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!

Grilled Elk Steak w/ Bacon Wrap

These steaks came out extremely tender with great flavor, and a little kick.

You will need:

  • 1 lb elk steak, butterflied (this was backstrap)
  • 1 slice bacon per steak
  • toothpicks
  • Dry Rub= A Shake of the following: cumin, onion powder, chili powder, salt, Mrs Dash lemon pepper, Hi Mountain Seasoning Elk Seasoning, garlic pepper, cayenne pepper, and worcestshire (not pictured)

1. Marinade meat in refrigerator with the dry rub for desired length of time (we did 2 days).

2. Preheat grill. Wrap each butterflied steak with a slice of raw bacon and secure with toothpicks.

3. Grill steaks 15-17 minutes to medium-rare. Mine were pretty thick, so adjust time accordinly if your steaks are on the thin side. I flipped each steak twice.

Cajun Elk Backstrap + Elk Camp

This past Sunday Joe and I rounded up our four horses and headed into elk camp. After a 4.5 hour ride we arrived and set up camp, where we spent the next three nights with Strawberry, Yolanda, Taz, and Ruger in some beautiful, rugged, wild country at 10,000 ft. among the bighorn sheep, mule deer, and elk.

On opening day we rode down the canyon of the drainage we were camped in and saw once nice bull headed for the hills, literally. On day two we saw three cows, and several bighorn sheep, including a group of six rams. We moved camp a few miles further up in preparation for our final day.

With frost on the inside of our dome tent, we were up early and headed out while the full moon was still high in the sky. We began the ascent up the switchbacks that would lead us over the top of a pass and into the next drainage, which we were confident that no one else had recently been in. About 2/3 of the way to the top, at 11,300 ft in elevation, two raghorns appeared in front of us on the skyline. After a look through the binos, Joe cow-called as we stepped off the ponies to observe. As the elk walked behind a small hill, I moved another 40 yards closer before they reappeared on the horizon, putting me within 330 yards. I laid down and got as comfy as I could resting on a rock, lying just above an old rock Indian blind we rode by as we came up the canyon. Holding steady, my first shot went through the lungs, the second through the spine, resulting in an immediate downward tumble. Joe’s whoop of celebration echoed off the mountains around us as the remaining elk scurried away across the canyon. After three years, I had my first elk.

“Look at where we are right now, this is what matters,” Joe said as I walked back down to him and the horses. And he is right. The experience is what matters most, beyond whether an elk is harvested, or how big it is. Being out in the backcountry and living simply off the land, appreciating the cycle of life, and respecting the wilderness and its inhabitants for all that it is. While riding 40 miles and packing an elk out horseback is a lot more work than dragging and loading it into the back of a pickup, the reward is also greater, in that the experience is fuller and more intense. More sore backs and sore horses, too. But I appreciate the hard work of the horses and humans involved, and respect the elk and the life it was living in the mountains. I am grateful for its harvest, as it will feed our family for the next year, and that bull will graciously enable us to continue to make meals from the mountains.

This afternoon we butchered the elk at the shop, and made our first meal with our fresh elk meat this evening.

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Cajun Elk Backstrap

1. Cut backstrap into 1/2-inch  steaks and marinade in Italian dressing for at least 4 hours.

2. Heat oil in frying pan until it bubbles, I use just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.

3. Dump in steaks and season with Cajun seasoning; we use “Cajun Campfire” from Hi Mountain Seasonings.

4. Fry on medium heat for 2 minutes, flip, cook for 2 minutes, and repeat cycle once. Steaks should be cooked to medium-rare at this point.

I served these steaks with Ranch and Bacon Diced Potatoes.