Open-Face Elk Tenderloin with Gravy and Onions

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Marinade

  • 1 T. Worcestshire
  • 1 tsp Hi Mountain Elk Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Cajun Seasoning

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  • 3/4 lb elk tenderloin
  • 1 egg
  •  1 c flour + another 3 T flour, divided
  • ~1/2 c milk/ half and half
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/4 c thinly sliced onions
  1. Marinade steaks for two days with worcestshire, Hi Mountain Elk Seasoning, and Hi Mountain Cajun Campfire seasoning.
  2. Beat an egg in a shallow container and dip steak in egg, bread in flour on a paper plate, repeat once to completely coat meat.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in frying pan and fry, flipping twice, until centers are no longer raw.
  4. Pour about 2 T of oil/meat drippings into a separate small saucepan (you can use the same pan if the bottom isn’t burnt, but I was low on oil and my pan/drippings had a burnt taste, I needed to use a fresh pan).
  5. Add in some flour (about 3 T. or so) and pour in milk (I used fat free half and half, no milk in the house tonight!). Stir with a fork until smooth on low heat.
  6. Toast slice of bread and sautee sliced onions until tender.
  7. Layer steak on toast and top with gravy and onions.

In the spirit of elk, check out this photo from Wyoming’s Wind River Country of Lander, Wyoming in the early 1900’s. Made me smile. And also laugh–one commenter had wrote “it’s all fun and games until you get an eye poked out!” Happy Holidays!

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Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

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I have been wanting to make this recipe for the past few weeks since I came across it on Pinterest, and tonight was the night. This dish is a winner and I will definately be  making it again. The original recipe uses turkey sausage, and can be found over at Kevin and Amanda’s blog. I made a couple tweaks and  followed the recipe using venison bratwurst made with my deer last year. The brats were made with a sausage kit and have hash browns and onion mixed in with the venison to add flavor. This pasta was delicious but it does pack some heat, but nothing overwhelming as long as you stick with the mild Rotel. I was skeptical about using the entire can, but am glad I did. If you don’t like some spice, this is not for you : )

Spicy Venison Sausage Pasta

  • (2) venison bratwurst
  • 1  1/3 c uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can Rotel, mild (10 oz.)
  • 1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
  • 1/2 c Half and Half ( I use fat-free)
  • 1 c. Three Pepper Cheese= colby jack
  • 1 c. diced yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 T. diced Green onion
  • 1 T. olive oil

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1. Pour 1 T. olive oil in medium saucepan and saute diced onion and garlic with brats. I kept my brats whole at this point, as in the past when I have sliced them into round pieces first, they have gotten burnt and chewy.

2. Once onions/garlic are tender (3-4 minutes), remove from pan and set aside. At this point, the brats should be expanding and beginning to brown.

3. Now it is safe to slice brats into 1/4-inch round pieces and return to frying pan. Add about 1/3 c water to pan so that brats continue to cook for 7-10 more minutes without burning.

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4. Add onions/garlic back into pan, along with the can of Rotel, can of chicken broth, half and half, and pasta, salt and pepper, and allow to rise to a low boil. Your half and half will curdle slightly and then combine into the mixture–I was worried at first adding the cream here, but it turned out fine.

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5. Keep at a low boil until pasta is tender, about 8 minutes.

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6. Remove from heat, sprinkle with 1 c. cheese, and cover with lid to melt the cheese. Sprinkle with green onion* and enjoy!

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*Garden Tip!! Green Onions can be diced and the extra can be frozen in an empty plastic water bottle so that when you need just a sprinkle, you can pour the onions out frozen and be on your way with zero waste! I used green onion left from our garden this summer in this dish.

1-egg Sausage and Spinach Scramble

Yesterday I enjoyed a beautiful Sunday afternoon with my first x-country ski of the season, a 5-mile trip to my old stomping grounds on the mountain. While I had debated going at all, due to the 11 degree weather, there was zero wind and sunny skies so I layered up, put on my balaclava and went for it. The hour and forty-five minute ski in the crisp air left me quite hungry for dinner last night, and also for breakfast this morning. For breakfast, I decided to make a quick, light scramble using our elk breakfast summer sausage.

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1-egg Sausage and Spinach Scramble

  • 1 egg (local if possible!)
  • 1 T. medium salsa
  • 1 T. +/- raw breakfast sausage
  • 1 T. shredded cheddar
  • 2 T. spinach (I used frozen, fresh would be fine, too)
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  1. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and cook breakfast sausage until no longer pink.
  2. Re-spray the pan with cooking spray, crack egg into pan and scramble with fork.
  3. Add in spinach (still frozen is fine) and salsa.
  4. Cook on medium heat until eggs set up and top with a large pinch of shredded cheddar.
  5. Sprinkle with black pepper. Breakfast is served!

Making Your Own: Elk Summer Sausage + Antler Christmas Tree

I had never eaten summer sausage until five years ago while cooking for a packtrip, when my boss had thrown in some of his venison sausage for our guests to try. Since then I have really grown to like it, and it has become a staple snack in our house. A slice of sausage, chunk of hard cheddar cheese, or even better–salami cheese from Wisconsin thanks to friends Dave & Clare–and ritz cracker makes a great snack between meals or while out in the field.

Jalapeno Elk Summer Sausage

This year, Joe and his Dad made 55 lbs of jalapeno summer sausage with about 38 lbs of my elk using a Jalapeno Summer Sausage Seasoning kit from LEM, which is a meat processing equipment company. The kit, along with other cured seasoning, can be found on this page: http://www.lemproducts.com/product/4655/cured_seasonings.

The summer sausage was made by mixing approximately 70% elk to 30% pork. We use pork butts that we buy, trim, and grind ourselves. For 55 lbs. of sausage, we used roughly 38 lbs ground elk (70%) combined with 16 lbs of ground pork (30%). To the meat we added in the Japapeno Summer Sausage Seasoning kit, mustard seed, and an additional 2 cups of diced fresh jalapeno. The sausage is then smoked for 6 hrs. in a smoker until it reaches a temperature of 160 degrees Farenheit (test the temperature using a meat thermometer, and test more than one stick). We then vacuum-sealed the sausage in 3 lb. sticks and froze them to enjoy throughout the year. Once you open one stick, refrigerate and it will stay good for about 2-3 weeks or longer. FYI- When it starts to go south, it will lose its normal smell and possibly mold. If it does not do either of these, it is probably still ok to eat, even after 2 weeks.

DSC00969-1As I write this post, I am sitting next to our Christmas tree, which I am quite proud of if I must say so myself. While we do not have room in our house for an actual pine tree, we do have room for a huge pile of shed antlers that have been collected over the years. I have no idea how many deer and elk sheds are in the pile, but it makes quite a stack in our living room corner, and when re-arranged right, they make a beautiful Christmas tree! After surviving the Jenga-like experience of re-stacking them into tree shape, I decked the tines and lit it up! Merry Christmas!