Elk With Chanterelle mushrooms is the way to go if you want to prepare a simple, yet delightful dish, using things that you have harvested all on your own, or at the very least have been harvested in the USA! The extremely savory and natural flavor of the elk, paired with fruity and meaty, fresh chanterelle mushrooms is a way to bring the North American wild, in unison and peace, right on your plate.
Check HERE to purchase dried Canadian chanterelles.
Along with this recipe, I made a side dish, the roots of which date back to when the natives harvested wild rice in their canoes, and picked wild Lambsquarters. But has been modernized to be made with an Instant pot! – Wild Rice W/ Lambsquarters
Other side dishes to try with your Elk With Chanterelles. – Fried Lambsquarters
To make your own seasoning with Wild Garlic try – Garlic Powder
For all intensive purposes, I am going to be showing how to harvest wild chanterelles so that you can make this recipe at home using “mostly” what you have harvested on your own. If you need to outsource your ingredients at all, that is no big deal! The flavor and nutrition will still be in full swing.
On the other hand, if you can harvest wild, or grow everything in the recipe, then you will be all the better for it. That is what I like to try to do when going about my life. I like to try to harvest everything on my own, at the very least, not have to rely on purchasing it from the store as my only means of attaining an ingredient.
There is some real freedom in knowing that you can go out and find what you need to find and don’t have to ask anyone about how to do it, or worry about having enough money to spend on fresh elk, or chanterelle mushrooms which can get expensive in a hurry!
How To Make Elk W/ Chanterelles:
You will be simply sauté a few vegetables, toss in your chanterelles, and then your extremely flavorful vegetable and mushroom mix will be ready to go along side your Elk steaks.
First you will begin to process your vegetables.
For this recipe I used Vadalia sweet onions. Their sweetness is really appreciated in this dish, it goes from a savory dish, to a very complete dish, with all of the sugar in these onions.
Slice the ends off of your onions, then cut them in half and peel them.
Slice your mini sweet peppers into rings, just by cutting about 1/4 of an inch all the way down the length of the peppers.
Simply slice your onion into about 1/4 inch thick slices, so they will be in the shape of a rainbow. You really don’t need to break your onions down any more than this.
Even if you are not crazy about onions, you are going to want a big bite of the onions once we are finished caramelizing them.
Slice all of your onions this way until they are all done up.
Here are your vegetables all done up and ready for the pan.
Next come your lovely chanterelles. For this recipe I am using dried Golden Chanterelles that were harvested in the mountains of Oregon.
I acquired these from my uncle who has just moved to the southern United States from Oregon and still had a good amount of dried Chanterelles.
These I will keep just as is, I will sauté them first with a handful of onions. I do this to make sure I focus on making sure that the mushrooms are properly cooked and reconstituted. Onions sweat moisture like most vegetables when sautéed and the dried chanterelles will absorb this liquid.
Its really a great way to do it.
Turn on your pan initially to a medium high to high heat, then after you add your vegetables, turn it down to around medium heat or possibly keep it at medium high if you please.
Vegetables as I said, sweat out much water when they begin cooking, so turning the heat up to a high temp is a good way not to lose heat right when you start cooking your vegetables. Water will cool down your pan very rapidly.
Add your vegetables to a skillet or sauté pan. I used homemade pork lard as a cooking oil for these vegetables today.
Stir your vegetables every so often so that they cook evenly. I like to wait to stir until the portion of vegetables on the pan is slightly brown on certain parts. This brown color on sautéed vegetables is highly flavorful.
Add salt and pepper, you can do it before or after you put your vegetables in the pan but I just did it in the middle here.
I was a sous chef at a bistro on the Oregon coast, and the owner of the restaurant swore by seasoning the hot oil before you begin cooking anything.
He said he likes for the oils in the seasoning to incorporate into the cooking oil so that the oil will flavor the food when you put it in. I did it this way at the restaurant, and sometimes I still do it.
Your peppers and onions will begin to brown, become translucent, and the sugars will break own in them, making them remarkably sweet.
Here is how the vegetables will look when they are about done cooking.
The longer you cook them the sweeter and more tender they will be. If you want your vegetables to have a slight crunch to them, then you can cut them off before you have noticed that they have become completely caramelized.
If you want to do them the way I do them, you can cook them until the onions are a caramel like color and sweeter than Misses pecan pie. Ok not quite as sweet, but close to it.
Next Comes The Elk!!
OH ELK YEAH!
Elk meat can be hard to acquire at times, but once you have found some it is well worth it.
Plenty of men and women have the means to purchase a little elk meat. Or even better, go out and harvest it all on your own!
It take time, patience, and practice to go through the process of harvesting and butchering an elk, but nothing good ever came easy for anyone!!
Nothing that is easy to do is necessarily worth your time if you want to get a lot out of life. I have found that the most difficult things to accomplish, are often the most rewarding, not only because you accomplished something big, but because you experienced something the whole time you were doing it, and that can strengthen you almost as much as this lean elk meat does.
All we are going to put on this elk meat, is salt and pepper! And perhaps a little bit of our homemade and wildly harvested, Garlic Powder.
I do not like to get crazy with my seasonings when I cook elk because I don’t always have the luxury of cooking with elk, so I very much like to enjoy the flavors of nature by keeping it simple, and letting the elk speak for itself, so to speak.
Heat up your skillet to medium heat with some good oil. You can use whatever you have here. Olive or Avocado oil would probably be best if you have it, but vegetable will work fine.
I used homemade pork lard. I normally do as I butcher my own pigs and make a ton of rendered pork lard.
Heat up your pan until your oil begins smoking lightly, unless it is avocado oil, heat it up until your pan is noticeably hot. Avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any cooking oil, so it may get hotter than you want it to before it starts smoking.
Place your seasoned elk steaks onto your hot pan and listen to those babies sizzle!!!!
This is a sound, and a smell, that not too many people get to experience, so enjoy it, and know that you are indeed quite special.
Check the pan side of your elk steaks every so often. You are checking to see how brown it is.
You want your elk to be nice and brown, but not burned. As the elk cook, you will notice “Myoglobin” start to leak from the top. This is how my father taught me to cook beef steaks and how to tell when to flip them.
This quite clearly is a method for elk steak as well. When your elk is sufficiently brown on the bottom, and you start to see myoglobin leak from the top of your steak. It should be about time to flip your elk steak.
This elk after it has a very nice brown color on top. This is called a sear.
Sear your steak on side 2 until it is sufficiently brown, and your elk steak will be done cooking!
These elk steaks about half an inch thick, so they are quite thin. If you have thicker elk steaks than this, using the myoglobin trick is good for thicker steaks as well.
If you need to check to see if it is done to your liking, wait 5 to 10 minutes, then slice your elk to check. DO NOT slice your elk right away, because this myoglobin in the meat is still very mobile on the inside of the steak. Letting it rest, gives the myoglobin time to absorb into the fibers of the meat, and the meat holds on to it. Allowing your steak to remain juicy even though you are slicing it open.
If you need to check to see if it is done to your liking, wait 5 to 10 minutes, then slice your elk to check. DO NOT slice your elk right away, because this myoglobin in the meat is still very hot and runny on the inside of the steak.
Letting it rest, gives the myoglobin time to absorb into the fibers of the meat, and the meat holds on to it better as it cools down. Allowing your steak to remain juicy even though you are slicing it open.
When the elk is done to my liking, I like add a good knob of butter to coat all of my steaks in!
This is just the finest way to finish off a steak from any animal. Butter increases the flavor compound without changing the flavor, and it gives it the most irresistible fat layer on the meat which increases the overall moisture of your meats.
Remove your steaks and let them rest on a plate for 5 to 10 minutes like we talked about before.
After you have sautéed your vegetables and have seared up your elk steak, well, you are just about ready to go wash, and dish up for supper time!!!
- 2 medium sized sweet onions
- 8 mini sweet peppers
- 1 lb fresh, or 1/4 lb dried chanterelle mushrooms
- 1 lb of elk steak
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Homemade Wild Garlic powder to taste (Optional)
- Cooking oil, I use rendered pork lard.
- Wash, slice, and cook your vegetables and mushrooms
- Season and cook your elk steaks
- Let you elk steaks rest for 5 to 10 minutes
Make sure that you know what kind of mushrooms you are picking before you eat them. Identifying mushrooms is not difficult once you have identified some specific characteristics of the mushroom you are seeking, and know how to tell them apart from their potentially dangerous look a-likes. In most cases this is fairly simple.