Beef consumption is a popular practice amongst non-vegetarians in the quest to bring a sweet sensation to their taste buds and improve their health. What some non-vegetarians do not know is that game meats can also do the job perfectly. Elk meat is a type of game meat commonly found in North America and Northeastern Asia.
The meat, also known as wapiti is obtained from the flesh of Cervidae which is the largest member of the deer family. Elks are often confused with moose because of their big size. Elks eat a lot of trees and leaves which makes their meat lean, sweet, and health-improving.
What does elk taste like? Elk has a flavorful, slightly sweet, rich, clean, and mild taste. This is because its preparation does not need marination. The taste of the meat is similar to that of beef, just that the texture of elk meat is denser, leaner, and has a darker red color. The addition of seasoning and its method of preparation greatly influence the final flavor and aroma of the meat.
To remove the gamey taste from elk meat, they are being reared domestically. The meat is a healthful option and its taste makes it easily incorporated into different foods. If you love beef, chances are you will love the taste of elk meat.
Nutritional Benefits of Elk
There is not enough talk about how game meats are advantageous to the human brain, heart, muscle, bones, and flesh. Elk meat is low-calorie and low-cholesterol food.
For people trying to cut down their daily calorie consumption, a 100-gram serving of this lean meat contains only 147 calories which are enough to do the job perfectly well. The low-fat content aids in reducing and maintaining a healthy body, enhancing muscle strength and cardiovascular health.
Elk offers protein content higher than that of regular beef, chicken, and lamb. They help boost and sustain the growth of healthy hormones, repair worn-out body tissues, and help the body defend itself against chronic diseases by strengthening the immune system. It is also essential in the building of strong bones, cartilage and muscles.
Adding the game meat in breakfasts helps the body break down food into small bits and convert them into energy used in carrying out daily activities. Elk is a great source of substantial amounts of zinc that plays an undisputed role as an antioxidant in neutralizing life-changing diseases, aids in the development of a strong immune system and hastens the production of cytokines.
Insufficiency of red blood cells can lead to iron deficiency anemia which is detrimental to health. Its symptoms like fatigue, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, drowsiness, and paleness can be overcome with the consumption of foods rich in iron and vitamin B12. Elk meat is a great source of this vitamin and nutrient that helps combat different types of anemia like iron-deficiency anemia and pernicious anemia.
It also contains nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin B6, and niacin useful in the process of boosting brain and mental health. Vitamin B12 fosters enhanced learning and retentive memory, while supplements of vitamin B6 are useful in suppressing depression. The niacin present in the meat is helpful in the protection against Alzheimer’s disease and brain decline in old folks.
Culinary Uses of Elk
The appealing taste of elk helps increase the satisfaction gotten from dishes it is added to. The meat can be roasted, grilled, fried, and boiled. Smoky, rich, and creamy chipotle butter can be lathered over perfectly grilled elk meat. You can serve this recipe with toasted french bread.
Elk Wellington is a recipe that can never go wrong as a family dinner. It can be prepared by wrapping prosciutto, elk meat, mushrooms, and spices in puff pastry before allowing it to cook till it has a golden perfection. Serve each slice with onion bourbon marmalade to add to the taste of every bite.
Also, you can thinly slice elk meat before stuffing, rolling, tying, and lightly fry elk meat before placing and cooking it in a pot filled with sauce to make or tasty. This recipe is known as elk braciole. Grilled elk sirloin can go well with chimichurri sauce at any time of the day.
Sauces are versatile in usage in different cuisines. Apart from fajita seasoning used in making fajitas, it can also be used to rub finely chopped elk meat over a hot grill.
Elk burger soup is also an excellent way to enjoy elk meat. Add a ground elk burger, hominy, salt, and cumin in a heated large stockpot with olive oil. You can then add and stir spinach, beef broth, and orzo pasta until the pasta is perfectly cooked. Garnish the cuisine with shredded cheese and serve it with tortilla chips.
Where is Elk Found? How Do You Procure It?
This variant of the deer family is one of the largest mammals in wild regions of North America, Central America, and Eastern Asia. The animal is called Wapiti in Europe. This was coined from Shawnee and Cree’s word known as Wapiti which translates ‘white rump’. Elk can be found in forest-rich regions.
Recently, some breeds of elk are being reared domestically for ease of consumption. When you Procure freshly killed or preserved elk meat, cook it immediately to avoid the growth of bacteria. You should also keep it clean to avoid flies, air, and sunlight to make it suitable for consumption whenever you are ready to eat it.
Is Elk Better Than Beef?
Elk is healthier, sweeter, and flavorful than beef. While beef contains a higher amount of fat and cholesterol, elk is a slice of very lean meat and has a low fat and calorie content. Also, elk contains a high percentage of protein when compared to beef. Elk is a perfect substitute for beef.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Elk
- Typically, an elk is about 4 to 6 feet from hoof to shoulder. It is broader than a normal deer but not up to moose.
- Elks are considered to be social animals because they walk in herds of 200-400 members.
- They are mostly active in the morning and evening. They prefer a low-temperature area.