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Author Topic: Braised Elk Cheeks  (Read 3383 times)

sumpnz

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Braised Elk Cheeks
« on: November 12, 2017, 12:01:02 AM »

If you have never saved the cheek meat from a game animal I highly recommend you do so.  It comes off the back edge of the lower jaw bone.  Not too hard to remove.  The cow elk that my daughter shot on Tuesday had cheeks that totaled 11oz between them.  Not a lot of meat, but well worth saving.  Might be questionably worthwhile for the effort for something like a small deer, but a large deer and any elk or larger animal it is a must do. 

I carved them off the head on Wednesday night.  Skinned the head I think Tuesday night.  Might have been Wednesday morning.  Kept the head as cool as reasonably possible.  Once the cheeks were carved off I put them in a sandwich baggie and put them in the fridge for a couple days. 

Had my daughter find a recipe she liked and got all ingredients. 

Took the elk cheeks dusted them with salt and pepper and browned them in some bacon grease.  Then sauteed some onions and garlic in that same grease.  Added some carrots and celery and sauteed them for a few minutes.  Then added some red wine (use Ravenswood Shiraz) to deglaze the pan and let it simmer for a minute.  Then that went into the roasting pan along with some beef stock (no elk stock, yet), some fresh thyme sprigs, and a couple bay leaves.  Then put in the oven at 320F (later lowered to 300 which I think would have been better if slightly slower) for just under 4 hours (time was based off when the meat was fall apart tender).  Removed the meat and picked out the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and then put the sauce in the blender.  Set the meat over a bed of mashed potatoes and poured some sauce over it all.

That was absolutely fabulous.  I will definitely be making a point of saving the cheeks from any animal I get the chance to harvest.