By Michael Pendley
Elk backstrap doesn’t need much help when it comes to the flavor department, but this Argentinian-style seasoning blend and chimichurri sauce help to put it over the top.
1 thick-cut elk backstrap, sliced into medallions ¾- to 1-inch thick per person, about 8 ounces each
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fresh basil, finely chopped
½-teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ -teaspoon black pepper
2 medium shallots
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
½-cup white wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½-cup fresh cilantro
½-cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoon finely chopped oregano
¾-cup extra-virgin olive oil
Blend the seasoning mix and sprinkle well over both sides of the backstrap medallions. Cover the seasoned medallions with foil or plastic wrap and set aside to come to room temperature.
For the chimichurri, add all ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor.
Pulse the processor several times to chop and start to blend the ingredients. Turn the processor on and drizzle in the olive oil a bit at a time until the sauce comes together. Refrigerate until ready for use.
Grill the backstrap over hot coals for three to four minutes per side for medium-rare, or until the center reaches your desired doneness.
Spoon the chimichurri over the elk just before serving.
Serve with roasted potatoes or grilled Elote Mexican street-style corn on the cob.
Try Out More Recipes with NSSF’s Game Meat Cooking Series
Where hunter and classically trained chef Georgia Pellegrini shares recipes from her book, “Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time.”
Ingredients1 tablespoon unsalted butter ½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Four 4-ounce elk tenderloin medallions, about ¾- to 1-inch thick Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 1 small shallot, minced 1 garlic clove, minced 6 ounces baby portobello or button mushrooms, thinly sliced ¼- cup bourbon 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard ¼- cup heavy cream ¼- cup beef stock 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1 green onion, diced 1 teaspoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley Hot sauce, to taste
DirectionsIn a large cast-iron skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil. Season the elk with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until lightly browned on the bottom, about one minute. Turn the medallions and cook for one minute longer, then transfer the steaks to a warm plate and tent them with foil. Add the shallot and garlic to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about four minutes. Remove from the heat, add the bourbon and carefully ignite the pan with a long match. The initial flames can reach one to two feet above the pan, so make certain there is nothing flammable nearby. Once the flames die down, add the mustard and cream to the pan and stir the mixture over moderate heat for one minute. Whisk in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, scallions and parsley, then season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Return the elk and any juices from the plate back to the pan, spooning the sauce over the medallions and simmering until the meat is heated through. To serve, plate the elk medallions, then spoon over the sauce. A side salad and potato make this a classic steakhouse presentation.
Cooling your meat down, both internally and externally, is the key to the finest-tasting wild game possible.By Bob Robb Growing up in coastal southern California, our deer season in the massive “A” zone opened the second weekend in August and lasted six weeks. Where I hunted for years, the daytime temperatures routinely soared into the triple digits, with nights never cooling below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I learned early on that cleaning and cooling the meat in hot weather is the most important thing a sportsman can do to ensure the most flavorful steaks and burgers possible. [caption id="attachment_3615" align="aligncenter" width="650"] Meat care in the field is all about the tastiest meat there is in the freezer.[/caption] Hot weather intensifies the need for rapid and meticulous field care. There is a direct correlation between the quality and flavor of wild meat and the way it is cared for in the field. The key is to make life harder for bacteria by creating a cool, high-acid environment to slow their growth, limiting their food sources by bleaching out blood, making a protective glaze coating, and controlling flies.