Succulent Smoked Elk Roulade with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce might sound tedious and overly complicated, but really it’s a very simple dish to prepare and the outcome may sway your traditional ways for cooking up some of those cuts of elk you have in the back of the freezer.
Originating from the French word “rouler” meaning “to roll”, the roulade is simply a filled and rolled dish, secured closed with the use of toothpicks or string, cooked and then sliced in rounds and served. Traditionally found in several European cuisines, various savory roulades have been made using beef, pork, chicken or veal and then filled with combinations of cheeses, vegetables and sometimes other meats.
Now, I’ve made this recipe with multiple cuts of elk meat including tenderloins, the bottom round, flat iron steaks and even a few slices of backstrap. The secret is to keep the meat balanced with a combination of ingredients that not only flavor the meat from the inside but also work to keep everything moist during the cooking process.
When combining the delicate flavor of shallots, hints of garlic, sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach, the saltiness from prosciutto ham and hints of the sharp Gorgonzola cheese you have yourself a succulent blend of flavors that work well together appealing to any palate.
Elk Roulade Ingredients
- 1 elk loin roast, app 1.5 – 2 lbs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Butchers twine
Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a skillet over medium heat adding butter, shallots and garlic. Cook until the shallots soften and begin to turn a caramel color. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook about 8-10 minutes. When the mushrooms have reduced down, stir in the fresh thyme and remove from heat setting the mushrooms aside in a bowl. Add the spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Carefully cut and butterfly open the roast using a flexible boning knife similar to a fish filet knife. This will allow you to open up the roast and tenderize with a meat mallet to ensure the overall thickness is roughly ½ inch thick. Working in layers, add the prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach, crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
Starting on the longest side, begin to roll up the meat creating a pinwheel shape. You may lose a little of the stuffing out from the ends but that’s OK. Using butcher’s twine, lay the twine so it rests along the length of the stuffed roast and tie a knot to secure. Place your thumb on the string and continue to wrap around holding everything in place. When done, set the elk roulade into a metal baking dish and lightly brush the exterior with olive oil. Cover loosely with a piece of foil.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes or until the internal temperature of 120 degrees F is reached. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
While the elk roulade is baking, heat a sauce pan over medium heat adding both the butter and shallots. Cook until the shallots soften and begin to turn a caramel color. Reduce the heat to low and carefully add the heavy cream, stirring until cream begins to thicken about 8-10 minutes. Add the crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and stir until cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. You can also make this ahead of time, refrigerate and then re-heat.
When ready, remove the twine, slice rounds and serve with the creamy Gorgonzola sauce.