bits and pieces

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Herb Seared Rack of Elk (with Red Wine Glaze!)

beautiful, beautiful elk. Tell me that doesn't look a million times healthier
than vacuum sealed chicken breasts in styrofoam.
One of the wonderful things about buying local vs. buying from Sobeys is that you can find wonderful things like rack of elk.

Now I didn't actually find this myself, rather my partner came home and sheepishly said, "So I bought a bunch of elk. And elk is more expensive than I thought. About 50$ more expensive". However, I could say nothing as I had just purchased a 20$ piece of fish (stay tuned). It's good I have student loans and stuff. Really good.

Now elk is obviously game, and obviously a kind of 'Canadian' type of food. I like the idea of 'Canadian cuisine'. I also like the idea of cooking game. Game seems like a much more ethical kind of meat, although I'm sure the elk would disagree.

Unsurprisingly, I don't have an elk recipe tucked away in my back pocket, and in this case the internet kind of failed me. There aren't a whole lot of rack of elk recipes floating around online. This being the first time I had cooked with elk, I decided to keep it simple and clean so that the actual flavour of elk would shine through. This was easy and quick. I served it over some new potatoes 'smashed' with olive oil, kosher salt, and thyme. Tell me it doesn't look amazing. Also, if anyone wants to come over, we still have about 4 lbs of elk.

ingredients: 
Elk! This recipe is for 1 elk 'chop'
1 clove of garlic cut in half
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
kosher salt and cracked black pepper

A shameful amount of butter. About 3 tbsp. I guess you COULD use olive oil, but elk is such a lean meat that I was worried about drying it out and figured - hey! It's better with butter.
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup of red wine
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
a pinch of kosher salt
a pinch more thyme

other things you will need:
a frying pan
  1. Take your garlic clove and rub your elk all over with the cut side of the garlic clove. Liberally
    Elk ready to go in the pan!
    sprinkle both sides of the elk with thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  2. In your frying pan, over medium heat, melt the butter and add your shallot. Saute for a minute or two until the shallots start to cook down a bit. Adjust heat to medium high.
  3. Put your elk down in the pan. Cook over medium high heat for 2 minutes. The elk should crust up with the herbs and salt and pepper and get a nice brown sear on it.
  4. Flip and cook the other side for another 2 minutes, spooning butter over the elk as it cooks, braising it in delicious shallot-y butter. Flip and cook each side for an additional 30 seconds, basting with butter throughout the cooking. Note - because elk is such a lean meat and because it's elk (vs. something like chicken) it is totally OK to eat it medium rare. It is actually the recommended doneness for this cut of meat.
  5. Remove the elk from the heat and set aside to rest on a cutting board or plate. 
  6. Add the red wine to your pan and deglaze, scraping up any herbs, shallot, or elk-y bits. Add your red wine vinegar, and thyme, salt and pepper. 
  7. Cook down until it's starting to get syrup-y. Spoon over your elk when you serve it. 
There you have it! Crispy, seared, medium rare elk. Canadian cuisine at it's finest.
Somehow coming from my kitchen.

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