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Topic: Bourbon Marinated Elk Steak  (Read 960 times)
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« on: February 15, 2011 10:01:52 AM »

It does seem we're doing game meat a lot lately, and we are.  We had intended on doing deer, rabbit, goose, and pheasant this winter, but then we met Chris Avolio at Hot Shots.  Not only did he sign up to be a sponsor on the site, he also happens to be a fanatical hunter and very generous with what's in his freezer. 

After giving me that phenomenal bison tenderloin, (Roast one from the tenderloin and roast two) Chris topped it with an elk steak.  Yes, topped it.  Elk is better than bison.  It was out of this world. 

Just like bison, elk is hard to find, but this recipe will work with beef, so don't assume you couldn't do this without the elk. 

Here's the write up with all the pictures (including the grilled romaine we did as well), and here are the tasty pics:

And here's the entirety of the write up for the link averse:

My buddy Chris Avolio from Hot Shots hooked me up again.  He hooked me up with an entire bison tenderloin that I cooked as two separate roasts.  One I marinated in coffee stout and garlic and the other I slathered with a paste of roasted garlic, cracked pepper corns and Worcestershire sauce.  This time Chris gave me an enormous NY strip elk steak, otherwise called the strip loin.  The bison was out of this world.  The elk was even better

First, I have to give a big thank you to Chris Avolio for the hook up on the bison and now the elk:

Chris is the Director of Operations at Hot Shots Bar and Grill and a generally great guy who keeps giving me amazing cuts of meat to do something with on the grill.  Chris, I hope this one lives up to the hype.  Whats not to love about Hot Shots?  I get served by hot waitresses, drink beer, have a great burger, watch the game, and get some exotic piece of meat to throw on my grill.  Its a beautiful thing even without the meat.

Now on to the recipe and the process.


1 big ass elk steak (bison or beef could be used as well)
3 ounces bourbon
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp soy (not pictured)
1 tsp honey
two cloves of garlic, minced
4 pats of butter
black pepper

Im not sure Ive ever seen redder meat than this.  There is no fat in this meat at all.  None.  More on this later. While it has no fat, it does have some silver skin to trim off:

Under that little flap of meat is a bunch of tough silver skin.  Here it is trimmed:

With this steak I wanted to get a feel for the flavor without the marinade, so I trimmed off about an inch from the end that would not be marinated.  All it got was a little salt and black pepper:

The nibbler piece will also help me gauge how long it will take to cook the steak.

I combined all the ingredients except for the butter in a small bowl:

I whisked it all together:

Then I put the elk in a plastic bag with the marinade and into the fridge overnight:

The following day, Dad came by to enjoy this glorious piece of meat along with some white wine before dinner (it was the first time the temp had been above 50 in 4 months, it felt like a heat wave) in the form of a Gott Chard, some red (Trilogy Flora Springs) with the meal, and a side dish of grilled romaine lettuce.  I took the elk out to come up to room temp:

Notice how much redder the nibbler pieces is compared to the marinated steak?  The Worcestershire and the soy darken the meat.

I set up the Grill Manufacturer That Shall Not Be Named for two zone grilling with coals on one side and nothing on the other.  I used the bricks to section off the two sides:

After cleaning my grill grate with a brush, I put the sampler piece directly over those coals:

I flipped the pieces after only a couple of minutes.  What struck me was that there was no grease on the surface of the meat.  I wasnt kidding when I said there was no fat:

The sample pieces had no fat but were full of flavor.  Its different than beef.  Its more robust and had a nice sweetness to it.  Dad actually asked if I had dusted it with garlic because there was so much flavor.  I told him it was just salt and pepper.

After we sampled it was time to get the steak on the grill.  I put the cut directly over the hot coals:

After two minutes I rotated the meat:

After another two minutes, I flipped it over:

Again, no fat is glistening on the surface of the meat which tells me that I have a very, very small window for getting this right.  Go beyond medium rare and it will be shoe leather.

After two minutes I rotated the steak:

After two more minutes (a total of eight over the hot coals), I moved it to the side with no coals to bake:

We decided to add some fat to this since there seemed to be none.  The fat we added came in the form of butter:

I baked the steak for three minutes:

I didnt want to risk over cooking it so it was time to take the steak off and let it rest under some loose foil.  You could go longer if you wish and it all depends on the heat of the grill.  Let the steak tell you when its done by using the thumb test.

Heres the steak with the glistening melted butter on top:

Heres dad foiling the elk while I work on the side dish:

Resting is of critical importance for a juicy steak.  When that meat comes off the grill, the juices inside are in an excited state.  Theyre moving a million miles an hour.  Slicing into the meat when theyre in that state will cause them to run out of the meat.  Give it a few minutes to calm down and when you cut into it, the juice stays in the meat.  We rested this about eight minutes while I grilled the lettuce.  You can find a more detailed write up on how to grill lettuce here.

Basically, I tore away the really leafy outer leaves from the head of romaine and sliced it in half lengthwise.  I drizzled it with olive oil, coarse salt, black pepper, granulated garlic and put it right over the hot part of the grill:

Once theres a nice char, flip the head halves over:

Once theres a char on both sides, plate and cover with hard grated cheese (in this case asiago).  Heres the bison sliced along with the the lettuce and glass of wine on a tray.  Dad and I went downstairs and ate on the couch while watching a guy flick:

And a closer shot of the elk:

The marinade added a great complimentary flavor to the elk.  It wasnt too strong to overpower the meat, but also stood up to the hearty red meat quite well.  The meat was also incredibly tender.  The skinnier end of the meat was rare to medium rare and the fatter end was rare, which was perfect for dad and I, he got the skinner end, and I got the bloody fat end.  This was the skinnier end.  Elk may have ruined beef for me, it was that good.

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A pox? How delightful, a pox!

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« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2011 10:37:53 AM »

That sounds/looks amazing! YUMYUMYUM

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