The First Fajita

Elk recipe number two involved some stew meat and a tasty marinade. I chopped some cubes of stew meat into little strips and vacuum sealed them in with a marinade from Jackson Hole Foodie  for three hours. The meat turned out delicious and tender but my vacuum sealing went a little awry. Having never tried to seal in a marinade before, I put the meat into a vacuum seal bag and when sealing it, the marinade went, well, all over. Regardless I was happy with the result. I paired the fajitas with some black beans and a Mexican corn salad.

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The First Meal

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For our first meal I used a recipe from Nevada Foodies. So far this is the best source for game recipes that I have found. We cooked the Easy Elk Backstrap Recipe. The consensus was that it was delicious, but only cooking it for five minutes on each side like suggested left us with some really raw meat in the center. We are blaming ourselves for making the cuts too thick, but regardless we ended up throwing them back in the pan for a couple extra minutes. The final product was awesome. Super tender and not at all “gamey”. The recipe was true to its name. It was easy and the spice rub was so good that Cory didn’t even use ketchup. This is a notable action for him. We will definitely be repeating this one in the future.

All recipes can be found on my Pinterest board as well.

The Processing

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Knowing close to nothing about what to do with an animal once you have one, we assembled the troops, On Sunday our friends showed up with their own knives and cutting boards. We took the backstraps, removed during the field dressing, and portioned those out. Then we got to work on the front quarters. They yielded roasts and stew meat, but a large portion of it will end up as ground or dried meat. These will be sausages, burger, jerky, and brats. We spent a whole evening on this and covered the kitchen in fur and gore. We learned a lot but we also messed up a lot of the cuts. Not going to lie, we are sloppy and unskilled.

Today we made the executive decision to hand this task over to the pros. We took the hind quarters and the bulk of the grinding meat to a processor. It would have been a learning experience and quite the task but we think the final product will be better and more enjoyable coming from them. Should have it back in a week. We’ll see what we get!

The Hunt

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Cory gets his beast.

My fiance Cory has been hunting for years. Ever since I met him, he has been disappearing every weekend, every November, to go tromping through the woods with his gun. This year he struck gold and came home with a five point bull elk. This blog is about the adventure of cooking the meat. I’m not going to say I’m a novice cook. Its what I love to do. But game is a new frontier for me and know I will learn a lot. I hope to make mistakes and move through them, gaining some sort of knowledge in the process. Who knows. Maybe I’ll even get good at this stuff.