The concept of wrapping meat with a barrier of fat to lock in flavor and add moisture is a simple and ancient one. The use of caul fat, also called “veil fat” is one way to lock in that moisture. Caul fat is the outer membrane that holds the intestines of all animals. It looks much like a spider web with veins of fat running through a very thin, transparent membrane. Commercially, it’s available from beef, pork and sheep. Your freshly harvested wild game also can provide you with this hidden jewel. Pay attention the next time you field dress your elk. Bring along a plastic bag should you care to save it. Cool it down alongside the meat.
The French use this fat to wrap pates, terrines and a sausage filling called crepinettes. It acts just like a sausage casing (intestines), which also locks in moisture, especially beneficial when dealing with lean wild game meat.
3 roasted garlic cloves, cut in half
Assorted fresh garden herbs: rosemary, thyme, marjoram, Italian parsley, chives
1 section of caul fat 12 inches x 12 inches
salt and pepper to taste
Lay the caul fat out on a cutting board. Place the garlic and herbs in the center of the fat. Season the elk loin with salt and pepper (or your favorite dry rub) and place the meat on top of the herbs and garlic. Take the caul fat and wrap the entire loin like it was a sausage. With the butcher’s twine, tie one length of twine down the length of the loin and then another 3 ties across. This will secure the caul fat to the loins. (YouTube has some great videos on tying roasts. Simply type into YouTube: how to tie a roast with a string.)
How to Tie a Roast with String
Preheat a grill pan or heavy-gauge roasting pan. Add a splash of olive oil. Sear the elk loin until the caul fat slightly browns. Repeat on all sides, then place in a pre-heated 400-degree oven. Roast for 10-12 minutes, remove from the pan and rest for at least 10 minutes. This will allow for all the internal juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Remove the twine and slice to serve.