Grilled Rattlesnake Fillet

Snake fillet with black eye beans and a smoky chilli jelly from Robert Staegemann - try it if you dare!
Grilled Rattlesnake Fillet
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus chilling for the chilli jelly
  • Effort: medium


For the smoked chilli jelly

  • 7 large red chillies
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 500 g sugar
  • 7 leaves gelatine

For the black eye bean salad

  • 225 g cooked black-eyed beans
  • 1/2 red pepper, very finely diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, very finely diced
  • 1 shallot, very finely diced
  • 1/4 cucumber, very finely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

For the lime crème fraîche

  • 200 ml crème fraîche
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • sugar, to taste

For the snake

  • 1 rattlesnake
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 1 pinches ground cumin
  • 1 pinches sweet paprika
  • vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

To serve

  • salad cress
  • chives, snipped


1. For the smoked chilli jelly: smoke the chillies in their skins for 30 minutes. Cool, then take off the tops. Remove the seeds from 4 of the chillies and finely chop them all.

2. Put the tomato puree in a pan and stir over the heat for a minute. Add the water, sugar and chopped chillies and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

3. Soak 7 leaves of gelatine in cold water. When soft, squeeze out any excess water and whisk into the chilli mix. Remove from the heat and cool in the fridge for 6-12 hours, until set. Use a fork to roughly mash up the mix every so often as it cools.

4. For the black eye bean salad: mix all of the ingredients together and season with salt and black pepper.

5. For the lime crème fraîche: mix the crème fraîche, lime zest and juice and sugar to taste.

6. For the snake: remove the rattlesnake fillet and cut into 5-6 pieces. Dust with a mixture of the flour, cumin and paprika. Brush with a little oil and cook on a very hot grill for 30-45 seconds.

7. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the snake fillets and serve with the bean salad, lime crème fraîche and chilli jelly. Garnish with salad cress and chives.

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