Sunday, March 30, 2014

Elk Bourguignon

One of the big mistakes people make with a freezer is they put things in the freezer and don't take them out and the food gets freezer burned. We have been living off pre-cooked meals for the past week making room to put some more in there. I use a FoodSaver, ( like a seal a meal), put prepared meals in the freezer facing up and sealed with clips. That way the vacuum action doesn't suck up all the juice. I put the bags in a loaf pan in case of a spill.


4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces Costco or Wal-Mart bacon bits OR uncured turkey bacon, it is available at the Federal Way Trader Joe's or the Sumner WinCo. (This and the beef broth are the reason you do not add salt until just before serving)
2 1/2 pounds Denver leg elk cut into 1-inch cubes, (It probably is not needed but I whack them with my meat tenderizer, I got my leg from Butcher Boys in Puyallup, but the fine folks at Specialty Meats will ship it right to your door which is a lot less complex than trying to figure out how to thaw a 22 lb. hunk of meat you paid $350.00 for.
1 pound skinless baby carrots (the bigger ones do better) OR if you have the luxury of time to cook them just before serving, use a non-stick skillet, put them in with no oil or water, and you end up with gorgeous blackened carrots that are sweeter than the ones you cook in the dish.
2 medium onions sliced, but not too fine
2 teaspoons minced garlic, you may want more at the end, taste first though
1/2 cup Gran Marnier, you can substitute cognac, but the orange flavor is nice.
25 oz. Black Box Merlot
2 cups beef broth, (read the label, avoid monosodium glutamate)
1 pound mushrooms, I prefer the smaller Cremeni mushrooms, cut in half
1 tablespoon tomato paste or Heinz no high fructose corn ketchup
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, you may want more at the end, taste first though
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, (or general purpose gluten free mix) prepared in a roux
Freshly ground black pepper
Sea salt as needed


When I do beef, I switch to 1/2" beef cubes and use a crock pot, but you want to feature elk, hence the 1" cubes. I put two of the tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a large sauce pan, (think pasta sized) and toss the onions in to brown. When cooking elk, do not overcook, when cooking with beef, I have been known to use a crockpot and do the 24 hour thing.


Bourguignon is typically served over toast. Kathy does not like it when her toast gets soggy. A good roux to thicken the broth goes a long way. I pull some of the broth out of the pot and since this is a gluten free kitchen, I use arrow root or a roux made with Hodgson Mill GF Pancake Mix, ( I think I got this at the Sumner Fred Meyer).

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