How to Tenderize Elk Meat

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Tenderize Elk Meat
Tenderize Elk Meat (Image: www.morguefile.com)

You can tenderize your elk meat using simple cooking techniques. There are commercial meat tenderizers on the market. Some come in the form of a utensil that breaks down the meat fibers while others rely on fruit extracts that chemically transform the meat tissues. A reliable method of tenderizing even the toughest cuts involves the cooking process, and that merely requires a little time and patience.

Things You'll Need

  • Large skillet
  • Slow cooker or roasting pan
  • Meat thermometer
  • Basting tool

Prepare your elk steak or roast as you would any other cut of meat. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. A larger roast may require more time.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. If using a slow-cooker or crock pot, turn it on.

Heat a skillet. Cast iron is preferred for this, but a good stainless steel pan will work. You want it fairly hot. A good test is to take a few drops of water and hit the pan with it . If it sizzles immediately, it's hot enough.

Salt and pepper your meat and lay it into the hot pan. You want to sear the meat, effectively trapping the juices so they don't leak out during the next phase of cooking. Sear one side for one or two minutes, or until the meat turns brown and then turn it over and heat the other side. You don't need to blacken it, just a little heat is all that's required.

Place the meat into your roasting pan or slow-cooker. You can add potatoes, onions, carrots or other stewing vegetables at this time if you like.

Pour in just enough water to coat the bottom of the pan. You don't want the meat swimming in it. You'll be using this liquid for basting though, so you'll need a little. You can also use a vegetable or meat broth here.

Put the roasting pan in the oven and cook for at least 60 minutes before checking on it. Obviously, a steak is going to take less time to cook than a whole roast, so time is going to depend on the size and cut of your meat.

Baste your roast occasionally during the cooking process. After an hour, there should be a nice basting liquid from the water or broth you added along with the drippings from the meat and vegetables.

Measure the internal temperature of the meat. Slow cooking is exactly that--it's going to take some time, so don't poke your thermometer in the roast every 15 minutes to determine it's temperature. All this does is let both the heat out of your oven, and the juices out of your roast. Your looking for an internal temperature of 110 degrees F. When it reaches 110, turn your oven up to 450 or 500 degrees and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the temperature reaches a safe 130 degrees F. Doing this, you'll brown a nice crust on the outside of your meat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using the slow-cooking method can take anywhere from two to six hours depending on the size of your meat so plan the meal accordingly.
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