Sharing wild game with people can be quite the task. It reminds me of when I was a little kid and I didn’t want to try something because it smelled funny, or I was sure it had an odd texture, or I just thought it was ugly. Many of my friends and family I share deer or elk with react about the same as I initially did to peas: “I don’t like that smell and those are ugly. No thank you.”
Preparing wild game in a simple manner, such as a steak, may seem like a good idea for sharing a new meat with your family, but it may not work out how you intend. The main issue is that venison steak will not be beef. People will notice the different smell of the steak immediately. They will most likely comment that it smells “funny” and then become concerned about the steak having a “gamey” flavor. Their hesitation will only morph further from there and start to encompass the texture and ugliness of the steak.
A great way to introduce wild game to a hesitant diner is making a copycat recipe like this take on a Crunch Wrap Supreme from Taco Bell—it’s kind of like hiding vegetables in macaroni and cheese. Take a familiar food and add in the unfamiliar. This recipe for an Elk Crunch Wrap Supreme is a fun way to share your harvest with a new-to-wild-game-meat friend, and it’s also just fun to make copycat recipes from popular restaurants.
Elk Crunch Wrap Supreme
- 2 pounds ground elk meat (or other wild game of your choice)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 oz. can of hatch green chilies
- 15 oz. can of refried beans
- 1 package large flour tortillas
- Tostada shells
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 head of lettuce, shredded
- 15 oz. can of nacho cheese sauce
- 15 oz. jar of queso blanco dip
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a medium sized diced yellow onion to a large skillet over medium high heat. Let the onion cook until softened and translucent, about five minutes.
- Add the ground elk to the skillet. Add seasonings: cumin, paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, and crushed red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Mix in the tomato paste and hatch green chilies. Cook until meat is cooked through, about seven minutes.
- Warm a flour tortilla in microwave for ten seconds to increase flexibility for folding. In the center of the tortilla, spread a spoonful of refried beans to the size of the tostada shell. Top with ground elk mixture.
- Place a large dollop of each cheese: nacho cheese sauce and queso blanco dip. Spread evenly over meat mixture.
- Add a tostada shell.
- Mix shredded lettuce and tomatoes with half cup of sour cream. Spread the lettuce and tomato mixture over the top of the tostada.
- Top with a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.
- To fold, start at the bottom of the flour tortilla and fold into the center of the tostada shell. Grab the corner you created to the right side and fold towards the center. Continue working in a counter clock-wise direction until you have folded all the flour tortilla towards the center. The top should have a star pattern.
- Place the stuffed tortilla folded side down in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for three minutes, flip, and cook an additional two minutes.
- Repeat process!
Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website www.huntingandcooking.com.