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Elk and Bison Steaks

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I bought elk steaks and bison steaks to try and would like to ask for suggestions on the best way to cook them. I've never cooked game steak, the closest would be lamb loin chops which I just pan fry to a medium rare.  I like the taste of game I've tried (duck, goose, pheasant, rabbit, venison, lamb). I don't try to get rid of the gamey taste, in fact I like the stronger flavour in game meat, but since I've never cooked elk or bison any tips would be appreciated. The steaks are all about 110 grams each. I did a search and came across a couple of game roasts but nothing on steaks. 

post #2 of 15
I very much like to marinade tender game cuts in olive oil with some aromatics. Pan sear in a hot cast iron or carbon steel, baste with a little butter then roast in a low to moderate oven. I don't go for a hard sear.
post #3 of 15

Hot sear then low heat to desired doneness, DO NOT cook well done game meat is leaner and it will dry out. Personally I sear over high heat and usually it is up to about 120 in the center by then and that is done for me.

post #4 of 15

Look for "SIMPLY MING" Episode 1124 - he's in Calgary and they cook both out doors.  Make sure you let them rest before slicing. 

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the replies. 
Beastmaster, what aromatics would compliment these? I tend to use thyme with poultry, rosemary with lamb, peppercorns with beef steaks, but not sure about elk or bison. I'm a novice... can you explain why you prefer not to hard sear?
Mary, I learned that with venison! (not overcooking) Thanks for the recommendation. 
Mike, thanks for the Simply Ming episode suggestion. I looked for it and it seems that a lot of the videos have been pulled by PBS. I did find the recipes they used on the episode. If anyone knows where to find the video, I'd love to watch it. Thanks for mentioning to let them rest. I do that with all steaks. I'm not sure if that's standard practice.
post #6 of 15
Rosemary with elk sounds nice I might even throw in some juniper berries, that does sound appropriate. Peppercorns with the bison sounds good, I pretty much treat bison like low grade beef (low fat content)

I do a light sear (not too much caramelization) this way you'll have a brighter internal color and less of the grey ring when cut open. Sous vide will solve this problem but I think this method of cooking gives game an unpleasant taste and aroma.
post #7 of 15

My bison rub is rosemary, ground bay, tiny tiny bit of ground dill seed, onion/garlic powder, black pepper, salt

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just had some juniper berries in a tea! I'll try them for the elk with the rosemary. Thanks for the searing info as well, beastmaster.
Mary, that rub sounds good. I wouldn't have thought of the dill seed. Ill definitely give it a try. 
post #9 of 15

It isn't enough dill to taste it and say this has dill in it, but it adds an undertone flavor that really made a ho hum rub really good

post #10 of 15

Do you consider bison game meat?


Bisons are very much farmed. I was in Ted Turner's restaurant and had bison steak. Not that much different than beef.


Ted Turner (of CNN and Jane Fonda's ex) has 50,000 bison on his ranch.



post #11 of 15

Bison is considered game even though what you buy is farmed. The same is true for deer, pheasant, rabbit, etc, at least in the United States. Theoretically you could hunt game animals and sell the meat commercially but they need to be slaughtered and butchered in an inspected, licensed, approved facility which means the game animals would have to be captured live and then transported while still alive to the facility for processing.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by MaryB View Post

It isn't enough dill to taste it and say this has dill in it, but it adds an undertone flavor that really made a ho hum rub really good

I agree, those subtle flavours can make all the difference in a dish. 
Beastmasterfkex, I've bought whole juniper berries, do I just throw them on whole or crush or chop them at all? I know, I know... I still haven't made the steaks. But any day now!
post #13 of 15

Whatever you do, don't cook that Bison or Elk steak beyond medium. So lean and dense the meat will dry quickly.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you, Chefross. I did learn that from making venison!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

I finally cooked the elk steaks today.  I crushed the juniper berries and mixed them with olive oil and the rosemary and rubbed it on the steaks and let it sit for about an hour to bring the meat to room temperature, then pan seared them. The juniper berries were the perfect complement to the rosemary. It tasted fantastic.  Thanks to everyone for the advice. I hope the bison turns out as well.

Edited by Chez Julie - 7/14/14 at 5:52am
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