Take that lean cut of elk loin and step it up with a bold coffee spice rub then top it all off with a velvety rich chipotle cream sauce. Treat that majestic beast with the respect it deserves and take your game meat to the next level.
Elk has a lot going for it and is honestly one of our favorite and most underrated protein sources. Elk is extremely lean but has a very strong flavor similar to venison but less gamy in our humble opinion. Elk has more protein per serving on average then beef, chicken or lamb. Elk is also packed with Vitamin B-12, iron, zinc riboflavin and niacin.
All of these vitamins and minerals have been shown to promote good heart health as well as vital building blocks of a sting immune system. So basically it’s a super food!!!! Please note we are not doctors and you should do your own research, and by research we mean listening to a Joe Rogan Podcast!!
But Seriously Elk is amazing for so many reasons and if you have never tried game meat Elk is a fantastic place to start!
Can I make this Recipe with Beef or Venison???
Well, sure you can. If you are not an avid bowhunter like Cam Hanes or can’t find elk at your local butcher then by all means substitute beef, bison or venison. This recipe is actually even good with pork and chicken too.
If you're using Beef we recommend a flat iron, sirloin or tenderloin cut.
What Temperature Should You Cook Elk??
Because Elk is extremely lean we recommend that you not cook above 135 degrees F. Internal temperature because it will turn out dry. On the other hand if you serve elk too rare it can sometimes be a little chewy. Medium rare seems to be the sweet spot for elk loin right around 120-125 degrees F.
Best way to Cook Elk Loin
Fast and Furious is the only way to go when it comes to lean cuts like this. You don’t have any connective tissue or big hunks of fat to breakdown. The loin is almost 100% muscle meat and searing is the best way to seal in the juices. You can cook right on the grill grates if you like or lay a cast iron skillet right over the hot coals and let it get steaming hot. You’ll only need to cook the elk for 2-3 minutes per side to develop a crust. After you reach your ideal internal temperature let the steak rest for 5 minutes before slicing so the juices can redistribute.
Coffee Rub for Elk Loin
Coffee might not sound like an ingredient you would want to rub all over your meat but the roasted subtlety of the coffee grounds pairs perfectly with the smoky earthy flavors from the paprika, cumin and chili powder in the rub. You don’t need a lot of coffee to give your rub that roasted coffee punch. The goal is to taste the coffee without knowing its coffee you're tasting...if that makes any sense. If you want to cheat just take your favorite BBQ spice rub and mix 1 part coffee to 3 parts rub.
1 tbsp Ground Coffee
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 tbsp Light Chili Powder
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tbsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Coarse Black Pepper
1 tsp Granulated Onion
1 tsp Granulated Garlic
1 tsp Ground Cumin
- Combine all ingredients in an airtight container and shake to combine. Store in a cool dark place for up to 4 months
Chipotle Cream Sauce
¾ cup Heavy Cream
⅓ cup Pico de Gallo
1 tbsp Salted Butter
1 tbsp Chipotle in Adobe (puréed)
¼ cup Cheddar Jack (shredded)
1 tbsp Cilantro (chopped)
1 tsp Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Sauté pico de Gallo, butter and chipotle for 30 seconds then add your cream and stir until it begins to thicken. About 3 minutes.
- Squeeze in lime juice and season with salt & pepper as needed.
- Remove from heat and whisk in shredded cheese until completely melted.