Wild Elk Steaks Sous Vide

A few days back I mentioned getting some wild elk meat from my brother’s recent hunting trip in Montana.

Saturday evening we had some friends over and I’d decided to set up the Sous Vide Supreme for the first time in a while. My taste for this method of cooking goes back just over two years when Dr. Mike Eades invited me to a lunch demo up in San Francisco, along with Tim Ferriss.

The Doctors Eades
The Doctors Eades

Shortly thereafter, I took delivery of my own appliance and did quite a number of posts of various sous vide preparations.

I was recently asked about using this appliance in comments and had to admit that I’d just not been using it a lot lately, due changing life circumstances like a move.

But anyway, Saturday was the night and in all honesty, it was actually very simple to put together. Once the elk steaks were sealed (with sea salt only) and in the 130F water bath, nothing can go wrong. You need to leave them in for about a hour, but you can leave them for two, if you like. This allowed me to prepare the roasted brussels, fresh from a stalk I’d just picked up at the market.

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts

This is extremely simple as well. First, I blanched them whole, three minutes from when they first go into the boiling water (don’t wait for it to come to a boil, again) and then into a pot of cold water. Once cool, I cut them in half, put them on a baking sheet, spooned on some coconut oil, sprinkled on some salt, and into the oven at 400F. After a couple of minutes the coconut oil is melted, so I tossed them around, and then another tossing at around the 10 minute mark. About 20 minutes is needed until they’re toasted; then toss them in some balsamic vinegar and you’re done.

Elk Sous Vide & Brussels Sprouts

For the elk, it was simply a matter of a 1 minute sear on each side in a bit of bacon fat & ghee. Sorry, this plate got a bit blurry on me. The hi-res version is a bit better if you click on it.

More Elk & Roasted Sprouts

The flavor was quite excellent, very much like a good flank steak — flank, hanger and bavette being my favorite cuts for the sous vide method. 130F, an hour or more, and you can’t go wrong.


  1. Mike Gruber on November 21, 2011 at 10:33

    I saw a roast beef recipe recently that recommended holding the roast at 120 for **18 hours ** !! The claim was that this broke the meat down and made it very, very tender, without overcooking it.

    I wonder if the same would work in a sous vide? It might be worth a try. Have you noticed any difference between stuff you left in longer vs. stuff you pulled after an hour?

  2. AnnaA on November 21, 2011 at 11:52

    Roast beef cooked in a regular oven-seasoned and first seared briefly at 350 F and then turned right down to 170F can cook all day without overcooking.

    It is my favourite cheat when lots of company is coming- it turns out pinky rare every time.

  3. Sean on November 21, 2011 at 12:08

    I think I started reading your blog around the time you were getting into the sous-vide. Was that more than two years ago? Time does fly…

  4. Skyler Tanner on November 21, 2011 at 12:22

    I did a venison backstrap, ~8oz chunk, on Saturday the exact same way. Actually had brussel sprouts with them as well, strangely enough. It was a rockin’ chunk of wild animal.

  5. LXV on November 21, 2011 at 16:02

    A few summers ago I was lucky enough to live someplace I could have a garden. Where my neighbors had flowers and shrubs, I had a rather artfully arranged vegetable and herb garden leading up the walkway. The brussel sprouts (in addition to be insanely tasty) provided some very dramatic height.

    I use the same recipe, except I use bacon grease instead of coconut oil. Bacon and brussel sprouts go together like…. well, bacon and just about everything else.

  6. Jay Jay on November 21, 2011 at 18:41

    Sous Vide? Wow!

    I’ve been big time into sous vide for about 5 years.

    Paleo, a year.

    You, about 6 months.

    Time to dig through your archives!

    • Richard Nikoley on November 21, 2011 at 18:45

      Nope, sous vide for about 2 years, but mostly in the first year. Unless you mean Paleo, in which case I’ve been at it since 2007/8.

  7. ella on November 22, 2011 at 04:51

    When I read the title, I was immediately reminded of Sous Vide having been mentiones in this blog post:

    Out with the soy, and in come the replacements … I’m pretty sure someone could come up with a hack for this mess; there’s got to be a way to avoid plastic.

  8. Jules on November 22, 2011 at 10:32

    Mmm, looks awesomeballs! I might have to save my pennies for a sous vide…

  9. vn1cabrwn on November 23, 2011 at 21:12

    Wow, that looks very delicious, I’m glad you share it with us..!!I’m dying to taste that food:)

  10. Jasen on November 30, 2011 at 00:07

    Not to change the subject, but tonight I made the Cesar dressing I saw on another post. Holy Shit!!! That was the best cesar dressing I have ever had in my life! Dinner tonight was grilled lamb chops(medium rare) with a cesar salad with your dressing recipe. I get so much value from your blog Richard in more ways than one.

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