Does Soaking Elk Roast in Milk Do Anything?

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Elk roast -- a type of venison -- is a less common alternative to beef, poultry and other more familiar meat dishes. Because most elk are wild, rather than farm-raised, they spend plenty of time running around and generally giving their muscles good workouts. Their meat is, therefore, considerably leaner and tougher than that from other animals providing store-bought meat. Marinating an elk roast in milk can help with this aspect.

Milk As Tenderizing Marinade

While a lot of home cooks think of marination as a way to tenderize tough meat, most marinades don't accomplish this. Most simply impart flavor to the surface of a food as it soaks. Milk is a notable exception, however. Milk, buttermilk and yogurt break down tough muscle fibers, owed to the way in which the high calcium content in dairy products interacts with enzymes in the meat.

Soaking the Roast

Marinate meat in the refrigerator. Use a non-reactive dish, such as one made of glass, stainless steel, plastic or ceramic, to prevent imparting an off taste or damaging the dish. Milk is less acidic than most marinades, so it's not as likely to turn the meat mushy with an extended soak. A 12- to 24-hour marination nicely tenderizes an elk roast. Add salt and pepper to taste into the milk marinade, along with complementary herbs and spices, if desired.