Elk and Antelope and Moose, Oh My!
So a generous friend of SO's has given us some stock from his freezer since he got himself a 5 point bull elk this year. Problem is, I have no idea what to do with any of it as I've never personally cooked game meat other than some ground venison for tacos. I've never even eaten antelope and have only had Moose in a spicy breakfast sausage form. So, I'm hoping you fine CHers can help me out with some ideas. Here is what we have:
Elk Eye of Round (not sure quite what size, maybe around 1-1.5lbs?)
Elk Chops (again not sure on size or quantity in the package)
Ground Elk (probably 2+ lbs, and I know I can use this for anything I would use ground beef in)
3 packages of antelope sausage
2 packages of antelope chops (not sure size or quantity in package)
4 packages of ground moose, maybe 4lbs total
Moose hind quarter roast
I ate antelope a few times when I was in South Africa. Pretty much the same as meat from wild (not farmed) deer, so I would just treat it like any appropriate venison recipe.
Never come across elk or moose which, I think, are specifically north American animals so unlikely to be available here.
Each of the animals you were given have very lean meat. For the ground meat I'm guessing whoever made it added some sort of beef and or pork fat so use it like you would ground beef ie in burgers.
For the solid cuts of meat I'd pretty much use each cut in a braise ie BB
You're not going to get a satisfactory 'oven roast' for instance.
The exception may be the elk chops depending on what part of the animal they are from. If you want to use them as 'chops' make a red wine based marinade making sure the red wine has been reduced by half first. Your classic herbs etc.
To cook them pat dry. Rub some salt no pepper on them. Into a moderately hot fry pan (not screaming hot, just hot enough to slowly sear the meat) with a T of high smoking point oil. Here's HB's method which I use to fry any steak/chops: After about fifteen seconds turn the chops. After about fifteen seconds turn them again and again and again until the surface has a nice sear. Depending on the thickness this may require a number of turns. If you have been cooking meat you'll know when the meat is cooked to your liking by pressing on it. By turning and turning the surface of the meat never gets a chance to cool off.....which if you watch HB's youtube vid on cooking the perfect steak you will see happens surprisingly fast. By turning each side of the meat it gets to cook evenly through.
In the case of very lean chops/steaks like elk you will only need to turn then a couple of times. Remove from heat and rest until just warm. Once the elk chops pass 'blue-rare' they will be shoe leather.
I never had antelope, only a bit of elk, but ate quite a bit of moose (and deer/rabbit/hare/squirrel/partridge(grouse)/duck and a smattering of other birds).
Just my thoughts; moose is quite gamey, no matter how it was killed or dressed or aged, etc (although a good aging really helps). Also, like most game, moose is very lean.
With that said, I'd be wary of making straight sausage with it. Lotsa people I know will mix 50/50 with pork (mostly for the fat content).
A braise, as in bourguignon (or pot au feu), is a good idea.
We usually make a spaghetti meat sauce with ground moose, sometimes burgers.
A favorite of mine is moose jerky. Lotsa recipes, but I slice thin, marinate in soy/red pepper flakes/Worcestershire/black pepper overnight. Pat dry, place on toothpicks, and hang on rack in oven. Set oven on lowest temp, block door open an inch or so (I use a dish towel), let dry 10 hours or so. Try not to eat in one sitting.
I can understand how one might not want to "sacrifice" a roast for jerky, but I'd do it in a heartbeat - much better than beef.
Elk & venison is interchangeable, so can be used in most beef recipes. Antelope & moose are also similar to venison but a bit stronger/gamier in flavor. Truthfully, I don't usually cook with recipes other than using them as a guide then I just create the flavors I want to try. Here are a few sites that can give you some recipes & ideas:
I bet that moose would be fabulous in chili...please tell me how that antelope sausage tastes when you try it; I've never had that.
JJ: I've done elk, antelope and venison. IMHO, they can be interchangeable (Elk is closer to beef - again IMHO). In my early years, I cooked elk and venison a LOT. Then we took a trip to Montana. (Now EX) bagged an antelope. We butchered, wrapped and brought it home packed in dry ice. Pretty much cooked the same way. Have never had Moose, though. As with any game meat, the key is how it was treated when it was killed (stay clear of anyone that displays the "kill" on the hood of their vehicle after they get their animal). If taken care of properly, you would almost never know the difference. My Ex's grandparents came for dinner. I cooked an Elk roast. Grandmother said she would never eat wild game. But she loved the (what she thought was beef) roast. Never said a word until dinner was finished and dishes put away. That said, don't be afraid. Treat it as you would any other meat. Season to taste and cook it the way you would like depending on how the meat looks to you. If the meat is thin, then a quick flash fry might be the way to go. Hope this helps.
Great, thank you so much! This meat came from SO's friend, his dad, and grandpa who are all very experienced hunters, not the type to do the hood displays :)
I figured the antelope and venison might be pretty interchangeable. The moose is still a bit perplexing but right after I posted this, an episode of "Eat the Street" came on and they made moose bourginon, so I might try something like that. Also might try my hand at sausage making with it.