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Mar 20, 2007 08:56 PM

Elk at Saddlepeak - question

My Girl Friend is taking me there for my birthday. I can't wait to try the Elk.

My Girl Friend does not like the "gamely" taste. Does Elk have a very mild flavor that she would enjoy?


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  1. Elk is elk, my friend.

    It's going to have a strong, distinctive flavor. For people who don't like elk, it's going to taste "gamey". For those who do like elk, it'll taste sweet with a slight overtone of smokiness.

    And the kitchen prepares it correctly, seared quickly and not overseasoned so you really get to savor the elk meat's natural flavor.


    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      I disagree. Elk is relatively mild compared to other game meats. The one at Saddle Peak is excellent, and they'll have enough other great choices that your GF won't be disappointed.

      Also, not all elk meat tastes the same. Elk sold to restaurants is ranched, not hunted in the wild. Because ranched animals are killed and processed immediately it doesn't have the time to develop off flavors like an animal that takes a couple of days to haul back to the butcher into town.

      If you want to know more about how a elk carcass is fabricated into roasts, I wrote a story about a Colorado butcher shop that processes elk and other wild game.

      1. re: Professor Salt

        Right you are, but for someone who does not like "gamey" meats (such as the OP girlfriend), elk is not going to go down easy.

    2. My husband loves the elk tenderloin there and I've had it and didn't think it was gamey. They do a lovely job with it. Get it and don't worry. It's not weird.

      1. went to saddlepeak not too long ago and my wife who hates gamey food (even lamb) order thier elk. she loved it! our waiter told us that you can't hardly tell its tasted much like very good filet. she order it just like she would with filet (rare) and it was great!

        1. Saddlepeak is really nice for a special meal, and they have a great menu from which your lady should find something new and unusual.

          The taste of elk, like all meat, is much influenced by the diet. I lived on a cattle ranch with my boyfriend and his family for years, and have tasted the vast difference in grain/corn finished beef compared to grass-fed. Grass-fed beef shares the gamy quality of elk and venison, because of the diet. Most people have not eaten beef finished with NO grain. Huge difference! Farm raised elk doubtlessly have a very different diet than wild elk. Good luck and have a great dinner!

          1. The last time I had the elk tenderloin at Saddle Peak Lodge it tasted like the best filet mignon I'd ever had. It was not gamy in the least, and was incredibly tender and flavorful. I assume it is farm-raised, as I think most or all of the game at SPL is.