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Smoked Elk Steaks with Caramelized Onions

Posted by sbulloch on June 21, 2013

Smoked Elk Steaks with Caramelized Onions

It's called wild game for a reason, and one of those reason is the "game" part. Typically elk can have a rather pungent taste that can be off putting to those who may not have grown up on the flavor. For a delicious way to serve elk that will please any palate, we marinated the elk steaks and then smoked them before grilling. Served with caramelized onions made in advance, these elk steaks are delicious enough to have even the non-game meat eaters in your family asking for seconds.


Smoked Elk Steaks with Caramelized Onions


Elk Steaks (cut of your choice) 1 per person
1 cup red wine
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Traeger Prime Rib Rub


In a small bowl, combine the wine, rosemary, olive oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Put the steaks and the marinade in a large resealable bag for several hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, remove the steaks and shake off any bits from the marinade. Lightly season steaks with Prime Rib Rub.

Start your Traeger on smoke with lid open for 5 minutes to get started. Place the steaks on the grill and smoke for 25-30 minutes. Remove steaks from the grill and turn the heat up to to 375, allowing about 10 minutes to preheat. Place steak on grill and cook for 25 - 30 minutes for medium well. Top with Caramelized Onions (recipe below)

CARAMELIZED ONIONS (on page 98 of our From Pulled Pork to Peach Pie cookbook)


PELLETS: Apple, Maple or Cherry
PREP TIME: 10 min.
COOK TIME: About 2 to 2 1/2 hours 

SERVES: Makes about 2 1/2 cups

4 to 5 pounds of large sweet onions, peeled
6 tbsps. butter (3/4 stick), melted
2 tsps. sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Balsamic vinegar to taste (optional)

Slice the onions in half lengthwise through the stem. Lay each onion half flat on a cutting board and cut into 1/4-inch slices. (Alternatively, you can use the slicing disk on your food processor or a mandoline, if you own one.).

Transfer to a heatproof pot, like an enameled Dutch oven. Pour the butter over the onions and season with the sugar and salt and pepper. Stir well with a wooden spoon. (Leave the lid off so the excess moisture can evaporate. Otherwise, you will steam the onions and they won’t develop that rich, sweet flavor.)

Smoked Elk Steaks with Caramelized Onions

When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 300 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the pot on the grill grate and cook the onions for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes, until they are very tender and golden brown. Flavor with a restrained pour of balsamic vinegar, if desired. Serve immediately, or let cool and store in the refrigerator in a covered container.

Smoked Elk Steaks with Caramelized Onions