Elk On A String

Elk On A String

In Carnivores Kitchen by Chef John McGannon, WildEats.com10 Comments

To get both a rich sauce and juicy, tender meat, I make what I call “elk on a string.” It’s a two-part process: first, sear elk tenderloin, backstrap, top round or top sirloin, then slowly simmer the meat in a liquid (demi-glace). The string comes in handy so you can easily submerge and remove the seared meat.

Meat Ingredients
1/3 length of backstrap (I have also done this dish using tenderloins, top sirloin and top round cut to a similar size)
Your favorite steak rub
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Demi-glace
2 quarts rich beef or game stock
2 cups cabernet or other full-bodied red wine
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
6 fresh garlic cloves, diced
2 bay leaves
Fresh herb bundle—thyme, rosemary, sage
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil

Procedure
Season the meat and sear in a hot pan on all sides. Then tie a string around the meat. Wait for your demi-glace to reduce.

For the demi-glace, heat cooking oil in a heavy-gauge pot, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until they all become golden brown. Deglaze with the red wine and cook until reduced by 2/3. Then add the stock. Reduce this by half. With all this reduction, you have created a very concentrated and flavorful demi-glace. Now, you’re ready to simmer your seared elk.

The time to simmer the steaks will vary depending on size. Simmer the meat until internal temps reach 125F. Then remove and rest the meat for at least 10 minutes to allow carry over cooking—the process by which meat that has absorbed heat continues to cook. The meat’s internal moisture redistributes itself during this process. For example, if you cut a roast too soon after being removed from the oven, in five minutes the platter is covered in juice. That’s the juice that is supposed to stay inside the meat. After 10 minutes of resting, the internal temperature will rise to about 135F. The total simmering time shouldn’t be more 12 minutes, depending on the actual size. And remember, less is more—you can always cook it a little more if needed.

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