Elk Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I made these enchiladas with a use-up-what-we-have mentality and they turned out pretty good. I think they tasted better the second day, actually. They would be good using chicken and cream of chicken in the sauce recipe, too.

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Elk Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2/3 lb ground elk/venison/meat
  • 5 medium flour tortillas ( I use Mission Carb Balance)
  • 1 c. shredded cheese ( cheddar / cheddar jack)
  • season salt
  • Green onions, optional

Homemade Enchilada Sauce:

  • 3/4 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 c. tomato puree
  • 3/4 c Mild Rotel
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic salt
  • black pepper
  • cilantro

Preheat oven to 350.

1. First prepare the sauce. On medium heat combine mushroom soup with tomato puree, 1/2 c Rotel, and spices in a frying pan. I did not measure the spices, so add a little at a time until you get the level of desired heat.

2. Transfer enchilada sauce to a small bowl. Spray the pan with cooking spray and cook meat until no longer pink. Season with season salt.

3. Add half the sauce into meat and stir to combine.

4. Begin assembly: Scoop meat into each tortilla and top with a big pinch of shredded cheese. Roll and place into a greased 8×8 baking dish. Repeat five times or until all enchiladas are assembled.

5. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle the remaining cheese.

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5. Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Garnish with green onions, if desired.

Gardening Tip-  These green onions are from the garden. After harvesting them, I washed and finely chopped the onions put them into a clean, empty pop bottle that I keep in the freezer. That way I can shake out however many onions I need throughout the year.

Can’t-Stop-Eating-Them Wild Game Nachos

I enjoyed these elk nachos with a side salad–they are so addicting! The filling but (mostly)healthy meal is great way to use up ground meat when you are short on ideas and sick of burgers.

Wild Game Nachos

Serves 2, with leftovers (maybe)

  • 1/2 lb ground elk, venison, or antelope
  • 1/2 c diced yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • 12 oz. (about 3/4 can) Vegetarian Refried Beans*
  • 1/4 c Medium-heat salsa
  • Season Salt
  • Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp. Taco Seasoning
  • 1/3 c shredded cheddar cheese

* I recently began using the Old El Paso Vegetarian variety as I realized they do not contain partially hydrogenated oils like the Traditional and Green Chili varieties, if you care about that sort of thing.

  1. Cook ground meat with onion, jalapeno, and garlic until meat is no longer pink. Season with season salt, taco seasoning, and chili powder to taste.
  2. Stir in refried beans and salsa to meat mixture and combine until smooth. Simmer on low heat another 1-2 minutes.

3. Lay out tortilla chips and top with nacho meat. Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and microwave 15 seconds if you like your cheese melted. Top with salsa and start scooping!

Elk Sh*t on a Shingle

Similar to stroganoff, “Sh*t on a Shingle” is a recipe that I learned from Joe, and for its simplicity, it really is a tasty, hearty, quick, week-night meal.

Elk Sh*t on a Shingle

Serves 2, with leftovers

  • 1 lb ground elk
  • 1 can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup (I do not recommend using the healthy request, low-sodium, or bargain brands–I have tried all of the above and it drastically affects the taste, and not for the better!)
  • Wheat or white bread (the shingle, of course!)

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1. Cook ground meat on medium heat and season with salt and garlic pepper, if desired.

2. Crumble meat and add in the soup. Stir to combine, simmer on low 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Load your sh*t onto your shingle, er, I mean slice of bread. You now have elk sh*t on a shingle- enjoy! I usually serve this with green beans.

~FYI ~Leftover meat is good in enchiladas and burritos.

Elk Chili

This has been home for the past 4 days for me while we have been elk hunting with friends. I had to return to work on Wedneday, but everyone else stayed in for a full week. It has been a snowy, fun-filled trip, ending with two nice bulls harvested, many more we were privileged to see, and a week full of great memories. This was the final trip for the horses this year, who are now officially on “vacation” for the winter, and Jade was a good camp dog, even joining me INSIDE my sleeping bag for the first night.

Last week before going out of town on a conference, I made one of my staple cold-weather recipes, chili, knowing there would be a few days of leftovers. Ground elk, venison, or beef all work great in this.

Elk Chili

Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb ground elk
  • 14 oz. can red beans (around here they are called “chili-ettes”)
  • 4 oz can diced green chilis, drained
  • ~ 8 oz. fresh tomatoes, diced (I used our garden tomatoes that had ripened up) OR 3/4 can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • taco seasoning– I use Kittencal’s taco seasoning recipe from food.com
  • 1/4 c medium salsa
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp.pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 1.5 tsp. cumin
  • 1 T. chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. Worcestshire
  • cheddar cheese & green onion–optional

1. Brown ground elk and season with taco seasoning. While meat is cooking, chop vegetables.

2. Dump meat into crockpot and add in remaining ingredients.

3. Cook in crockpot on LOW 4-6 hours. (My crockpot gets very hot on low, so adjust accordingly). Garnish with cheddar cheese and green onions.

4. Refrigerate leftovers once cool. We like using leftovers in scrambled eggs, in tortillas w/ cheese and salsa, or on hot dogs.

Crockpot Lasagna with Ground Elk

I have recently begun working an extra two hours per day tutoring, and four days per week I now find myself not getting home until 6 pm. By this time, we are hungry, and if dinner can’t be ready in about 10 minutes, I either want to eat leftovers or have something waiting for me when I walk through the door. My crockpot, a $3 yard sale steal, has made a quick re-entry into my life after lying dormant most of the summer, and I am currently making at least one crockpot meal per week. While I enjoy cooking and find it relaxing, when I am short on time, nothing is better than dumping your ingredients in the crockpot and knowing you will have dinner ready when you walk in the door.

I found a straight-forward recipe  from food.com and decided it was time to try lasagna in the crockpot. We waste no food in our house, and I am very conscious of using or freezing leftovers if not eaten within a day or two. I found myself with a leftover cooked elk burger, a mason jar of tomato puree I had frozen earlier, and a bunch of brown-paper-bag-ripened tomatoes from our garden ready to be used.

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Crockpot Lasagna with Ground Elk

Serves 2-3

16 oz. spaghetti sauce– I make my sauce and use “My Mama Iuliucci’s ‘Don’t Skip a Step Spaghetti Sauce’ “  as the basis of my sauce but I do skip a few steps…lol

4 oz. or more ground elk, crumbled (beef or venison would be fine, too)

~ 1.5 c Italian blend cheese

~ 1/2 c Parmesan cheese

~1.5 c 2% Cottage Cheese

Italian seasoning

3-6 No-cook lasagna noodles, depending on size of crockpot

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1. If using homemade, make spaghetti sauce, add in ground elk, and simmer in crockkpot for 3 hours on low. No need to dirty another pan! My sauce was made of what I had on hand and based off the above recipe: 16 oz. tomato puree, diced cherry tomatoes, onion, parmesan cheese, minced garlic, garlic pepper, sugar, salt, Italian seasoning, and parsley. I did not measure exactly.

2. Next, I scooped out 2/3 of the sauce, and left a layer on the bottom of the crockpot.

3. Next, I ran home during my 15 minute break between jobs, and layered non-cooked lasagna noodles (broken to fit the circular crockpot), spread them with cottage cheese, then sprinkled shredded Italian blend cheese and parmesan on top. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

4. Repeat this process two more times–sauce, noodles, cheeses, Italian seasoning– and add a little extra cheese on the top and final layer.

5. Make sure your noodles are totally covered with sauce/cottage cheese so they cook and are not hard.

6. I only cooked my lasagna for 2.5 hours on HIGH in the crockpot and it was juuuust done. If I had had more time, I would cook it on LOW as recommended for 4-6 hours.

7. Serve with salad, and enjoy!

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.