Chipotle Elk Enchiladas

Today I took a detour from the typical “taco Tuesday” routine and experimented with my standard enchilada recipe by incorporationg chipotle peppers. This is one of those fairly common “specialty items” not available at the local grocery store and many recipes I have tried in the past have called for them and I have always had to omit or substitue green chilis. So, I was excited to give these babies a try after buying some during my last trip over the mountain. The results were positive, with distinctly restaurant-tasting enchiladas.

1. Gather spices to make taco seasoning if making your own. You will need 4 tsp. of homemade taco seasoning or packaged.

2. Combine spices and save extra in a sealed container or glass jar.

3. Cook ground elk with yellow and green onions and seasonings.

FYI- Save money and grow your own green onions, never buy them again!  I keep two green onions growing in my house year-round. I started them from store-bought ones over six months ago and they are still going strong, even after being transplanted outside for the summer. They do require a lot of sunlight and a lot of water, so plan you window-placement accordingly!

 4. Now, the enchilada sauce: combine tomato sauce, 1 T. salsa, and 1 chipotle pepper in food processor and blend until smooth.

5. Add enchilada sauce to ground beef mixture and simmer.

 

6. Lay our four medium flour tortillas and fill each with ground beef mixture. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar.

7. Roll each tortilla and place into a greased 8×8 inch pan. Top with 1 T. of salsa and coat evenly, then add remaining cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350, covered with foil. Broil one more minute.

8. Garnish with green onions and pour yourself a margarita–These were very tasty and filling with a distinctly smoky, savory flavor from the chipotle.

Chipotle Elk Enchiladas

Serves 2

1 lb ground elk (ground beef or chicken will work too)

1 T. medium salsa

1/3 c shredded cheddar

1 oz. pepperjack cheese

1/4 c yellow onion

2 green onions

4 medium flour tortillas

Cooking spray

4 tsp. of homemade taco seasoning or packaged

Enchilada Sauce:

Chipotle in adobo- 1 pepper

8 oz tomato sauce

1 T. salsa

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Preheat oven to 350.

1. Combine seasonings to make taco seasoning.

2. Chop onions and sautee with ground elk on medium heat. Season with taco seasoning.

3. Make the enchilada sauce by combining the tomato sauce, 1 T. salsa, and 1 chipolte pepper in adobo in a food processor and blending until smooth. 1 pepper added quite a punch and unless you like it very spicy, I would not recommend adding any more.

4. Add enchilada sauce and pepperjack cheese to ground beef mixture and stir to combine. Simmer 2-3 minutes on low.

5. Prepare enchiladas by scooping roughly one-quarter of the ground beef mixture into each tortilla and top with 1 T. shredded cheddar each. Fold tortillas and place into greased 8×8 inch pan. Top tortillas with 1 T. salsa and spread with the back of a spoon to coat the tortillas completely. Sprinkle remaining cheddar on top.

5. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and broil for 1 minute to lightly brown the cheese.

6. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

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Venison Potato Brat Omelet

I have eaten my fair share of deer brats over the past 10 months and still have about 15 packages to go. While I am so thankful for the deer, harvested last fall with my late season deer tag, and for the meat it provided us, I am a little tired of eating brats in the traditional form on a bun (or in a rolled up piece of bread if you too cheap to buy buns, wink wink). To use up the rest of the stockpile, I have gotten creative. This is the second time I have made Venison Potato Brat Omelets. I really like eating brats this way, and it is a filling, quick, and inexpensive meal that would be great for breakfast, too. This is a basic recipe, so of course feel free to add additional vegetables, different cheeses, etc. to suit your taste.

Venison brats, thanks to this guy:

For this recipe you could substitue non-game brats just as easily. To make the venison brats, we used a kit from Hi Mountain Seasonings and added in frozen hash browns and diced yellow onions while grinding the meat prior to stuffing it into casings. Hi Mountain is a local company that has a variety of products to process your own game.

Venison Potato Brat Omelet

Serves 2

2 Venison brats

1 T. olive oil

1/4 c. diced yellow onion

2 diced green onions (I had just harvested them from the garden and needed to use them)

3 eggs

1 T. milk

2 oz. pepperjack cheese, slices torn up or shredded

1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c water

salsa, optional

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1. Dice onions and sautee in 1 T. olive oil. Slice up uncooked brats into round pieces and add to onions.  Add 1/2 c water to frying pan so that the brats don’t get scorched. Cook on medium heat covered with lid. Stir gently with a spatula every few minutes and add more water if necessary.

2. Meanwhile, scramble 3 eggs with 1 T. milk. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

3. The brats take about 10-15 minutes to cook through. Once they are done, turn down the heat to low and add in the egg mixture.

4. Cover with lid, cook on low for 1-2 minutes until eggs begin to set and turn off heat.  Once eggs begin to set, add cheeses and cover with lid to melt the cheese. DO NOT STIR. Make sure the heat is low enough here that the bottom does not burn.

5. Remove from heat and use a spatula to cut omelet into pieces. Serve with salsa if you like.

Fake Steak!

Hamburger steak with potatoes from the garden is one of my go-to recipes to dress up ground elk meat, and is based off of this recipe http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hamburger-steak-with-onions-and-gravy/ with slight adaptations.

Process bread in food processor to make bread crumbs. I started out using 1/4 c but added another 3 T or so to absorb into the meat mixture.

Thinly slice about half of a medium yellow onion, and sautee in 1 T vegetable oil.

Add patties to frying pan with onion and cook 4 minutes per side.

Remove patties and set aside. Add flour, slowly whisk in beef consomme and scrape the drippings and onion bits off the bottom to get a flavorful gravy. 5 minutes later…

Add patties and onion back to pan and simmer in gravy for 5-10 minutes until meat is cooked through and gravy is thickened.

Goes great with creamy mashed potatoes (recipe to follow).

Elk Hamburger Steak with Onion and Consomme Gravy

1 lb. ground elk

1 egg

1/3 c breadcrumbs

1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. season salt

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. Worcestshire sauce

1 T. vegetable oil

1/2 c thinly sliced yellow or sweet onion

2 T.  flour

1 can Campbell’s Consomme beef broth

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1. If you are making breadcrumbs, process bread slices in food processor. (I use a combination of wheat and white bread heels, then freeze the leftovers in a ziplock so I always have breadcrumbs on hand.)

2. Slice onion and begin to sautee in vegetable oil on low heat. Combine breadcrumbs, ground elk, egg, spices, and Worcestshire. Form into 4-5 balls and flatten into patties.

3. Add patties to frying pan and cook with lid on for 4 minutes per side. It’s alright if they don’t cook all the way at this point, mine were still raw in the center. They will finish cooking when you put them back in with the gravy later.

4. Remove patties and set aside on plate. Add 2 T of flour to pan and slowly whisk in 1 can of consomme broth. Stir and simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes until broth thickens.

5. Return patties and onions to pan in broth, cover, and simmer another 5-10 minutes until patties are cooked through and sauce is thickened.