There’s lots to look forward to as hunting season quickly approaches, but one of the best is getting to eat fresh elk meat. To prepare for all that meat again, we’ve rounded up some recipe ideas that you will want to save for this fall and winter.

Stuffed Elk Tenderloin

The elk tenderloin found opposite the backstrap and tucked up under the spine is a wonderful cut of meat and perfect for stuffing with delicious fillings. Mushrooms and swiss cheese, onions and roasted red bell peppers, or roasted chile, bacon, and cheese; there are endless flavor combos for your elk meat. All you need to do is butterfly your tenderloin, stuff the length of it with your fillings, and roll and secure with butcher’s twine so everything is snug. Quickly sear the meat on the stovetop on high heat, and finish in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing into it.

Elk meat tacos with green salsa on top. A lime edge is next to the taco

Tacos are always good but are even better when made with elk meat you brought home yourself.

Carne Asada Elk Tacos

Tacos are always good but are even better when made with elk meat you brought home yourself. You can make this with either elk flank or elk sirloin, and you can either season simply with salt and pepper before hitting the grill or give the meat a nice marinade beforehand. Either way, you want your grill to be as hot as it can be so when the meat hits the grates, you hear a sizzle. Sear both sides of the steak and remove when done. Easy! Serve with some warm tortillas and fresh salsa, lime wedges, and cheese.

Elk Chili

Chili is simple to make and easy to adjust to your personal taste. Take a large stockpot and heat a drizzle of oil. When the oil is warm, add your ground elk meat and cook until it’s brown. Remove the meat, and add garlic and onion to the pot. Cook until the onion is soft, and then add in just about everything you’d like to go in your chili. The meat, the seasonings, diced tomatoes, beans, beef broth, and a splash of red wine if you have it on hand. Let it simmer on the stovetop for about 45 minutes and it’ll be ready to eat. Top your hearty chili off with some shredded cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

shepherd's pie in a yellow baking dish with a scoop of it on a plate with a fork.

This comfort food recipe is great and made better by ground elk meat.

Elk Shepherd’s Pie

This comfort food recipe is made better by ground elk meat. All you need to do is cook your ground meat and chopped onions in a skillet until the meat is no longer pink. Then mix it with frozen veggies of your choice (we like corn, peas, and carrots) in a baking dish, top with mashed potatoes and sharp cheddar, and bake in a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes.

Elk Osso Buco

Want to impress your wife or some guests? Make Elk Osso Buco. It’s sure to “wow” even though the slow cooker will do most of the work. But they don’t need to know that. You can cook this dish with the shank whole or cut it into medallions while frozen with a band saw. The whole shank will require a bigger slower cook, so make sure it fits into the cooker before you start cooking.

Take your shank, rub it with olive oil, and then coat with flour, salt, and pepper. Depending on what route you decided to take, brown your medallions in a pan with butter on the stove, or brown the whole shank on your grill, flipping and mopping with melted butter as you go. Then, take your meat, add it to a slower cooker with red wine, broth, chopped carrots, onions, diced tomatoes, garlic, and thyme. Cook it all down on low for 6-8 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the meat can be pulled from the bone with a slight amount of pressure. Serve the elk shanks and its sauce with masked potatoes.

Soap Mesa Outfitters

We hope these recipe ideas get you excited about hunting season this fall. If you’re looking to get some fresh elk meat to try them out, then book a guided hunt with us. At Soap Mesa Outfitters, we provide the best guided hunts in Western Colorado and we’ll be happy to show you what you’ve been missing.