Pecking Order Smoked Elk
Many people in the US shy away from game meat. My guess is that it's more because they don't quite know what to do with it than a dislike for the game meat, though, for some, there was "this one time" they had something that was really not prepared well, and we can certainly relate to that. Elk is a fantastic protein. It's so flavorful and so lean (which is somewhat rare since a lot of meats get their rich flavor from the fat). Getting elk right depends on the cut (as it does with most proteins). In this case we used a backstrap, which is very tender and cooks up like a steak. Our Pecking Order® works its magic here, trust us. This is not a typo. We have discovered that Pecking Order® works well with all game meats to include more domesticated, but prone to "game" flavor like goat and lamb.
Elk is SUPER lean. There is no room for error on the temperatures. There is a fine line between medium rare and ruined in this case. Anything over 140°F is overcooked and will be tough. When you're doing your first run at this, until you know exactly how your smoker will behave, err on the side of a little under-cooked at this stage and make it up on the grill. Once you get the timing down, you'll find this recipe super simple to make and amazingly delicious.
As always, from our table to yours... #SpiceConfidently #EssenceOfFlavor #ChemistryInTheKitchen #CasaMSpice
— Mike Hernandez
For the Elk:
- 4 pounds elk backstrap
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons Casa M Spice Co® Pecking Order®
Pulling It All Together:
- flour tortillas, grilled lightly to char and heat them, then placed inside a good warmer
- horseradish, the ridiculously hot variety
Elk is SUPER lean. There is no room for error on the temperatures. There is a fine line between medium rare and ruined in this case. Anything over 140°F is overcooked and will be tough.- Mike Hernandez
LET’S GET COOKING
Add salt to the elk backstrap first then add the Casa M Spice Co® Pecking Order®. Wrap tightly in food film and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but up to 12.
Preheat your smoker to 160°F
Put the elk into the smoker and smoke for about an hour before checking the internal temperature. You're looking for 130°F internal temperature before you pull the elk from the smoke.
While the smoke is rolling, heat your grill to HIGH heat.
When the elk has reached 130°F, remove it from the smoke and move it to the HOT grill.
Quickly sear all side of the elk backstrap. It will brown the outside and the backstrap will swell slightly.
The final internal temperature of the elk should read 135°F. Pull from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.
We slice and serve with hot flour tortillas and horseradish.