My dad is the local gun guru, and as such, he always has a line on some game meat through his gun pals who hunt. Dad hasn't hunted in years, but he did when we were kids, and I remember one time he came home with a moose that we ate for the better part of a year. It was awesome meat, from what I recall, and to this day, I really enjoy moose meat. Game meat in general is great stuff: basically organic, free-range, drug free, and leaner than beef, pork, or other meats you get in the grocery store. And it tastes amazing. Some meats I avoid, however: bear is gross and I don't like eating teddy bears; white tail deer is very gamey and strong; and I won't touch cougar for ethical reasons.
Elk is a large animal and it's extremely lean. I have had elk done poorly, and when it's done poorly, it's really bad. However, when it's done well, it's excellent. Last night, Dad brought over an elk steak of unknown cut for me to grill up along with a beef sirloin he had hanging around his freezer.
The elk steak was ginormous, and it required some trimming to that I could fit in into my rather modestly-sized grill pan. it had two sections of bone in it and a large piece of very tough fat around the edge that was almost the texture of cheese rind. After trimming, I managed to fit it into my grill pan. I seasoned it with Montreal Steak Spice.
I have one of those cast iron grilling pans and I've yet to master using the stupid thing because I always seem to heat it too high and cause a lot of smoking to happen. While grilling last night, it got so smokey in my kitchen that my smoke detector, located in the living room, went of twice. I reduced the heat but still got smoked out. It was brutal!
I don't know how long I grilled this per side. I do know that you don't want to grill the crap out of game meats because they are so lean, so my aim was to cook this to a nice medium rare - which is how I like my steaks done anyway. Once I took it out of the pan and let it rest, though, it wasn't done to my father's satisfaction: it was still too rare for him. So I put it back in the pan for another few minutes - creating more smoke - until finally, it was done to perfection.
It was delicious and cut like butter. It was a beautiful thing indeed. I served it with some mini potatoes, also donated by my dad, and some yams. It was so big we each had a hunk and I sent my dad home with about 1/3 of it that was left over.
Oh, and the beef steak was pretty good, too, but not as good as this bit of elk. Go game meats!