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Date and Mushroom Stuffed Elk Roast

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Recipes posted a year ago:

This recipe came about while standing in the doorway of the pantry tapping my fingers on the door frame thinking, “I should really use up some of these dates…and what the heck am I going to use these dried chanterelles for?”  After a little rifling through the spice cabinet, I had some notes scribbled on a sticky-note, and the ingredients were on the counter.

Gather Up:

  • 3-1/2 lb boneless elk shoulder roast (or grassfed beef)

Stuffing:

  • 1 oz dried chanterelles, soaked in 1 cup hot water and drained (reserve water for glaze below)
  • 6 dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Herb de Provence
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Glaze

  • Reserved mushroom water
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Herb de Provence
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper

Heat the grill or oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the stuffing ingredients in a small food processor.  Pulse to form a coarse stuffing, about the texture of minced onions.

Insert a sharp knife into the side of the roast, starting about 3/4″ from the end and stabbing in to within 3/4″ from the opposite side.  Slice a pocket in the roast to within 3/4″ of the opposite end.  Stuff this pocket with the stuffing.

Work the stuffing into the pocket and close the edge of it back up.  Tie the roast with cotton string* to secure and hold it closed.  Place a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, and place it directly on the grill (or in the oven in a roasting pan).

Meanwhile, combine the glaze ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Continue simmering for about 30~45 minutes until reduced to a thin syrup (keep an eye on it, don’t let it all evaporate or burn).

Pour the reduced glaze over the top of the roast, then cover and continue cooking.

Cook until the thermometer reads 130 degrees (for a perfect medium rare finish) – about 1-1/2 hours total.  Remove from the grill and tent loosely with foil to “rest” for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.  Carve and serve.  And don’t worry if the stuffing ends up all over the place when you carve – just spoon it back on top  before dishing up.

*You can buy a roll of 100% cotton string in the hardware area of your grocery or combination store and spend about 1/3 of what they charge for specially-labeled “butcher’s twine” in the kitchen department or specialty shops.  It’s the exact same stuff – just make sure it’s 100% cotton, and not jute, hemp, or plastic.
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