Elk made simple, is the way to go if you are just a beginner at cooking wild game, or just trying to make a tried and true elk recipe at home. The best part about this elk recipe is that it is quick, tender, and so delicious! Serve with homemade native North American wild rice, or toss in an Out Side Salad, and just go to town!!! Out in the country.
A good side dish to try with this simple elk would be my Wild Rice with Lambsquarters!
If you want to try a homemade seasoning to really flavor this up, try my homemade wild garlic powder!
For a fascinating read on elk species and range, check out this Wikipedia page about Elk of North America!
ABOUT ELK MEAT
Oh Elk yeah!!! If you have never tried elk you should because elk is fun, and fun is good!
What ingredient could you use that is more special and American than the elk?
We are blessed to have such a good family, my uncle took this elk with his favorite rifle, so this entire process was done with nothing but love.
These slices of fresh elk meat here, were sliced from the loins of the elk.
The loin of an animal is all of the meat around the spine from the back of the shoulder, all the way until you get almost to the back legs of the animal.
Butchering the loin from an animal is not difficult! All it takes is a sharp knife, and a little know how.
HOW TO COOK SIMPLE ELK
Begin heating up your skillet. You will want to turn it on medium high heat and get that sucker pretty hot!
The reason for setting the heat here is simple. Too hot, and you will burn your elk and make it tough. Too cold, it will not give the elk a nice brown sear on the outside before completely cooking the inside.
Medium high heat is perfect because it gives you elk a good brown sear on the outside, while the inside of the elk meat doesn’t gets to be a nice medium rare, and only just gets to that medium rare point. Point is, good sear on the outside, cooked to perfection on the inside.
Add cooking oil to your skillet. You can choose nearly any kind of common cooking oil for this application. Avocado oil might be the best to use because it has such a high smoke point, and not an overpowering flavor.
For this recipe, and most of my other frying recipes, I use homemade lard. It has good flavor and has a pretty high smoke point.
If you want to be proper with it, some light olive oil, I say light because you really don’t want olive oil overpowering the flavor of your wild game. Light olive oil is very common oil and cheaper than avocado oil.
Add a good sprinkling of salt and pepper to both sides of your elk meat. Don’t add too much! You want the flavor of the elk to reign in this dish and pretty much any other dish that requires elk.
Once your pan is hot enough, add your delicious elk steak to the pan. You will hear a nice loud crackling sound.
You will want to cook the elk on this first side until it has got a perfect light brown on it, and when you can see blood coming up through the meat.
The elk meat may cook and brown at different times due to the thickness of each steak and the temperature variation on the surface of your pan.
Notice the brown color on the pieces of elk on your left hand side? This is a good color to have on them.
The steak that hasn’t been flipped yet, has pools of myoglobin. Myoglobin is that clear bloody looking liquid that you find in the meat packages at the store.
Just check out those sizzling steaks! They all have that perfect browned color on the outside, are perfectly cooked within, and have a smell that could make you fall asleep at night, and make you wake right up in the morning!
After this you will……
Wait! Don’t Slice it yet!
Jump these perfect steaks right over to a plate!
HOW AND WHY TO REST MEAT
Place a piece of butter on top of your steaks (optional) this will give them a perfect moist texture on the outside and will give a delicious flavor while sealing the juice within the steak to keep it nice and moist.
Whenever cooking meats, especially steak and roast, from any animal, you will want to let it rest for at least 5 minutes, but better to wait 10 or 15 until you decide to slice into them. The liquid within the steak is so hot that is leaks out of the muscle fibers very quickly and easily.
After the meats cool down, the liquid is locked within the fibers of the meat and retains moisture to give you a perfectly moist cut of meat. Again, this goes with nearly any meat and it goes for all steaks and roasts.
Here you can see how the elk meat has absorbed a lot of the liquid from the outside of the steaks and even picked up some liquid from the plate. What a delightful sight indeed!
Transfer these little babies to a cutting board to finish resting.
While your steak is resting, make sure you sharpen and hone your knife to make sure that your accuracy and precision is at 100%.
Having a good sharp knife is always better than having a dull knife. If you don’t know how to sharpen a knife, do some research and find out how to sharpen, and why you are supposed to do it that way.
If I get a chance, I will make a video of how to do so.
When you commence slicing your meat, find the direction of the grain of meat fibers. After you have figured out with way they go, orient your steaks so that you can slice across the grain.
You are intending to shorten the meat fibers, thus giving them less connective tissue to hold the fibers together. This will inevitably make you meat more tender!
Again I say, the reason why your meat is more tender is because you shorten the meat fibers, and thus give the tissues connecting the fibers, less to hold on to over all.
Its like a log is much easier to split in half when it is cut into thin rounds. You wouldn’t try to split an entire tree trunk in half. You would first cut the wood across the grain, in short rounds, to easily split your wood. Same concept and cutting your meat against the grains.
Voila! After slicing, your elk will be ready to munch on, or for this recipe I served it with some North American wild rice mixed with quinoa! We just love this combination and it is one that uses ingredients obtained right here in the good old US of A!