Fried Mouflon Tacos

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Yep, you heard me right! FRIED Mouflon TACOS! Fried Tacos! It’s genius! Why should fish be the only thing that gets to be fried and stuffed in a tortilla? It’s not fair! Now things are a little more right with the world.

Have you ever eaten mouflon? This was a first for me. And I have to admit that I was a bit timid. When it comes to more exotic species I’ve always heard stories of gamey meat, strong flavors, etc. We received a couple packages of mouflon shoulder from a friend and I’d put it off.

Then this idea came to me for these fried tacos, and I decided it would be the perfect time to experiment with the mouflon. I figured the acidic marinade would help breakdown any toughness, and hopefully mask any excessively gamey flavors in the meat. And as a backup plan, because I had such high hopes for these tacos, I decided to prepare some wild pork poison glands {aka tenders} the same way, just in case the mouflon didn’t pan out as expected.

I marinated both, and prepped and fried both identically. How did it work out? Well, we had leftover pork. The mouflon was GONE! The kids and Coach went after seconds and thirds. This mouflon was some of the most tender, mild meat I’d ever cooked. What a pleasant surprise!

When I was marinating the meat I had my doubts, though. The meat did have a strong smell, and since it was shoulder meat it had plenty of silver skin and dry fat that needed to be peeled off. I’ll show you that in a minute.

This meat was from a fairly young ewe, so I can’t speak to the flavor or tenderness of a mature ram, but I’d say it’s worth a shot. If you know your meat came from a mature ram you might consider tenderizing it with a rubber mallet in addition to the two-hour acidic marinate time, just to be sure it’s good and tender. And if you do, please let me know how it turns out!

Now for your ingredients and how-to.

Let’s start with the marinade:

Mouflon Shoulder or Ham Steaks  |  Lime  |  Clementine orange  |  Minced garlic
Southwest Fajita seasoning  |  Pickled jalapeno juice

Yes, I specifically used the Southwest Fajita seasoning because it goes really well with citrusy flavors. You need this in your life. Get it at their website or as part of this bundle on Amazon.

 

Step 1 ~ 5 minutes

Pour the juice out of a can of pickled jalapenos. We won’t use the jalapenos for this recipe, but you can add Grilled Stuffed Pork Backstrap to your menu so you can use the peppers up soon, too. I ended up with almost ½ c pickled jalapeno juice.

Slice a small orange and a lime in half. Squeeze all the juice from the lime

and the orange into the jalapeno juice.

It was around ¾ c liquid.

Add 1 Tbsp minced garlic to the juice

and stir it in. Set the marinade aside.

 

Step 2 ~ 10 minutes

If your meat has a lot of silver skin on it try to remove as much of it as you can. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to slice through the tender part of the meat against the grain, stopping when the blade touches the silver skin.

Sliding the knife forward and backward without slicing through the skin, gradually work the knife to the right, pushing the slice of meat off the silver skin.

Repeat with each slice of meat until you get to the end of the slice, then flip the cutting board around, hold onto the silver skin, and shimmy the knife sideways to remove the last slice of meat.

Slice the mouflon into thin strips, like fajita meat, cutting against the grain for maximum tenderness. If you’re using tenders or backstrap, slice them into ½” medallions, cutting against the grain.

Peel off any clumps of fat you see as well.

 

Step 3 ~ 2 hours

Place the sliced meat into a shallow dish. The mouflon is on the left and the pork tenders are on the right.

Pour the marinade over the meat.

I divided my marinade in half over the mouflon and the pork tenders. Spread the minced garlic over the meat as best as you can.

Sprinkle a generous amount of Southwest Fajita seasoning over both sides of the meat.

Place the meat in the refrigerator and let it marinate for 2 hours.

 

Now the Tacos…

Yes, these tacos are fried, and yes they are delicious. As I said earlier, why should fish get to be the only one deliciously fried and lovingly wrapped in a tortilla? Seriously!

These tacos are mildly inspired by my recipe for Venison Milanesa, which is basically Mexican Chicken Fried Steak. And it’s super tasty. I took it a step further, though, by marinating the meat like I would for fajitas.

Here’s what you need for the fried mouflon:

Marinated Mouflon  |  Eggs  |  Flour  |  Bread crumbs  |  Oil

I fried the pork first, and then repeated the steps with the mouflon strips, keeping them separated so we could have a good taste test comparison.

 

Step 1 ~ 5 minutes

Prepare a prep station:  a plate of flour, a dish of Italian bread crumbs, and a dish of 3 eggs, beaten.

Lightly dredge the mouflon strips in the flour

and place them in the dish of beaten eggs.

Flip the strips to coat completely in the eggs.

Place the strips in the dish of bread crumbs,

flipping to coat.

Allow the meat to rest in the bread crumbs for a few minute for improved stickability of the crumbs.

 

Step 2 ~ 20 minutes

Fill a pot halfway full of vegetable oil, or at least 3 inches of oil. When the oil is hot enough it will be swirling and the bread crumbs will sizzle when dropped into the oil.

 

Step 3 ~ 20 minutes

Add several strips of battered mouflon into the hot oil and fry them for about 5 minutes.

The mouflon should be cooked through and the batter should be golden brown and crispy. When it begins to float it’s almost done.

Store the fried mouflon strips on a paper towel lined pan and repeat battering and frying any remaining batches of meat.

 

Step 4 ~ 5 minutes

When the last batch of meat is frying, warm up several corn tortillas in a hot cast iron skillet.

Because if you love them you’ll warm the tortillas.

 

Step 5 ~ 2 minutes

Serve the Fried Mouflon Tacos over a warm corn tortilla topped with jalapeno ranch, fresh pico de gallo, and cheese with avocado slices.

There’s so much to love about this meal. I could literally talk about it for days. {Coach and I may have actually done that…} But that won’t do you any good. You just need to try it for yourself. And remember, if you don’t have access to mouflon these fried tacos are still delicious with venison or wild pork.

Mmm, fried tacos. Who’da thunk it?

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