Sunday, February 21, 2010

Slow-Cooked Elk Roast

So my "wife" Kathasaurus moved to Austin recently. Before she left, she had a going away party in which we were told to bring coolers because Kat was damned if she was bringing her freezer full of meat with her to Austin.

Why is this of any import? Well, Kat comes from a family where most of the meat they ate was from game Dad and the Uncles had hunted themselves (I've been to her parent's house for Thanksgiving, with FIVE types of meat and not a turkey in sight). So this wasn't a freezer full of chicken and beef, but of elk, venison, pheasant and lamb. So, of course, I brought my biggest cooler to the party.

The freezer has been packed with all this meat for a few weeks. Its been a hellova start to this year, and I was feeling daunted by the thought of cooking game meat. I mean, I have always fantasized about having a place that served only game meat that I got from hunters I knew, (I can see it, all dark wood-mahogany-and white tablecloths. The kind of place where the bartenders wear suits.....sigh) but I hadn't really ever cooked game meat. I've cooked ostrich and buffalo, but I feel that any meat you can buy at Berkeley Bowl isn't really "game".
So today I pulled out the Elk eye of round roast that I had been defrosting, googled "how to cook elk". Turns out, the best way to cook elk (and all other game meat) is low and slow. All the big gaming and meat sites I found gave recipes for the slow cooker. Cool. Luckily, I have a large slow cooker in the house.

I put in the roast, these cute little potatoes that look like multi-colored stones, golden beets, multi-colored carrots, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a ton of garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Its cooking now. I'm going to saute onions to add to the finished dish.

To go with it, I'm making a savory bread pudding with roasted meyer lemons, kombucha squash and oregano. or maybe sage. I haven't decided.
I'll let you know how it turns 6 hours.

Ok, it was more like 8 hours later, but ohmygoodness was that good meat! My dinner guests thought it was pretty good as well, even though most of us didn't have anything to compare it to. The bread pudding (with oregano) with roasted lemons was fantastic. If you've never roasted lemons, I highly suggest it. I like to slice them and put them on veggies I roast in the oven, but in this bread pudding, they were amazing. I am going to do the same thing with oranges in my next round of bread pudding. Of course, that may be a while since I am trying to stay off all wheat. le sigh.

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