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#7233468 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: smokepole]  
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Originally Posted by smokepole
I'll agree with loins and backstraps but a lot depends on how you plan to cook it. I used to let the dogs eat the shanks until I slow-cooked some (low heat, 8-10 hrs.) in the oven. The meat slid off the bone and was very tender and tasted great. Now I cook shanks and other gristly cuts in a crock pot. If you do that with a good cut like a backstrap, it doesn't turn out as good, because the collagen (connective tissue) in the shanks turns soft with slow cooking, and the good cuts don't have much of it.

My son's girlfriend doesn't eat much meat but she'll eat the elk I cook. Her favorite is the stuff I cook in the crock pot.


Agreed. Except I cut mine off the bone in one inch chunks. Flour and brown. Into a dutch oven for 8-10 hours at 200-225 with some taters and onions. My new favorite. I used to leave them in the woods until a friend told me I was nuts and to give his cooking method a try. He was right.

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#7233497 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: wyoelk]  
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One of the basic rules for meat from any four-legged animal the meat is more tender the further back and higher on the body.

To some people tenderness is the only quality necessary for good meat, but another old rule is that tougher meat has more flavor. This is why filet mignon is usually wrapped in bacon. Otherwise the flavor is pretty bland.

It's also the reason tougher cuts are used in wet-cooking methods, whether braising, pot-roasting or crock-potting. They not only tenderize in the moisture but have more flavor when mixed with herbs, spices and vegetables.

ALL the cuts off a good elk are excellent eating, if we know how to cook the different parts to get the most out of 'em.

We tend to prefer spikes and raghorns to cows and old bulls, but all can be very good, depending on when they're taken and how they're cared for in the field.


John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015
#7233571 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Bighorn]  
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Originally Posted by Bighorn
There's nothing better than an elk burger grilled while out in the hills, with a slice of cheese and a roasted jalapeno.....


You guys are making my mouth water. But I am gonna have to try somma' that filet mognon Mule Deer is talking about..... grin



A wise man is frequently humbled.

#7233580 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: wyoelk]  
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Originally Posted by wyoelk
Agreed. Except I cut mine off the bone in one inch chunks. Flour and brown. Into a dutch oven for 8-10 hours at 200-225 with some taters and onions. My new favorite. I used to leave them in the woods until a friend told me I was nuts and to give his cooking method a try. He was right.


That sounds good wyo, but throw some carrots in there next time! Do you just put the Dutch oven inside the regular oven?



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#7234492 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: smokepole]  
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Just had two elk steaks tonight. The wife said I'd better shoot straight next week! eek


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#7234570 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: bigwhoop]  
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I like it all when properly prepared. Elk is my favorite red meat.


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#7235164 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: smokepole]  
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Yep. Brown in the Dutch, add some beef broth, throw it in the oven. Go to work and come home to a great meal.

#7235367 - 12/27/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: billrquimby]  
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Sorry, gotta bust yer ballz. For a guy that don't know the difference, or how long they keep cold, cows, on average, yield the best eatin'...

Originally Posted by Rancho_Loco
[Linked Image]



And if you're asking about which cuts are best, I'm left to assume you plan on tossin', givin', or leavin' the rest, which is pure [bleep] IMHO.

[Linked Image]


"Your range of experience runs that gamut from A to B, plus you're a nitwit. That's a hard combination to overcome, though some people try." - JB
#7236163 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: MattMan]  
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What are we talking about? Hmmmmmmm., OH! I remember, elk! If you shoot a 100 cows you will undoubtedly shoot several 10 or more years old. I have killed a few that were very tough. Shoot 100 Spikes and you will eat the best meat you can get The tenderloin is by far the best cut, back straps # 2, but there are a lot moe to them.

Off topic, can we see her front? The back end is sooooooooooooo nice"

#7236192 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Elkmen]  
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Originally Posted by Elkmen
What are we talking about? Hmmmmmmm., OH! I remember, elk! If you shoot a 100 cows you will undoubtedly shoot several 10 or more years old. I have killed a few that were very tough. Shoot 100 Spikes and you will eat the best meat you can get The tenderloin is by far the best cut, back straps # 2, but there are a lot moe to them.

Off topic, can we see her front? The back end is sooooooooooooo nice"


It doesn't have to be that way if you're hunting for meat. It's just as easy to shoot a younger cow as a young bull.


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Bravo

#7236312 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Mauser_Hunter]  
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Pretty hard to shoot a spike in Colorado. Not all, but most areas are now 4 pt or better. Watch a group of cows and it's easy to pick out the younger ones.

Last edited by saddlesore; 12/28/12.

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#7236343 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: saddlesore]  
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In the last ten years or so I only keep the backstraps, about 30 pounds of cube steaks, and the rest is good ol' elk burger. I'm getting to the point that a good beef ribsteak is pretty hard to beat. But, oh, how I do love elk burgers!

#7236368 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: saddlesore]  
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Originally Posted by saddlesore
Pretty hard to shoot a spike in Colorado. Not all, but most areas are now 4 pt or better. Watch a group of cows and it's easy to pick out the younger ones.


Yeah, I should have said easier to shoot a younger cow. No reason to ever shoot the old cows.


Money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you a hunting license and that's pretty close.
#7236495 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Mauser_Hunter]  
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Originally Posted By: saddlesore
Pretty hard to shoot a spike in Colorado. Not all, but most areas are now 4 pt or better. Watch a group of cows and it's easy to pick out the younger ones.

I do my best to pick out both cows and does "without" calves/fawns. When you see single elk, size and age is extremly difficult. I killed a wet cow last year and had to put up with the calf bawling for the rest of the afternoon. So I usually end up with an older one, with out a calf. Three years ago I got a cow with about 1/2 of her teeth left. She turned out very good but I was concerned. I did not shoot a doe this year because I could not find one without a fawn in tow. Ended up with a nice buck however. So I guess my point is that I do try and support management as best I can.

Last edited by Elkmen; 12/28/12.
#7238124 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Elkmen]  
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Number one rule of elk hunting is never ever shoot the lead cow. Had a partner shoot the lead cow on an antlerless hunt north of Bozeman once. Fish and Game aged her at 13 years. My partner wanted to give me some meat for helping pack her out but after cooking up the first package of steak I asked him not give me any more (it was that tough). The best eating elk I ever got was a bull calf (if he was a deer we'd call him a button buck); My, was he tender and tasty

#7238633 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: kalbrecht]  
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Shot the lead cow in a herd moving below me at about 50 yards on Thanksgiving Day in 1984. Turned out to be a 1-1/2 year-old "heifer." Dropped her with a neck shot through both carotid arteries, so she was well bled out. The temperature was about 20 degrees so gutted her and left her spread-open on the snow, as it was late in the day. She cooled out well, of course, but her meat had a slight liverish flavor. Dunno why, as other elk treated the same way, including big bulls, haven't had the same flavor.

Have killed elk of various sizes from early September through mid-December, from New Mezico to Alberta, and have seen flavor vary considerably. Killed a relatively young 6x6 during the early rut in mid-September. The meat was tender but very bland. dunno why flavor varies. The only constant seems to be younger bulls.

I'm not a fan of calf elk or moose, or fawn deer. Their meat is bland compared to mature animals, and there's less of it. But to each his own.






John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015
#7238659 - 12/28/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: kalbrecht]  
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It is true that one of the best meals from an elk is a potroast; whether from some tough chunk of meat from a hamstring or shoulder makes little difference. Slow cooked in a little pot roast juice saved from the last roast, and with onions, cooked as long as the meat, and then potatos, carrots, and parsnips (even turnips) added for about the last hour, it is almost impossible to beat. You have a warm, wonderful scent enveloping you as you wait for dinner. In a crockpot, you can set it to going in the morning before a day afield, and come home to dinner waiting, even if you are late after a hard day out. Frozen potroast leftovers reheated makes a great meal to start off elk camp.

I think we all thought "choice" cuts with the question, but without a doubt many wonderful meals can be produced from the less choice cuts, as well. And, yeah, elk burgers are wonderful. Hapiness is a freezer full of elk, every scrap.

#7239329 - 12/29/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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Rock Chuck Online content
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Shot the lead cow in a herd moving below me at about 50 yards on Thanksgiving Day in 1984. Turned out to be a 1-1/2 year-old "heifer."
If she was in the lead, it was temporary. A lead cow gets the job by being the meanest old bitch in the herd. Elk society operates by size and strength.
This isn't unlike a 4x4 bull with 20 cows that we ran into while bowhunting some years ago. We did some head scratching about how the little guy got all those cows. I'm thinking he stole them while the herd bull was fighting somewhere. We ran into them again an hour later when the 4x4 was bawling his head off and nursing his wounds while a nice 6x6 was admiring his new ready made harem.


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#7239861 - 12/29/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Rock Chuck]  
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
Quote
Shot the lead cow in a herd moving below me at about 50 yards on Thanksgiving Day in 1984. Turned out to be a 1-1/2 year-old "heifer."
If she was in the lead, it was temporary. A lead cow gets the job by being the meanest old bitch in the herd. Elk society operates by size and strength.
This isn't unlike a 4x4 bull with 20 cows that we ran into while bowhunting some years ago. We did some head scratching about how the little guy got all those cows. I'm thinking he stole them while the herd bull was fighting somewhere. We ran into them again an hour later when the 4x4 was bawling his head off and nursing his wounds while a nice 6x6 was admiring his new ready made harem.

There is no correlation between the way a herd cow and herd bull control a group. I've seen many times dissenters refuse to follow a cow's lead and split a herd, but escaping a harem is dangerous and risky. I do agree that a 1-1/2 year old would almost never be the herd cow.

#7240103 - 12/29/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: Alamosa]  
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I have foud that some elk that have the "liverish taste " has to do with what they were doing right previous to the kill. ie, lounging about vs traveling a distance at more than a walk.

Prettty hard to quantify though as no one can shoot that many elk to gain meaningful statsistics.
I do know a big bull I killed in 2009 is lasting a lot longer in the freezer because he is so tough. Old guy 12-13 years.

I have all that meat,about 40 lbs left, in an onion sack in the freezer.I take some out every once in awile and grind a pound or two of steaks in a little Kitchen Aid grinder for that days use. I swear,even the ground meat is tough. Crock pot doesn't help. Might try a pressure cooker some day.


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
#7240180 - 12/29/12 Re: Best cuts of elk meat? [Re: saddlesore]  
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Nobody's mentioned bulls right after the rut. I've eaten meat off of quite a few raghorns killed the last week of October, and it's been a real crap shoot and how they taste. Most of them have been so skinny from the rut and they've been pretty tough.

In comparison my wife killed a seven year old bull in January one year that tasted wonderful, I figured he had plenty of time to fatten back up again.

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