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.