A friend of mine was in a quandry. His son had left their garage freezer door opened, and much of the meat stored there had thawed. He facebooked me and asked if I wanted some elk roasts. While I felt sorry for his loss, it was about to be my gain!
I picked it up and did some web searching to try and find some good recipe ideas. Fortunately, there were plenty!
Dutch Oven Slow Elk Roast
12” deep Dutch Oven
20+ coals below
10-12 coals below
12-14 coals above
4-6 lbs elk roast (boneless)
4-6 cloves of fresh garlic, halved
Olive oil to brown the roast
Herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley)
1 cup cranberry juice
2 cups beef stock
1 large onion, quartered
3-6 stalks celery
4-6 roma tomatoes
3-4 potatoes, in larger cubes, or a dozen small “baby” potatoes
I started by preparing the meat. I used a paring knife to cut some deep gashes in the meat, on both sides, and I stuffed the halved garlic cloves in the holes. Then, I salted and peppered each side, and rubbed on the dried herbs. I set that aside so the meat could absorb the flavors.
While that was happening, I set some coals on to burn, and when they were white, I put them under the Dutch oven, with a little olive oil in the bottom.
When the Dutch oven and the oil were heated, I laid in the elk roast pieces (there were two), and let them sear on each side. Then, I reset the coals to have some on top and some underneath, as the numbers up above represent. I added some fresh coals into the chimney, too, to begin heating. I added in the cranberry juice and the beef stock. My intent was to keep the internal temperature of the Dutch oven to between 250 and 300, and to roast it and braise it for a long time. That would tender it up, and the harsh acidity of the cranberry juice would lessen any of the “gamey” flavor.
After about an hour, I chopped up and added the vegetables. Really, it was pretty simple. I just kept refreshing the coals. It was very relaxing. I cooked it for over three hours. In between all that, I made an apple pie (which I will post soon).
Every once in a while, I would take a couple of forks and pry at the meat. When it came apart easily, it was done, and I brought it in. I let it rest with the lid on for a while (with no coals, of course). While that was resting, I used a basting syringe to pull out the juices, and I got that boiling in my 8” Dutch oven. I whisked together about 2 tablespoons of flour and 1/4 cup water in a bowl and gradually stirred that into the boiling juices, to make a gravy.
It was delicious! The meat was nice and not gamey at all.