Elk-Hunting Season in Michigan is Underway: As of yesterday, a factoid I came across while perusing Pure Michigan’s Facebook page. Learning about the start of elk season reminded me that I have a photo of a bigger-than-life elk work of art made entirely of nails that was entered ---and may have been a finalist or, at least, I voted for it thinking it was a moose--- at Art Prize some years back. The next part of the chain reaction was the search for elk recipes especially for Michigan-type elk. I turned up another interesting fact: The best restaurant in Elk City, which is near Traverse City, is apparently a New Orleans-style cuisine restaurant. I also found Georgia Pellegrini’s book Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time, which was published in hardcover two years ago, but not until 2013 in paperback. There are 100 recipes in this book, which is also an autobiographical story about how Ms. Pellegrini went from Lehman Brothers to chef-training to hunting wild game. She cooked for at least two famous restaurants in (Gramercy Tavern) and out of (Blue Hill at Stone Barns) Manhattan, attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC and started writing books, blogs and essays on hunting, killing and eating animals. I didn’t get to read the books yet, but I did locate the author’s recipe for Moroccan Elk Stew, which has some ingredients I know I already like including grape seed oil, dried apricots and pitted prunes. Here it is:
Moroccan Elk Stew
• 4 pounds elk shoulder or haunch, cut into cubes
• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons grape seed oil or butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 medium-size onions, roughly chopped
• 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 2 medium-size turnips, peeled and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
• 2/3 cup dried apricots
• 2.3 cup prunes, pitted
• 3 to 4 cups beef of antlered game stock
1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot with oil. In a bowl, toss the elk cubes in the flour. Shake the cubes well and place them in the pot in batches, being sure not to crowd them. Brown them on all sides and transfer to a plate or rack.
2. Put all of the browned meat back in the pan and sprinkle it with the salt, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Then add the vegetables, garlic and dried fruit. Pour in enough stock for the meat to be three-quarters covered and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat so the bubbles percolate. Cover and simmer gently for 2 hours, until tender.
The 18th Street Brewery Tap Room is Open: Today’s suggestion is to “warm up with a nice tulip of Hunter,” at 18th Street in Gary but it looks like you can also obtain Lake Street Express, Galaxy Slayer and probably a number of other craft brews…and food. To get beer-to-go you must have an official 18th Street Brewery 32 oz. Growler. Filling the Growler with Hunter is $16, but LS Express and Slayer are both $14 for a refill. The tap room is open Friday and Saturday noon to midnight. And the snow is scheduled to stop today, even in Miller Beach.