Elk Meat Cuts – where they come from and how to cook them

I found this on http://www.wapitiriver.com. THANK YOU!

One of the biggest challenges for me is that when facing an open freezer full of sealed meat…it all looks the same.  How do I know which cuts are best for fajitas and which are better for the crockpot and which ones I should hold onto for special occasions???

I have a slew of cookbooks and yes, they have been helpful.  But today, I got a little impatient and went ahead and “googled” it.  I google lots of things…it’s scary what comes up when you search butcher cuts of meat….yikes….I don’t recommend it.  Hopefully this entry will answer some of your questions.

From my extensive research via Google…Cuts of meat that I found in my freezer and how I plan to use them:

Ground – Burgers, spaghetti sauce,  lasagna,
Round Steaks – After marinating and tenderizing…..stir-fry, fajitas, on top of salads, sandwiches, steaks (maybe)
Cube Steaks – Stews and chili
Loin Steaks – steaks – grilling and stove top
Tenderloin – Save for special occasions!!!  Or eat right away!

My big take-aways were the following:
1.  Muscle cuts that are very lean and thick need to be cooked with a lot of moisture and at a lower temperature – think roasts and crockpots.  These particular cuts are generally from the shoulder, neck, and shank.
2.  Back muscles (loins, tenderloins) have the most fat (still not a lot) and can be used for grilling or stove-top.  They should never be over cooked.  Think Hot and Fast!  Medium rare is the max or they will be too dry.  Flip with tongs.
NOTE: For whatever reason, I prefer my game meat cooked a little more than medium rare.  In this case you are to let the meat stand for a longer time after cooking and it will cook itself.
3.  On the note of “standing”, game should stand for around 10 minutes after cooking to let the juices get juicy.
4.  On the note of juices, one is to NEVER cut or puncture game meat when it is cooking or those valuable juices will escape and the meat will be very dry.
5.  Cut AGAINST the grain.

If you have ideas about how to cook certain cuts or know of a great resource, please share!!!  I have not been able to find too much information concerning this topic.

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5 Responses to Elk Meat Cuts – where they come from and how to cook them

  1. Mark Kenyon says:

    Looks like you’ve got a great start here Katie! Congrats on the new blog, looking forward to learning a thing or two about cooking our game! Hope Mark knocks down a whitetail or two this fall, thats what I’ll be cooking the most!

  2. Katie Seacat says:

    Thank you Mark!! I’m happy you found the blog. Yes…a start so far. If you have any advice on blogging and or cooking game….I would love any help. I really appreciate you taking a look! 🙂


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  5. Meat Eater says:

    Add Sirloin to the list of tender steak options. For backstrap (loin/strip) I’ve quit doing a butterfly cut and instead keep it whole so you have rarer steaks from the middle while the two ends are well done for those so inclined.

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