Elk & Eggs with Green Garlic and Mushrooms
My favorite cuts of grass-fed beef for steak and eggs are the leaner and chewier ones – I love the combo of soft egg yolk with the flavor and consistency of that type of beef. So, when presented with my first Elk steak my natural inclination was to pair it with eggs and add a flavorful mushroom side that builds on the woodsy richness of elk. I used beef fat to cook this elk, the combination of the natural rich grassy fat of the free-range beef and the elk is naturally delicious and complimentary. Feel free to substitute ghee or another high heat oil for this fat but if you are interested in trying this technique, keep a few slices of the white fat cap off a steak in the freezer. When ready to cook, pull it out and toss in a warm pan to render the fat gently to cook your elk meat.
Recipe – Serves 2 hungry people
Thaw and salt 2 elk steaks
Wash and roughly chop 1 lb mixed mushrooms, I used cremini and shitake when I prepared this dish
Rinse 3 stalks of green garlic and halve and salt, or use spring onions as a substitute
Heat one or multiple slices of beef fat (cut off the fat cap of a New York or Rib eye) in a medium cast iron for 5 minutes until about a tablespoon of fat has rendered, remove the fat and turn up the heat. Place the steaks and the green garlic in the pan and sear cooking 2 minutes on each side or until the steak is to the done-ness of your preference, the green garlic will brown at the same time.
Remove the elk steaks and garlic from the pan and toss in the mushrooms. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes stirring every minute or so to prevent burning, salting lightly. If the pan is dry, add one tablespoon of ghee or olive oil.
When you finish cooking the mushrooms, remove them from the pan.
While you are cooking the mushrooms the elk steak will be resting. Once the mushrooms are done, slice the elk steak thin against the grain and place in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of really high-quality fresh olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a big pinch of good flaky salt. Mix well. This step makes the elk steak taste luxurious – the pungency of fresh oil and the additional little sheen of fat are real game changers.
Add some more ghee or oil to your pan, heat up and crack four eggs in. Cook sunny side up. Eggs will be a bit brown around the edges due to the residual pan juices.
Assemble the plates with a heap of the sliced and dressed elk meat, a pile of mushrooms and a few stalks of garlic. Top with two sunny side up eggs.