and why people should consider adding it to their diet
Elk meat is an exciting potential addition to any diet, as it has a variety of nutritional benefits and a uniquely wild flavor. It’s leaner than beef and offers as much protein, and its mild, gamey taste pairs well with many recipe ingredients. Beyond cooking elk steaks or burgers, elk can be used in a variety of dishes such as stews, stir-fries and elk jerky, or in burger patties mixed with other grounded meats. Here, we’ll explore the benefits and flavor of elk meat and how to prepare it.
Consumers today are increasingly aware of the important role that nutrition plays in overall health. Fortunately, elk meat is an excellent source of protein, providing almost 23 grams of protein per ounce. It also contains a significant amount of iron, vitamin B-12 and zinc, which boosts immunity. And elk is a low-fat form of red meat, in comparison to beef, pork or lamb -- elk contains only 2.5 grams of fat per serving and is lower in sodium than another red meat.
Rich in Omega-3s
It’s hard to find omega-3 fatty acids in the modern diet, especially since the majority of processed foods contain omega-6 fatty acids. Elk meat provides a balanced source of omega-3s and -6s, which helps reduce inflammation and keeps your body functioning optimally.
Lean and Flavorful
Elk meat is one of the leanest forms of red meat available, with less than 15 percent fat. In comparison to other red meats, elk has more protein and less fat and calories, which makes it a desirable choice for health-conscious consumers.
The flavor of elk meat is described as mild and gamey, with a sweetness similar to beef. Its mild flavor means that it works with almost any flavor profile you can think of. Its mildness also means you don’t have to mask the flavor with strong spices.
Preparing Elk Meat
When preparing elk, the most important thing to consider is the cut of meat - this is what will determine how the meat tastes and feels. Different cuts can be used to create a variety of dishes, so it’s important to be aware of what kind of dish you want to make and which cut of meat will best suit it. For example, steaks or medallions work best on the grill, while chuck and roast are great for slow-cooking dishes like stews and pot roasts.
And don’t forget, elk is delicious when cooked all the way through, or rare - cook elk to no more than medium-rare to preserve the delicious flavor.
When cooking elk, keep in mind that it may take some time for the meat to reach the desired temperature. Elk is a very lean meat, so it can dry out quickly if it’s not cooked properly. To avoid dryness, consider searing the elk before cooking it in the oven. The searing will create a crispy crust that seals in the juices and ensures the finished product is tender and juicy.
In addition to steaks, medallions and roasts, you can also use elk for ground meat dishes like burgers, casseroles and chili. To make a lean and enjoyable burger, you can mix elk with beef or pork, or use it alone. And don’t forget about elk jerky, which is an excellent snack option, particularly when you’re on the go.
Elk meat is an excellent alternative to other red meats like beef, pork and lamb. It’s high in protein and low in fat and calories, and can easily be swapped into a variety of dishes for a more modern, health-conscious meal. Furthermore, it’s chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention the fact that it’s a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. With its mild flavor and ability to pair easily with a variety of ingredients, elk meat is a delicious source of nutrition that health-conscious eaters should certainly consider adding to their diets.