Elk and Potatoes with Brown Gravy and Beaten Butter Biscuits

Have I told you before Grant is a crazed bow hunter? Well, he is.
Here is our life.
Part of it anyway.
About early April. Grant bumps up his 3-4 day a week runs to 5-6 days a week. He starts shooting his bow about 3 times a week too (which eventually ends up being 5-6 days a week by July). Every night around 10, he calls his brother Brett, (they are like Siamese twins, separated at birth) who lives 1.3 miles away. Yes, they have measured. The convo goes like this:
G- "Hey what's up" nonchalantly.
response I can't hear from Brett.
G-"Did you run?'
G- in an even more nonchalant way- "Did you shoot?"
Now Grant is answering the same q's, Brett is asking him.

Why is this relevant?? Years ago, when they started hunting together, they decided to use a point system to see who would get to fling the first arrow on the elk hunt. Here's how the elk hunt goes, when you hunt in a pair:
Typically, one hunter calls in the elk, using a hose type device (kind of like a vacuum cleaner hose) called a "grunt tube" Yes, really, that's what it is called. Usually, it's covered in a piece of camo fabric kind of like a huge scrunchie. They make sounds into the tube. Sometimes it's a "bugle" sound, sometimes it 's a cow (girl elk) sound. In my mind, the cow elk must sound like:
"Honey, I found the remote for you!"
Click here if you want to see a demo. This is serious business.
Anyway, long story short, the hunted elk hears the sounds, comes running to what he thinks is a real animal and the other hunter then takes his shot at the animal.

Getting in to shape- good idea if you are hauling around a pack like this.

So, G & B decided to keep track of fitness and shooting points all summer long. This would motivate them to be in great shape when they needed to hike all over creation to find the elk, deer, sheep, mountain goats, or whatever they were (are) hunting and perfect their bow hunting skills ( like Napoleon D). On the night before the opener, they tally the points to see who will hunt first, and who will call. The person with the most points gets to hunt first. It's suppose to be a surprise.
The only problem is, the nightly phone call keeps them up to date on who is ahead in the scoring system. And often possesses Grant to do midnight temple runs. In the end, it is never a surprise. Does this make sense? Don't answer that question.

Bow Brothers aka G & B, Dit and Dot.

Anyway. Almost every year, we are fortunate :) to have some type of game in our freezer. To date, we have had: elk, venison (deer), mountain goat, moose, big horn sheep, bear, antelope, turkey and duck. No the duck was not shot with a bow. But yes on all of the rest.

My boys love bow hunting as well. They tagged along as when
they were younger, and are now hunters themselves.

The hat Jake is wearing in this pic is called the
"Good Karma Hat". All hunters must put it on their head,
including Brett and his kids, before a hunt begins.

Cooking Part:
So, the big question is always - "Do you eat the meat??" or "Do you cook it??"
The answer, yes. Not as often as I should, but yes. Over the years I have experimented with many different cooking methods. My tried and true is a Swiss steak- Ill post that sometime. Wild game is tricky. Unlike beef, or pork, there is very little, if no fat on elk meat, or any marbling of fat. Grant (my no- cooker hubs) recently found the secret to cooking delish wild game. Searing, and not overcooking, only cooking to medium rare, at most. Seems simple. But for some reason, this has escaped me all of these years.
A while ago, I used some tenderloin elk steaks to make this wonderful dish. I'm not a huge fan of wild game, but this was really yummy. Tender pieces of meat, rich gravy, buttery biscuits. You could of course, use beef in place of the wild game, if your hubs is a girly man, and isn't a hunter.
That was a joke.
Let me know if you need some elk steaks, I have about 900 lbs in my freezer.
That, my friends was not a joke.

Elk and Potatoes with Brown Onion Gravy &
Beaten Butter Biscuits
A Bountiful Kitchen

Beaten Butter Biscuits:

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3/4 cup cold milk, whole or low fat

Ina food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Pulse several times to combine. Add the butter and pulse again several times until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the motor running add the milk. Continue processing just until the dough forms a ball.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times gently. Pat out to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 425 if serving alone, or if topping casserole, place on top of prepared dish. Bake whole casserole uncovered, at 425 for 15 minutes.

Meat/potato layer:
1 lb elk or venison steak, cubed
3-4 cups cubed cooked potatoes, any type
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
herbs optional- oregano, basil, parsley

In about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, saute the onions in a saucepan until tender. Remove. Turn the heat to medium high, and sear the cubed meat. Make sure to not over cook. Cook just until the outsides are brown. Turn off heat.
Transfer meat, cooked onions and garlic and any desired herbs fresh or dried into a casserole dish. Set aside.

adapted from Ina Garten

1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion ( about 2 small onions)
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef stock, heated
2 tablespoons red or brandy cooking wine, optional OR
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon heavy cream, optional

In a large (10 to 12-inch) saute pan, cook the butter and onions over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Make sure the onions are well cooked, this brings out great flavor in the gravy.
Sprinkle the flour into the pan, whisk in, then add the salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the hot beef stock mixture and cooking wine or Worcestershire, and cook uncovered for 4 to 5 minutes until thickened. Add the cream, if desired. Season, to taste.

-Place meat mixture in greased casserole dish.
-Top with gravy.
-Place biscuits on top

-Don't let the length of this recipe scare you. Start to finish (prep), I can make this dish in about 30-40 mins. Then pop in the oven and bake. Best to make when you have leftover baked potatoes.
-I usually make gravy without a recipe, but knew you would seriously consider opting out of our cyber/blogger friendship if I didn't give specifics. Ina's is a good basic gravy to make and use in this recipe.


  1. Si, this is fascinating. You're not only a hunting widow but a get-ready-to-hunt widow. What a great motivator to get in shape. I think they definitely earn their hunting privileges. We should try bow hunting purses or shoes!

  2. Oh.. Grant and Brett rock. The only thing better than 900 lbs of elk meat in your freezer is a full-size stuffed mountain goat mounted on a giant stand in your corner office. Been there, seen that.

  3. Sounds amazing we will no doubt be using this with our venison after the hunt thanks!

  4. I loved your post - I can just imagine your mountain-men out there, bringing home their "trophies" for you. I have always enjoyed any game that I have tried, but have never tried elk - I'm pretty sure we don't have any here, but we do have venison here, and the way you have served this sounds wonderful.

  5. My father is a hunter. I grew up eating all of the game you mentioned...plus grouse, sage hen, rabbit, dove, pheasant, etc. I must say I do not miss it. My husband is a golfer. But it's terrific when you can offer a recipe that makes the most of the wild game.

    Good luck with eating all of that elk.

  6. This is your funniest post to date. Hilarious! I am amazed! My sister is married to a hunter. I will have to tell her about this recipe. You can keep your elk though :)

  7. My hubby could be your hubby's & his brother's long-lost triplet. No kidding. He dreams hunting year-round. First of the year, the planning starts. Long phone conversations about hunting. Elk/moose/antelope/deer heads on my wall. The whole nine yards.

    Thanks for posting your recipe! I'm going to try it, and probably soon. Elk hunt is coming up.

  8. Ha, this is good to know. One of my husbands patients gave us elk steaks and they've been sitting in our freezer for months cause I don't know what to do with them. Thanks for the info.


  9. The recipe is yammy... I'm at work right now and my eyes melt for food. Although seams that you had a great time in the woods, I'm not so into hunting. But seams that you had a great time.

  10. Showed my hubby your post, and lo and behold, he sits next to Brett on our stake High Council! (Small world!) He doesn't doubt you have 900lbs. of elk. :)

  11. Lovely post!! and lovely recipe! gloria

  12. Hilarious. My husband is a hard core elk hunter (though they do rifles, later in the season) and every October he goes from VA to CO for the hunt with his dad and brothers. Which means in July he starts upping his training routine and calling his brother every night, discussing guns, exercise, and topo maps. It's like reading my own alternate reality. Luckily since he has to fly across country we don't end up with much of the meat, but I guess I could handle a few pounds now that there is actually a recipe out there for it. Usually I just put it in chili or something that will cover the taste. I love the variety on your blog.

  13. My husband is an avid bow hunter as well.
    Every year he has caught an Elk (since we have been married) so our deep freezer is always full. We love to make Elk Steak Fajitas. mmmmmmmmm.I am not too big on the roast so now we get mostly steaks and ground elk.


Tell us how you really feel...