“Shake & Bake” Fried Elk Steak

Get ready, cuz we’re busting out the Fry Daddy for this one! I got home just at dark from a fun 5-mile ski on the National Forest yesterday afternoon and was ready for dinner. I am pleased to say that it is not totally dark now until 6 pm– so exciting! It’s nice to know there is a little daylight left on days I work until 5:30. Jade “helped” me cook dinner from her perch on the yoga mat. She loves laying on it!

???????????????????????????????See the little blue ball? It does not belong to Jade. Even as a puppy she was too “mature” to play with toys or fetch. I roll around on that ball and use it as a foam roller of sorts to work out the soreness in my hips and IT band after running or skiing (problems I never had until I herniated a disc in my back in 2010). Please let me know if you have a good recommendation for a foam roller. I am thinking about getting one, but am afraid it will have to be very firm, like the ball, to acutally do anything for me!


Shake and Bake Fried Elk Steak

Serves 3

In order to ensure even cooking in the fryer, you will need to use butterflied steaks for this recipe. If your steaks have not been butterflied while processing the meat, you can do it now. To butterfly, make a cut in the center of the steak that splits the steak into two halves so that it looks like a butterfly with open wings, WITHOUT cutting all the way through the steak.

Once your steaks are butterflied, the marinade is next. Marinade steaks in the following dry rub in a ziplock bag for 3-5 days:

Combine a big shake of the following in a small bowl and pour onto steaks.

  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • onion powder
  • season salt
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • cajun seasoning
  • Mrs Dash
  • Worcestshire

You will also need:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1.5 cups AP Flour
  • 1 tsp Season salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

I marinaded these steaks for 5 days. It may seem like a long time, but after my last experience a month ago cooking elk steak that was literally inedible due to the gamey taste that resulted from not marinading it before hand, I was taking no chances this time around. It has taken this long just to get that taste out of my mouth and to want to eat elk steak again!

So, when you are ready to eat, if you own a deep fryer get it revved up and sizzling. Most deep fryers have a line inside showing the minimum level that the oil must reach. If you don’t have a deep fryer, it’s perfectly fine, just pour vegetable oil in a medium frying pan about 3/4-inch deep. Begin to heat oil by either turning on the fryer or stovetop.  Once oil is bubbling, you can drop in the steaks carefully to avoid splatter. This “Fry Daddy” is known to take an eye out with hot oil if not careful! One advantage of it though is that while cooking, all of the oil splatter is contained inside the fryer.

But first, using the same ziplock bag your marinaded the steaks in, drain out excess blood and pour in about 1.5 cups AP flour along with 1 tsp. of season salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Now shake until meat is coated completely. And Fry!


Fry steaks for about 2 minutes and flip. Fry for another 3 minutes and check. I usually pull out one steak onto a bowl with a paper towel in it and make a cut into the center to see if there is still raw meat. At this point I had to deepen the butterfly cut in two of my steaks so that they could open up more and cook.


If your steaks need more time, check every two minutes until they are golden brown and not spongy when when push on the center of the steak with tongs or a knife.


Allow steaks to drain some grease on a paper towel laid on a plate for a minute or two and enjoy.



On a side note, how often does eating game or produce you or a family member has harvested or grown take you back to the hunt and the experiences that went with getting the meat or vegetables from the mountain to your plate? I am curious…sometimes I think about it in detail about the origin of the meat I am eating and sometimes I can’t remember with certainty the species of the ground meat on my plate {  Label those bags! ; )  }.


Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Since I am really only cooking for one most of the time during the winter due to Joe’s work hours, I often find myself with leftovers to eat. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal that takes only about 15 minutes to prepare and makes fantastic leftovers that you won’t mind having around the house. Please note that this recipe can be doubled easily for a family of four. I made this recipe with the thawed ground elk meat that had been sitting in the fridge for a while and needed to be used up. This is a basic sauce because tomato puree was all I had on hand, and it turned out good for this recipe. As an alternative, this spaghetti sauce recipe is a favorite of mine if I have a little time to spare and the ingredients it requires.


Skillet Tortellini with Wild Game Pasta Sauce

Yield: (3) 1- cup servings

  • 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini (I used Great Value brand)
  • 1/2 lb. ground wild game
  • 1 1/2 c (12 oz.) tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian Blend or mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, divided


  • Italian seasoning
  • Basil
  • Garlic salt
  • Season salt
  • Black pepper
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano

1. Spray a frying pan with cooking spray and brown ground meat with diced onion. Meanwhile, start water boiling in a medium pot for the tortellini.

2. Liberally season meat mixture by shaking in Italian seasoning (about 1 T.), and basil, garlic salt, season salt, black pepper, onion powder, and oregano in smaller batches (about 1/2 tsp.) until you achieve your desired taste.

3. As meat browns, crumble with a wooden spoon and add in tomato puree and half of the parmesan cheese (1/4 cup).

4. Simmer meat and sauce on LOW heat until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.   Taste and add more spices if desired.

5. Measure out 2 cups frozen cheese tortellini and boil for 3 minues until pasta in tender.

6. Drain pasta, rinse, and pour into frying pan with meat and sauce mixture.

7. Stir gently to combine. Top pasta with Italian blend shredded cheese (or mozzerella) and remaining 1/4 c parmesan cheese.

8. Serve immediately.