This recipe, prepared by BHA member and Montana Chapter Vice Chair Tom Healy, was featured fare at the 2019 Montana Chapter Campout. To say it was a hit is an understatement; the dish was a highlight of the event. In addition, Tom prepared a dessert of elk bacon, almond and bear fat brittle over hand-cranked maple buttermilk frozen custard and topped with rhubarb currant jam. Here's how to make the bacon.
Elk Shoulder Bacon
- 5 lbs. elk shoulder & neck
- maple syrup
- black pepper
- ¾ cup canning/pickling/kosher salt
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp pink salt (instacure optional)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 gallon water
- Coat the meat with maple syrup and black pepper.
- Smoke with fruitwood or hickory at 200 degrees to an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Smoking time will vary with meat thickness.
- Remove from smoker and cool. Glaze again with black pepper and maple syrup if desired.
Cold Smoke – Sous Vide Finishing:
- With a proper cold smoke set-up, remove the meat from the brine, rinse lightly and place in smoker for 2-4 hours.
- Remove from the smoker and seal in a Sous Vide bag. Set the Sous Vide at 145 degrees and leave the meat in for 4 (tender cuts) to 36 hours (neck flats).
- Remove the meat from the Sous Vide bags and pat dry.
- Glaze with maple syrup and black pepper and finish in a hot searing pan or on a very hot grill.
Photos by author