Are you looking for great-tasting elk meat recipes to discover? We’ve got four great ones here for you today!
Elk Meat Recipes You’ll Love
Hunting and cooking have always been two of my passions in life. I have always loved going after big game on a brisk winter morning.
I also love the meat that it produces for my family. As a young chef about 15 years ago, I grew to appreciate game meat.
You would be amazed what restaurants will pay for good venison, both deer and elk meat. It is lean, rich, earthy, and absolutely delicious if prepared right.
The beautiful part about elk is that bagging one usually means 300 plus pounds of meat in the freezer. That dark, lean meat is a huge score unless you cook it like you would beef or pork.
Elk meat is very lean. It does not have the typical fat needed to cook like other meats. Therefore, you will need to make some adjustments.
Elk meat takes a large amount of salt, so salt early and often. Do not just wait until the end. Also, please note to trim off all fat and silverskin before working with elk.
The fat that is found on an elk becomes bitter when cooked, so get rid of it. To get you started, I put together some of my favorite recipes for elk meat.
I attempted to keep it simple so you can just get accustomed to cooking this kind of meat and enjoy a tasty meal. Have fun!
1. Elk Stroganoff
This classic typically uses beef, but we have modified the recipe for elk meat. The elk and the mushrooms work incredibly well together. The fat from the butter and bacon helps the meat stay moist and flavorful.
- 1 pound ground elk
- 3 or more slices of bacon
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 1 can mushroom soup
- 1/2 cup water
- Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups cooked rice or pasta
- Salt and pepper
- Chop the bacon and brown it in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add butter to the skillet. Cook the onions until translucent (about 5 min).
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 min).
- Add the mushrooms and sage. Cook for a few more minutes.
- Push veggies to the side and lightly brown the ground elk. Do not overcook.
- Add mushroom soup, water, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over rice or noodles.
2. Garlic Seared Elk Backstrap
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The backstrap is one of the most tender parts of the elk, and also one of the easiest to cook… If you do it right. Once again, butter and bacon are used for fat and flavor.
- 1 pound elk backstrap
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 slices of bacon
- Coriander, salt, and pepper
- Season with salt, pepper, and coriander. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to flavor. Let sit out for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
- Chop bacon and cook it in a cast-iron pan on medium-high heat until just brown. Add butter and garlic. Cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Sear venison on all sides until brown. Shoot for medium-rare, but do not cook past medium. Should only take about 2 minutes on each side.
- Let the meat rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Slice in ¾ inch slices against the grain of the meat. Place on a plate and pour the butter over top. Season again with salt and pepper.
3. Spiced Elk Roast
Roasts can be difficult with elk. To slow cook elk properly, you want it to come out as prime rib would. In this case, we use a bacon lattice to act as a fat cap.
- Elk roast – 1 pound or more
- 1 pound bacon
- Spice rub – salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano
- Chipotle Butter
- 1 stick of salted butter room temperature
- 1 can chipotle peppers with adobo
- Coriander and cumin
- Preheat oven to 500F.
- Rub down roast with the spice rub, wrap, and chill for 12-24 hours. Set it out for a couple of hours to come back to room temperature.
- Season with salt again and sear on all sides. You can use a cast iron pan or a grill on high heat for this. Let it cool.
- Lay out your bacon strips and weave them into a lattice. Rub the lattice with butter. Wrap the roast in the bacon lattice and secure with toothpicks.
- Place the roast in a pan in the oven for 20 minutes. Shut off heat and let it sit in oven until medium-rare (about 1.5 hours). You can also smoke the roast at 325F, but the bacon will not be crispy. For medium-rare, the internal temperature should be 135F.
- Let the roast rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing against the grain.
- While the meat is resting, blend the chipotle peppers, adobo, and spices in a blender or food processor and pour it over the rest of the butter. Mix it together, plop it down on some plastic wrap, roll it up and chill in the freezer. Add a good medallion of butter to the slices of the roast when serving.
4. Slow Cooker Elk Stew
While elk can be finicky, there are a few ways to just throw it in a pot and forget about it. This recipe is great for scrap meat or bone-in roasts.
- 1-3 pounds of elk meat
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 pieces of celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3 slices of bacon
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (optional)
- Salt, pepper, and rosemary to taste
- Chop bacon and cook until just brown on a cast iron pan on high heat. Add butter and garlic to cook until fragrant (about 1 minute).
- Dust meat with flour, salt, and pepper. Brown on all sides.
- Put the onions, carrots, and celery in the bottom of the crockpot or stew pot set on medium heat. Place meat on top.
- Add wine and stock. If using tomatoes, add them now.
- Cook on medium to low heat for several hours until the meat is fall-apart tender. Add salt, pepper, and rosemary to taste and cook for a few more minutes before serving. Can be served by itself or over potatoes or rice.
A Few Reminders
These four recipes should give you a fundamental understanding of how to cook elk meat. From here, you can expand out to all kinds of other options.
You can really put elk into any recipe that normally calls for beef if you cook it right. Just be sure you trim the fat and silverskin. Always add back fat with oil, butter, or animal fat. Salt early and often.
Finally, either cook the meat hot and fast or low and slow. Anything in the middle will not work. If you follow these rules, your elk will always come out tender and flavorful.
Do you have your own go-to elk meat recipe? Do share it with us in the comments section!
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