduce further, if necessary. Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cut the meat into serving portions, and spoon sauce over the top.

 

Thanks to: American Game Cooking / John Ash & Sid Goldstein

     

 

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