Cooking with Elk

Elk is one of my favorite proteins to cook with. For those that are not familiar with this meat it can seem intimidating. You may feel that you do not know what to do with this meat and are going to ruin the dish. There are some tips that I want to share with you to help you make a great dish using elk meat.

Elk is a red meat. It is naturally low in fat and low in cholesterol. Once ounce of elk meat is leaner than a skinless chicken breast and will have just as much protein. Elk has a flavor that is similar to beef and can easily fit into any beef recipe. Elk needs to be cooked quickly at high temperatures or slowly at low temperatures.

When cooking elk meat low and slow some liquid is needed to help break down the tough connective tissue. This will help add flavor to the meat. When cooking elk low and slow it is best to put it in a crock pot or even a pressure cooker. Be sure there is plenty of broth or liquid in there. This is good for cooking the tougher meat including that from the shoulders and the rump or elk meat cubes. An elk roast can be seasoned well and cooked in a slow cooker as well. there are many options for this meat once it is cooked.

The tenderloin of the elk is said to be the best cut. It needs to be cooked hot and fat. Since there is little fat in this meat it is important that is it not overcooked. The meat should be put in the oven and cooked until it reaches a medium rare stage. If you are using the elk meat to make burgers they can be cooked on the grill just like a beef burger. You need to season the meat well. I like to use salt and pepper. If you are worried about a gamey taste you can add marinades and sauces.

Thawing the elk meat is also important. You should remove the meat from the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator for a day or two. Thinner cuts take around a day while the thicker cuts will need at least two days. This will help reduce the moisture that is lost during the thawing process. Do not thaw the meat in the microwave. This can lead to uneven cooking since some parts will be thawed and other parts will still be frozen.

These tips will help you learn how to cook with elk. This meat is naturally low in fat and is better for you than other types of red meat. If you are worried that you are going to have a gamey taste the first thing you should make with elk is a stew. Once you are comfortable you can use elk in place of beef in your favorite recipes and add a little more seasoning.

Comfort Foods

Here is nothing like eating a big plate of comfort foods. I am a meat and potatoes kind of guy and enjoy eating the foods that I grew up with. They give me a sense of home and can lift my spirits after a hard day. There are some tips to making comfort food that everyone will love and associate with home.

 

For me nothing beats a nice and juicy burger. This is the ultimate comfort food. It reminds me of summer days and firing up the grill in the backyard. There are a number of ways to make burgers. I often replace the beef with elk, deer, or other meats. When I do this I do grind up some bacon and add it to the meat. Since they are leaner cuts I do need to add a little fat. Instead of topping the burger with classic American cheese I like to play around. I found that Swiss and cheddar add a nice taste to the burgers. I also like to top them with caramelized onions. When I need the comfort of home I turn to these burgers.

 

Spaghetti and meatballs is also a classic dish for me. This was the first dish that my mother taught me how to make and it reminds me of home. I would like to learn how to make my own spaghetti from scratch but for right now I am using the dried kind in the box. To make my meatballs I use one part ground beef and one part other lean protein. Once again elk is one of my favorites. I also have tried Bison and have liked to the taste. To the meatballs of course I use salt and pepper. I liked to add Parmesan cheese and to really make them nice and moist I spoon in some ricotta cheese. Instead of cooking my meatballs on the stovetop or on the oven I like to choose them in the slow cooker. I put the tomato sauce on the bottom and then add my meatballs. I then add some more tomato sauce. I like to cook them low and slow. I turn the slow cooker on in the morning and by the time I am done with work they are ready to go. The meatballs are tender and break easily with a fork. I cook up the pasta and serve my meatballs on top. Using leaner meats I do not feel as bad eating this comfort food dish.

 

These are some of the foods that I consider to be my comfort foods. Even cooking with other proteins they still remind me of home and gatherings with the family. These dishes are not complicated and anyone can prepare them. You can make some variations and experiment with different flavors. For me these simple comfort foods pick me up after having a bad day and they are some things that I like to make for my friends and family.