A properly prepared roast is full of flavor, always moist and exceptionally tender. Layers of flavor are created by adding special ingredients, but one of the basics is to brown meat before roasting. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using grandma’s old roast pan or a slow cooker, browning the meat with a dark crust simply makes it better.
One of the best ways to add ingredients is to put them inside the roast. Stuffing a roast is easy to do—the trick is to cut your meat with the grain to flatten it out. Once you add the stuffing, roll the roast back up and heat up a cast iron pan to brown it.
It’s hard to beat mushrooms and onions when it comes to layering flavors with every bite. When cooking to wild game, stuffing can help add moisture, ensuring you always have tender servings—just make sure you don’t overcook it.
Ingredients: • 3 lbs. elk round roast • 1 lb. mushrooms (wild mushrooms are a great option) • 1 medium onion, cut in half • 4 tablespoons butter, plus extra for roasting • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 2 thyme sprigs, leaves removed • 2 rosemary sprigs • 2 cups beef stock • salt and pepper to season
Directions: 1. Slice half the mushrooms, then finely chop the remainder plus half of the onion. Heat a cast-iron Dutch oven or roasting pan to medium, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sauté the onion and garlic 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the chopped mushrooms, thyme and rosemary, and cook for 10 minutes until lightly browned and the liquid has evaporated.
2. Place the elk roast on a cutting board, and using a sharp knife, slice lengthways with the grain of the roast on the horizontal plane, about one-third of the way down, without cutting all the way through. Then work your knife down slightly, and back in the opposite direction in the bottom third in a “C” shape, leaving the meat to unfold like a brochure.
3. Spread the mushroom mixture all over the unfolded roast, and season well with salt and pepper. Roll the roast tightly together and secure in several places with butcher’s twine.
4. Heat the remaining butter and oil in the Dutch oven or roaster on medium-high and brown the roast on all sides. Spread the remaining onions and sliced mushrooms around the roast, add two cups of beef stock, put the lid on, and place in an oven preheated to 375 degrees F. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes for rare, 30 minutes for medium and 40 minutes for well done.
5. Remove the meat, mushrooms, and onions and let the meat rest wrapped in foil while you make the sauce from the beef stock and roast drippings.
6. Make the sauce by bringing the Dutch oven or roaster back to the stovetop and heat the beef stock and roast drippings on low-medium heat. Whisk in the flour, then carefully add the brandy (do not pour the brandy directly from the bottle as it can flare) and scrape up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in the mustard and sour cream.
7. Slice the roast and serve with the gravy on the side.