It is so good. If you are follower of mine you might know beef is not my favorite thing to eat, but elk…now that’s tasty.
I am starting to realize I like meat with more flavor, to me beef just isn’t good. Never has been. I haven’t liked it since I was a toddler. But quite a few years ago a friend (and honestly I cannot remember who it was) gave us a few cuts of elk to try.
I was hooked.
Now my husband is not a big hunter, he loves guns, loves shooting, as do I. But neither of us have done much hunting. Someday we would love to but it just hasn’t worked out the last couple years and this year we figured we really do have quite a bit of meat in the freezer already considering we already had to purchase a second deep freezer.
However we decided, if we were offered some wild game, we wouldn’t turn it down.
Well a good friend of ours called late one night a few weeks ago and said he had gotten an elk. A big one. But he needed help packing it out. So Jeremiah took the next day and helped out.
In return, Eric has given us some of the meat and it is some of the best meat we have ever eaten. He sent over a couple back-strap pieces right away for us to eat before it was even frozen. Oh it was so good.
I actually fed the kids and put them to bed and then cooked up the steaks so we didn’t have to share with them. Little carnivores LOVE steak. I know, we’re mean.
With this second batch of steaks, my sister-in-law Amanda had recently come for a visit from Washington state and brought with her a bounty of chanterelle mushrooms. Ya, they just grow on the back 40 at my grandparent’s old place there so she went and picked me an entire bucket-full of them for me.
I thought to myself….I better put these wild mushrooms with this elk somehow…and actually as I am writing this I am thinking of another way to fix them together. But this came out delicious.
Now, you can certainly use whatever mushrooms you have available and the recipe will not be ruined. I would recommend a portabella or crimini as far as grocery store mushrooms go. But if you have access to chanterelles (without paying $20 a pound), then do it!
You can also do this on a grill, outside. It was -30˚ outside when I cooked these so yaaaaa, I pan-fried them inside where it was almost warm.
Here is a handy-dandy chart to determine when your steak is done:
Simply insert a meat thermometer into the side of the steak
- 4 1" thick elk steaks
- 6 tablespoons soft butter
- salt and pepper
FOR THE MUSHROOM SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces chopped chanterelle mushrooms (or other variety)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup marsala
- 6 ounces heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Make the sauce first, so heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the 2 tablespoons butter.
- Once melted add the minced shallot and garlic and cook just until softened, 1-2 minutes.
- Next add the mushrooms and cook until they release their water and start to soften. Allow to cook a bit more to cook some of that water out, then add the marsala.
- Simmer the marsala about 3 minutes, then add the heavy cream.
- Simmer until thickened, about 6-7 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the sauce is simmering with the cream, start the steaks.
- Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat.
- Once the skillet is heated, smear the soft butter all over one side of each steak.
- Place the steaks in the hot pan, buttered side down and sear until the outside is brown and caramelized looking, about 4-5 minutes (I find elk takes longer than beef so if this seams long, that is why). Before flipping, salt and pepper the uncooked side and add more butter.
- Flip the steaks and cook until you get that brown, caramelized look on the other side as well. Refer to the above chart to determine your doneness, this method is for medium-rare.
- Once you have reached your desired temperature, remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a little of the sauce over the top of each steak.