Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Coffee-Rubbed Smoky Elk Roast - A Tribute to Food Network's 'Chopped'

This last weekend I introduced my wife's friend to elk. She was visiting from DC. She is one of the most well-traveled people I know, and six years ago my wife, mother and I visited her when she lived in Berlin. This, however, was her first trip to Montana. It was filled with adventure, beer and meat.

Two nights before she left, we also introduced her to Food Network's "Chopped," which is a staple in our household. For the dinner round, contestants were faced with elk, hard cider, jews mallow and canned cheese. Sans the jews mallow and canned cheese, I was inspired to prepare an elk roast for our guest before she left. I do have my own (award-winning) hard cider, but I saved that for a Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp.

Our friend is also a dedicated coffee devotee. We had already been making cups of fresh pour-over coffee in the mornings, made lovingly with my Hario Coffee Drip Kettle and Dripper. So I had to find just the right combination of coffee + meat, and I think I came pretty close with this dry rub recipe. Feel free to tweak as needed, but it's certainly a good start.

Coffee-Rubbed Smoky Elk Roast
2 lbs. elk roast (silver skin trimmed)
1/4 c. coffee grounds (the finer the better)
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 Tbl. Chili powder
2 T. Smoked paprika
1 tsp. Ground sage
1 tsp. Onion powder
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1 Tbl. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbls. Worcestershire

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Tenderize the elk roast and then coat with Worcestershire sauce. Apply dry rub evenly and generously on all sides of elk roast. Let marinate in fridge for up to an hour before cooking.

Place elk roast on a tin foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven to cook until internal temp is at least 130 degrees (I use a digital thermometer). Let stand five minutes before cutting. Serve with hard cider!


  1. cant wait to try it! :0)



  2. Thanks for the recipe. I tried it tonight and it was a hit for the whole household! :)

    1. Excellent! Glad you tried it and liked it. Cheers!

  3. This was great! Made it last night for dinner. The men ate the whole thing. Next time I'll omit the sage. Personal preference.
    I am so grateful for another great venison recipe. Moved to Eastern Montana from Florida three years ago and have loved the abundance of wild meat. So healthy. But have struggled to learn how to cook it. Not like beef at all. Tips I've learned. Always introduce a fat. (Half way through the cooking process I put 3TB butter - divided - on top of the roast) If you don't like your meat very rare, like our family, cut your roasts thinner than you would a beef roast. Too thick roasts dry our before they cook to the center. Many people like venison very, very rare. I don't, so I have learned to keep the meat thin, and really watch it while it's roasting so as not to dry it out, which can happen fast.
    Another fantastic recipe to had to my collection!
    Thanks so much.

  4. We are quite lucky to have so many tasty game animals to pursue in Montana. Eastern Montana offers a bounty of big game and birds. You're spot on with introducing fat ("fat carries flavor," they say). Thanks for giving it a try and sharing your experience. Cheers!

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