You may have to look harder to find it, or even order it direct from a farm, but once you sample elk, you may find yourself hooked for life — not on the antlers, but on the meat. Farm-raised elk meat is surprisingly lean, tender and flavorful, which means that it requires minimal fuss and seasonings to prepare it. Lower in fat and cholesterol than beef and even chicken, elk sirloin should be cooked to a state of rare or medium-rare.
Remove the steak from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you cook it so that it reaches room temperature. Wash the steak and pat it dry.
Coat the elk sirloin with olive oil. Add some herbs or seasonings, if you like, such as onion powder, garlic powder, garlic salt or minced garlic. The oil will keep the sirloin moist as you cook it.
Set your stove or outdoor grill to “high.” Melt some butter in a skillet. Spray your grill with nonfat cooking spray or melt some butter on a grill rack or a sturdy piece of aluminum foil.
Cook the elk sirloin for two minutes. Flip it over with tongs and cook it for another two minutes. Do not use a fork; piercing the meat will unleash the juices in the meat.
Remove the sirloin from the heat and insert a meat thermometer in the thickest region. It should register at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit for rare, 111 degrees for medium-rare and 129 degrees for medium. Avoid the danger zone for cooking elk; it should be cooked to no more than 140 degrees. It begins to dry out at 150 degrees, resulting in bland and chewy meat.
Let the sirloin rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Use this down time to grill some mushrooms and red onions to accompany your steak, if you like.
Mary Wroblewski earned a master's degree with high honors in communications and has worked as a reporter and editor in two Chicago newsrooms. She launched her own small business, which specialized in assisting small business owners with “all things marketing” – from drafting a marketing plan and writing website copy to crafting media plans and developing email campaigns. Mary writes extensively about small business issues, and especially “all things marketing.”