When preparing to roast our elk tenderloin for the 24×24 event, I knew wanted something flavorful, but nothing that everywhelmed the amazing flavor of the elk meat. Elk meat is incredibly rich – it’s lean like venison, but more tender and less game-y. Imagine a richer version of beef.
And because elk is incredibly lean, you have to add some kind of fat to it when cooking it. Whether that’s a pat of butter to melt over your steaks fresh off the grill, a little extra olive oil in your marinade or in the pan for searing, or my favorite – wrapping it in bacon.
But before wrapping, I lathered our elk up with a generous rub of olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and minced garlic:
Then wrapped in good, thick sliced bacon. Next time, I’ll actually wrap the bacon more closely together – as good as the tenderloing was, I think it would have stayed juicier if wrapped completely.
Then stuck it in the oven at a high temp until we were all salivating from the smell.
Some of our other favorite recipes we’ve successfully used our elk in:
Tacos using homemade taco seasoning
Fajitas using homemade taco seasoning (just add a little lime juice for fajitas!)
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Game Day Chili
A few other tips for cooking with game like elk:
– Ground meat works great in dishes that are cooked for a long time, like chili and bolognase. But that doesn’t mean the round steaks or flank steaks would be good in the crockpot. Because they aren’t. Totally dries the meat out. I don’t recommend it.
– Anytime you’re cooking a steak-like piece of meat (chop, steak, flank steak, etc): give it a good hard sear (very high temp), cook it hard and fast, and to medium done-ness at the most. I don’t care if you’re typically a medium-well or well-done kind of person, your elk will be incredibly dry and practically inedible if you try to cook it to well done.
– let it rest. Longer than you would beef. If your elk juices bleed out, you’ll be very sad and won’t want to eat your beautiful piece of meat. Let rest a good 5+ minutes. Bigger pieces of meat let rest a good 10 minutes to lock those juices back in. On a similar note, learn to test your meat without cutting into it. Learn to test done-ness just by touching it. Use a meat thermometer at most. But don’t stick it in several times, you’ll lose your juices.
One year ago: Blueberry Muffins
Two years ago: Arancini
a PLFF original recipe
1 lb tenderloin (pork, beef, elk, vension)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp dried)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
6 slices of bacon
Preheat oven to 500. Trim any silver skin from tenderloin(s).
Combine ingredients for rub. Rub thoroughly over meat. Wrap in bacon, securing with toothpicks if needed. Place on baking sheet or pan that’s been coated with cooking spray.
Roast for 10 minutes, then turn. Roast an addition 10 minutes or until internal temp reaches 140. (will have to add time for larger terderloins like beef). Remove form oven and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes (temperature should rise to 145). Remove bacon and slice. Serve immediately.