Here's a wild game adaption of a classic Italian-style recipe. It's an Elk Parmesan. We were fortunate to have Brooks Hansen of Camp Chef as part of our team at Hunt Steinbeck in Paso Robles, California in August 2023. Between the incredible wild game dishes and fantastic wines we sampled from Steinbeck Vineyards, this was one hunt no one wanted to end. Brooks pulled together a variety of dishes, including this Elk Parmesan (commonly called "elk parm" for shorthand. We "washed it down" with exceptionally fine wine, especially the cabernet sauvignons and red blends from Steinbeck. This Elk Parmesan was a delicious hunting camp hit.
Making superb equipment for cooking outdoors is something at which Camp Chef excels. I've used a Woodwind Pellet Grill and Smoker for a couple of years now with spectacular results. It's so easy to operate and the food always comes off in perfect form.
During an August 2023 deer hunt in Paso Robles, California, we used Mossberg Patriot rifles and stalked Columbian blacktail deer in the sprawling Steinbeck Vineyards. Those deer sure are tasty, likely due to their diet and largely unstressed lives. But outdoor cooking wizard Brooks brought some elk loins for a special Parmesan. He used the Woodwind Pellet Grill and Smoker, its attachable "Sidekick" propane-fired unit, and a dual burner outdoors stove to create the dish. Even more impressive was the fact that he had, just a short while earlier, tagged his own blacktail and had to rush to get dinner going for a hungry camp.
The meal included a side dish of seasoned zucchini and yellow squash, seasoned with basic Italian seasonings and cooked in a skillet on a propane stove. Our video is just 4 minutes long. Check it out and, please, subscribe. And check out the linked, related stories.
Elk Parmesan - A Delicious Hunting Camp Hit Ingredients
1 - elk loin (a good 2.5-pound section or so) 1- cup bread crumbs 1- cup flour
2 cups Panko 1- package Bucatini noodles (like a very thick spaghetti) 1- can red pasta/spaghetti sauce (traditional marinara or perhaps vegetable-enhanced) 3 - eggs 1- small package white mushrooms sliced (other mushrooms such as portabella, shitake or cremini would also work great) 1- bunch parsley (chopped)
1 - white onion (chopped)
3-4 - cloves garlic (diced into small pieces) 6- Slices mozzarella cheese 1- cup shredded Parmesan cheese Vegetable oil (about two cups)
Salt/Pepper to taste
Cut venison loin into 1-inch thick slices. Place individual pieces on a solid cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and then use a meat mallet to flatten the cutlets until they're about 1/4-inch thick.
Crack eggs into small bowl and whisk together to make an egg wash.
Pour flour into small mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Pour bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese in a small mixing bowl and mix together.
Heat 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in cast iron skillet to 350-400 degrees degrees.
Dredge elk/venison cutlets in flour, then lightly dip into the egg wash before thoroughly dredging and coating them with the Panko/Parmesan cheese mixture.
Carefully set the breaded cutlets into hot oil and fry for about 1:30 minutes until golden brown. Flip over and fry for 2 minutes on the other side.
Drain fried cutlet on a paper towel and then place them on a sheet pan or heat safe dish or pan and put in the smoker set at low smoke temperature. The goal is to melt the cheese and add a little smoky flavor.
Begin cooking the noodles to an "al dente" texture (slightly firm to "the tooth") While the noodles cook, saute the onions and garlic in a skillet with a little oil until they just start to brown. Then, add the pasta sauce. Stir in sliced mushrooms. Get the mixture piping hot. Serve the bucatini noodles and sauce to a plate. Top with the cutlet now sporting delicious melted mozzarella and garnish with lightly chopped fresh parsley.
Serves 6 people. Serve with good red wine.
Note: this recipe can be adapted for a variety of wild game meats - especially moose and deer.