New Mexico Elk Twinkies – That’s what’s poppin’!

The holiday season is right around the corner, and in typical fashion, I am already thinking about the food. The appetizers are always a hit with my family, and this one is sure to add a little pop to your table.

Above: New Mexico Elk Twinkies, ready to eat. Department photo by Tristanna Bickford.


  • 1-pound elk roast
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • 3-5 serrano peppers
  • 1 cup green chile
  • Seasoning – whatever floats your boat (I add a little green chile powder in mine)
  • Beef broth
  • 12 extra-large jalapenos
  • 12 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 block of shredded Gouda cheese
  • BBQ sauce

Above: Preparing your elk roast. Department photo by Tristanna Bickford.

First – Shredded Elk Roast

You can use whatever you like to in your elk roast. Here is my style, but you can add or take out anything you want.

  • Peel and chop 3-5 garlic cloves. A rough cut works excellent on these; you just want to release those flavors into your roast
  • Rough cut the serrano peppers. If you don’t like it to be very spicy, you can use green chile, a different pepper or just leave them out.
  • Add in a few cups of beef broth.
  • Grab your elk roast and some seasoning. Coat your roast in the seasoning, making sure to get it down into the cracks, then throw roast and extra seasoning into the crockpot.
  • Turn the crockpot on high for eight hours, or until the roast shreds easily.

Preparing the ingredients in stuff your Twinkies. Department photo by Tristanna

Second – The Twinkie

When you roast is ready:

  • Remove your roast from the crockpot and shred it down as small as you can. When done shredding, I like to run a knife through it just to reduce the size of the longer strands.
  • Grab your jalapenos. Cut a small ‘V’ in the center of the jalapeno and remove all of the seeds and innards. Give them a good rise to remove all of the stubborn seeds that just wouldn’t come out. Try to leave the lids on; it will help hold all the cheesy goodness inside.
  • Turn oven on to 400 degrees.
  • Grab a large cookie sheet and line it with foil.
  • Finely chop the jalapeno slivers that were the center of the ‘V’ and add them to the bowl.
  • Add the shredded Gouda cheese and the cream cheese to the bowl.
  • Add in about half a cup of green chile and some of your favorite seasoning.
  • Add in about half the elk roast; set the rest aside for another meal.
  • Mix well.

*If you are preparing an appetizer for the holidays, now is an excellent time to throw the cheesy mixture in the fridge to set until the morning. If you refrigerate it, make sure to warm the mix up a little bit before stuffing it into the jalapenos.

  • Prepare your bacon. You want to stretch the bacon out as much as possible. It will seem like it is ready to tear. Stretching it allows enough bacon to wrap around the Twinkie.
  • Take a good spoonful of the mixture and stuff the jalapeno as full as you can get them.
  • Grab a piece of bacon, starting at the top, wrap the bacon around the stuffed jalapeno, careful not to overlap the bacon. Not overlapping the bacon allows it to cook evenly and ensure that none of the bacon goes undercooked.
  • Place on a cookie sheet (I like to line my sheet with foil to make clean up easier.)
  • Sprinkle the remaining seasoning you have left over the top of the finished Twinkies.

When all Twinkies are wrapped and on the cookie sheet, cook them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. If the bacon is not cooked all the way through, let it cook longer.

When the bacon is cooked, pull the Twinkies from the oven and lightly brush with BBQ sauce. Put them back in the oven for five minutes.

Let them cool and enjoy!

Oh! And the extra roast you set aside ­– I ate mine for lunch the next day. Use any left-over cheesy mix, the left-over shredded roast, some extra cheese, wrap it all in a tortilla and pan-fry them until the tortilla turns brown. Add some salsa or green chile to the top. Enjoy a quick and easy lunch!

About Tristanna Bickford

Tristanna Bickford is the Assistant Chief of Education for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.