Friday, July 10, 2015

Elk, It's What's For Dinner.

Thanks to my husband's Wyoming cousin, Brian, we have a few packages of Elk meat in the freezer. Basically, the only things I knew about Elk were, they are quite large and majestic creatures; and they are good eating! Now folks who know me well, know that I love animals and protect them as well as I can. They also know I’m a full-fledged carnivore, so eating meat, especially meat with potatoes, is a given for me. I’ve created many meals using Elk now…Vietnamese Style with Crispy Potatoes, Burgers in a Cast Iron Skillet over Peppers and Onions, Elk Roast with Roasted Vegetables; just to name a few.   Interested in any of these recipes, just type the word Elk in the Search box, on the side bar, to the right of this post.

Elk, for those needing to keep their meats lean, is an excellent choice. A typical 3.5 ounce portion has 9 grams fat, 30 grams protein, only 73 milligrams of cholesterol and 146 calories; perfect for a low fat, high protein diet. More nutrition news, 100 percent of your daily recommended dose of vitamin B-12, 15 percent of iron, 20 percent of thiamine, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B-6, 45 percent of riboflavin and 30 percent of niacin is in that mere 3.5 ounce potion.

Elk meat is dark, dense, extremely tender, cooks very quickly, and the “gamey taste” wild game typically has is slim to none. As you slice into the raw meat, seeing the rich, dark coloring, it’s difficult not to begin drooling and saying, “Mmm, meat.”  Marinating, in my experience, doesn’t truly add much flavor while simple seasonings truly enhances the Elk experience. The recipe I’ll be giving you is Elk Medallions and Mushrooms with a Wine Sauce; a full bodied red wine, such as Cabernet or Merlot, work well. Afraid of the alcohol content? When cooking, alcohol evaporates, leaving only the flavoring, so needless fear in the long run; awesome taste on the tongue.

Elk Medallions and Mushrooms in Wine Sauce


1 lb. Elk roast or tenderloin
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil


Slice Elk meat into medallions (approximately 3” x 2” x 1/4” thick); season both sides lightly with black pepper and salt. In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil over medium-high heat; brown medallions for 2 minutes on each side, meat will be rare. Remove meat from skillet and let drain on dish covered with paper towels.



2 Tbsp. butter
½ tsp. salt
1 lb. portabella mushrooms, sliced

In a large skillet, medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; add the mushrooms, toss to coat, reduce heat to low, cover and let mushrooms cook down till softened; remove from skillet.

Wine Sauce


3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup beef stock (not broth)
1 and ½ cup red wine (Cabernet or Merlot)

In a large skillet, medium-high heat, melt the butter; add flour and black pepper; continue to whisk until all flour is incorporated and turns to a golden color. Whisk in beef stock plus one and wine. Bring to a boil and let cook for 5 minutes; whisk occasionally to make sure it is not becoming too thick.

Notes: If you cannot have butter and oil in your diet, substitute whatever products you would use in place of them. Yes, Elk is lean and healthy, I never said my recipe was; I’m going for the decadent here. When I made the wine sauce, I actually used the remaining liquid from the browning of the Elk meat as my fat, instead of adding more butter. I also omitted the ground black pepper, since it was already in there. The sauce was extremely rich and lip smacking delicious!

The baby asparagus spears I served with this recipe were simply sautéed in olive oil, and seasoned with an Italian herb mixture; add salt to taste.

Mary Cokenour

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