Sometimes a great noodle, “Slicing Elk”

I have spent most of my life cooking in fires, camp stoves, and home made smokers, still I claim no great expertise.

Occasionally I will bring home cooked meals out onto the boat, and have been asked about a couple of recipes, so I have decided to try and share one here.

So, here, without further caveat, disclaimer or warning is the first installment of the raincoast
”Danger Zone!” cooking blog.

“Slicing elk roast”

The goal here is to make a perfect, tender, juicy, rare to medium rare, elk or deer roast that can be sliced thin for sandwiches, taco’s, or just to eat by the handful.

There are a few steps, but only two tricks.

Its better than it looks, there is some prep time, but its really easy.

Here are the tricks. Trick one, really really take your time warming the meat all the way through before you cook it. You want the dry rub to sit on the warm meat for at least an hour. But three hours is better.

Really really rest your meat after you cook it. I wrap it loosely in foil and leave it on the counter for a couple hours, then put it in the fridge until the next day, then slice it.

Because the meat starts warm before you cook it, it will cook pretty evenly. So not over cooked on the outside and raw in the middle. The dry rub will hold the moisture in. By letting it completely cool before you slice, the moisture won’t run out at the first cut.

Ingredients.
1.One roughly two pound chunk of elk, or whatever, all the way thawed.

  1. a grill
  2. stuff for a dry rub
  3. some semi dry alder sticks
  4. cooking oil
  5. optional onion

The dry rub.
If all you have is salt, call it good and rub it with salt. You can use ANY dry rub you buy at the store. I make my own, this is how.

I have never measured the ingredients, and don’t plan too, but here is a very rough guess.
You can use a teaspoon, or a table spoon, kitchen spoon, wobblerite spoon, depends on how much rub you want. Put a good bunch on the meat.

3 spoons kosher salt
3 spoons brown sugar
11/2 spoons granulated garlic
1 1/2 spoons granulated onion
1 spoon smoked paprika
1/2 spoon pepper

Mix this all up, taste it, and then add whatever you think it needs.

The rub is on, now really slow warm it before it hits the grill

The process.

Dry rub the meat all over.
Put it somewhere to come to room temp. leave it there for 1 to 3 hours.

Now it’s time for trick one. Warm the meat.

I light my oven, heat it to about 150 degrees, and then turn it off, crack the door and throw the meat in a warm, TURNED OFF oven for about an hour. The door stays cracked open, the oven stays off.

NO OVEN? You can put it on your trucks defrost, or if you are in the field you can put it in a zip lock inside your shirt. You want it about body temp, maybe a little bit more, all the way through.
It’s best if it’s uncovered and gets some air on it, but if you have to cover it, thats ok.

But this step is super important. It falls into the idea of the reverse sear. But slower. Make sure you give the meat at least an hour to get all the way warm, not hot, we are not cooking yet, just warm.
The dry rub, the warmth, and the open air will help seal the moisture into the roast once you start cooking.

(While its warming you can check the optional onion.)

Once the meat is warm I start the grill. Turn it up medium high and throw my alder sticks right on the grill in the hottest part. I want them to smoke, or even catch fire. If the alder sticks catch fire I will shake them or throw them in the wet grass to put them out but keep them smoking.

Once the grill is pretty hot, and the wood is smoking, I will rub some olive oil all over the meat.
Then throw it on the grill.

I usually cook a roast of about 1.5 pounds for about 7 min per side.
If it still feels super squishy to the touch after this time, I will turn the grill off, move the meat to the cool side and give it another five minutes or so, WITH THE GRILL OFF.
Remember, in a pinch, you can always go back and cook it more, you can’t uncook it if you go too far.

Now, look. Risk it. When in doubt, cook it less, take it off early. This is an exercise in bravery. ANYBODY can overcook a piece off meat. Don’t do it.
Prep it. Put it on the grill and close the lid, set the timer. Leave the lid shut until the timer dings, open, turn shut wait. Open, wrap, rest.

You can rest it for just 20 min. But longer is better, go for an hour, but overnight is best. Don’t cut it when its hot, even to just take a peak or a nibble. If you do all that juice will run out. Just leave it alone until it cools.

Don’t fuss with that part.

I just throw the wood on the grill to get smoke, it works awesome for this or burgers or whatever

I read a lot of recipes and often at this point they guarantee you some amazing result.
I won’t do that, you may well fuck this up. But whatever happens it will still be fine protein. If you over cook it it will still make a great pot of chili.

Optional onion.
Slice an onion, put it in a covered pan on low with some cooking oil and salt, let it go for about 15 min but keep an eye on it and stir it occasionally. You want the onions soft and maybe slightly browned. Once the onions are squishy throw in a medium gob of butter and let it melt, now quick turn the heat up and splash in some booze. You really want scotch for this, about 2 shots, but if you don’t have scotch, bourbon, wine, beer, or water will all work. Let it reduce for about 1 min, until most of the liquid is gone, and turn off the pan. Keep an eye on it, don’t let it burn.
Now you have this sticky gooey sweet oily onion mix, put it aside. When your meat comes off the grill slather this on top before you wrap and rest it. It will soak in over night and it will come out looking like a fancy glaze.
Its not fancy, its grilled meat. Enjoy!

For a vegetarian option, follow all the same steps, just skip the meat!

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Forks Wa

Posted in Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to Sometimes a great noodle, “Slicing Elk”

  1. Ken says:

    Man, that looks good!
    Hey, where do I get one of those elks?

  2. Dan HALLMAN says:

    Request elk sandwich in March

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