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Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Elk Burger with Pepper Jack and Roja Jalapeno On Grilled Sourdough!
Yummy gourmet California style elk burger!
Elk is one of my favorite wild game meats! Elk tastes like a sweet beef with no gamey after taste. Las Vegas gets some of their elk from Utah, but northern Nevada has a large population of elk too. Elk are like a gigantic deer and they are one of the symbols of the west.
A friend of mine that lives on Mount Saint Helens in Oregon has access to a steady supply of local elk. Dining on elk is a regular thing up there and the drug free clean elk meat is not taken for granted. Elk tacos, elk sausage and elk meatloaf are everyday meals in Oregon.
While driving home to Las Vegas a few months ago, I had a great elk burger at the Cactus Cowboy Restaurant in Hatch Utah by the free range buffalo ranch. That elk burger tasted so good, while driving across the country. There are plenty of elk hunting guides between Hatch and Koosharem Utah, if you get the hankerin' to hunt some elk while visiting Las Vegas. Those two areas in Utah are less than an eight hour drive.
The first time that I had elk, it was a very nice experience. A big thick elk strip steak was my initiation into the world of elk meat. A relative shot an elk in Colorado and had the meat shipped home. Elk steaks are much better than ground elk meat, but ground elk ensures that nothing is wasted. I prefer an elk steak over any kind of beef!
I chatted with my "elk eating volcano goddess" friend in Oregon about a recipe idea for the elk that I purchased. I decided to do a few elk burger recipes. Pepper jack cheese is awesome with wild game. Pepper jack is Monterrey Jack Cheese that has minced hot peppers in it. So, I went with a California sour dough bread style elk burger sandwich theme for the first elk burger recipe. A mild pan roasted red jalapeno was my choice of garnish for this California style elk burger sandwich. This elk burger entree is truly worth giving a try!
Pan Roasted Jalapeno:
Red jalapenos are fully ripe and the spicy heat is fairly mild. Jalapenos can contain a higher proportion of capsicum oil, than any other pepper. So, occasionally a jalapeno will surprise you with how long lasting the spicy heat will last! This red jalapeno turned out to be spicier than red jalapenos that I have used in past recipes. Ce la vie!
Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
Add 1 small splash of vegetable oil.
Add 1 red jalapeno pepper.
Saute the pepper, till a few brown highlights appear on all sides.
Set the pan roasted red jalapeno on a dish and keep it warm on a stove top.
Grilled Sourdough Bread:
Heat a cast iron grill or char grill over medium heat.
Brush the grill with vegetable oil.
Grill 2 slices of sourdough bread on both sides with a cross check pattern.
Burger set up plate:
Set one slice of the grill sourdough on a plate. Set the other slice aside.
Place a Boston lettuce leaf on the plate.
Place 2 thin slices of bermuda onion on the lettuce leaf.
Place 2 slices of tomato on the onion.
Cascade a few Bread And Butter Pickle Chips on the plate next to the lettuce, tomato and onion.
Set the burger set up plate aside.
Elk Burger with Pepper Jack and Roja Jalapeno On Grilled Sourdough:
Place 6 ounces of ground elk meat on a counter top.
Use your hands to form the ground elk into a ball shape.
Press the ball, so it forms and oval burger patty shape that is the same shape as the slice of sourdough bread.
Season the burger patty with sea salt and black pepper.
Elk is a very lean meat. You can use a well seasoned grill or cast iron grill to cook the burger, but the grill must be brushed with oil every time that you flip the burger. I used a non-stick pan to cook the burger in the pictures, just like I did with the previous recipe's buffalo burger.
Heat a non-stick or seasoned saute pan over medium heat.
Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
Add the elk burger patty.
Cook the elk burger on both sides, till it becomes a little less done than medium rare.
Place a few slices of pepper jack cheese on the elk burger.
Add a tiny splash of water to the pan and immediately cover the pan with a lid. The steam will soften and partially melt the cheese.
Use a spatula to place the elk burger on the slice of grilled sourdough on the burger set up plate.
Place the pan roasted red jalapeno on top of the burger.
Lean the second slice of grill sourdough against the burger.
Another yummy gourmet burger creation of mine! Elk burger tastes great on sourdough with pepper jack cheese! I am not shy or "chicken" when it comes to hot peppers, like many "slacky" chefs are! I do realize that many people like peppers. The red jalapeno makes a nice garnish for this elk burger! Something sweet on the plate, like Bread And Butter Pickle Chips, really adds to the appeal. This is a great California style elk burger! Delicious! ... Shawna