Admit it. Aren’t you just getting a little bit tired of deer?
Be honest now: Have you ever had elk? Sure, chances are you’ve had deer. If you live in Florida or elsewhere in the South, perhaps gator or even rattlesnake.
If you’re lucky enough to live in the western states — Wyoming is especially good elk territory — then you know that elk meat is savory, tender and mouth-watering.
It’s also quite healthy — lower in fat than beef, pork, chicken and even some seafood. And it has key essential nutrients.
“Compared to traditionally raised livestock, elk eat the majority of their diet from native grasses, trees and brush instead of rich grains,” reports the Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co. (We’ll come back to buffalo in later posts). This creates very lean, healthy meat for elk steaks and elk jerky. Compared to beef, elk meat is lower in fat and higher in protein. Elk are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats.
Now, it’s not the cheapest meat in the world. If you’re not hunting elk, then you’re looking at about $104 for two pounds in Wyoming.
But in the interest of elk cuisine, we’re offering a few recipes we’ve found if you happen to be wondering around Montana or thereabouts and feel an urge for elk.
Here’s some of our favorite, but check out the others. (Click on the header for the full recipe.)
Start with small cuts of elk loin with leeks and a wheat beer. Shred the elk after slow cooking for ten hours and fry in a little canola oil to give it more crispiness similar to carnitas. Make a roux gravy using the leek and beer broth and serve with mashed potatoes.
- elk loin or elk roast
- 1 bottle of German wheat beer
- 1 can beef broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1-2 leek onions finely sliced
- 2 garlic cloves sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon fresh sage
- 1/2 cup flour
- salt and pepper
Wow. Elk lasagna! The elk (well, his meat, not the actual elk) is nestled in layered, rich tomato sauce, with thick lasagna noodles and a whole lot of cheese – ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
- 1/2 package of lasagna noodles
- 1 lb ground elk meat
- 1 medium sweet onion (chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 32 oz Ricotta cheese
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella (sliced)
- 2 eggs
- 12- to 14-inch cast iron skillet
Courtesy of chef Nathan Slovatizki, these recipes were specifically designed to be sampled in front of football games at home. Really.
- 1 package thin sliced bacon
- 1/2 pound elk backstrap cut into half inch tubes
- 1 8 oz. piece Pepper jack cheese cut into a half inch cubes or
any melting cheese i.e. cheddar, smoked gouda, mozzarella.
- 1 8 oz. can whole water chestnuts cut into quarters
- 1 12 oz. can pickled jalapeno rings
- 2 teaspoons your favorite seasoning
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt