Simple Gourmet: Elk Cheesesteak Sandwiches

I’m not from Philadelphia and these sandwiches are not Philly cheesesteaks. Philly cheesesteaks are a simple recipe, but what’s included is hotly debated. All agree that Philly cheesesteaks deserve a good cut of beef, like ribeye. But that’s only because they’ve never tried them with elk.

Phew! That should be enough mentions of Philly to fuel SEO :D. Now let’s get down to making a sandwich.

As always, my purpose isn’t to wow you with amazing recipes that take a chef to make them. I just want to give you ideas for using your meat that everyone will enjoy. That way, it’ll be easier to get away to hunt again next time.

Like many of you, I made a roast of game meat for Thanksgiving — a much more reasonable meal our forefathers likely shared in the 1600s. And, I’m sure like many of you, I had leftovers.

Slicing that leftover elk roast into thin, bite-sized pieces and re-frying it on the stove with cheese and onions, and stuffed in a sandwich was an excellent way to eat it. Here are some tips.

Slice the meat thin so it sears quickly, and small so it’s easy to eat in a sandwich.

What You Need

  • Good meat. I used a top round from an elk’s rump, but you could use other cuts and make them more tender. Cut your meat into thin slices and then again into bite-sized pieces.
  • 1 Onion, sliced into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • American cheese, though your favorite cheese will work, too
  • Tasty hoagie buns
  • Cooking oil
  • Seasoning
  • Skillet

What You Do

Preheat your skillet to medium-high heat. While you slice garlic and onions, get let the meat warm to room temperature. Season the meat with salt or seasoned salt and mix together with a little cooking oil in a bowl. You need to get a good sear, so when you add the slices to the pan, don’t move them. Let them brown, then flip to finish cooking. Don’t put too much meat into the pan at once, either, or it will release too much moisture which will steam the meat instead of searing it. Remove the meat from the pan and sear another batch. Remove the meat from the pan.

The onions and garlic add a necessary variety to each bite.

Reduce the heat a little to cook the garlic and onions. Use more oil and deglaze the pan, mixing all the bits from the meat up with the garlic. Once the garlic begins browning, add the onions. Onions will take several minutes to cook. Leave them a little crisp, or saute them to softness, it’s up to you.

Melt the cheese into the meat and onions and mix it thoroughly to create a creamy sandwich filling.

Next, put the meat back into the pan and mix with the onions to reheat, and prepare to add the cheese. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and drape the American cheese on the meat and onions to start melting.

Now, my kids are of an age where they don’t want things mixed, which I always tell them is a mistake. So, they wanted these served without mixing the cheese in completely, as in the picture. But I think you’ll like it more if you mix the melted cheese into the meat and onions, making a creamy pile of meat that fills your sandwich bun.

Serve hot on toasted hoagie buns.

This is how you serve it if your kids are complaining about mixing foods together, but blending the cheese into the meat and onions will be tastier.

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About the author: Levi Sim is an avid hunter, and an increasingly avid shooter. He strives to make delicious and simple recipes from the game he kills. He makes a living as a professional photographer, writer, and photography instructor. Check out his work and he’d love to connect on Instagram: @outdoorslevi

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  • phil Dru December 9, 2022, 9:49 am

    My son’s brother in law is a rabid Elk hunter. He passed some Elk meat to my boy. I’ll have to ask if there is any left!

  • Brian December 6, 2022, 12:26 pm

    Onions first, then garlic. The garlic will get burned and bitter before the onions cook. Onions in the pan at high heat, let them help deglaze the pan, turn the head down to soften the onions and then add the garlic.

    • Levi Sim December 6, 2022, 11:32 pm

      I appreciate that. I’ve always done it garlic first. I’ll try it your way.

      • Brian December 9, 2022, 11:42 pm

        The recipe sounds awesome. I wish I had some elk meat to try it with, but I do think you’ll enjoy it more of you do onions first. Turn the heat down at the same time you add the onions. They’ll get a little browned by the high heat, they’ll help deglaze the pan, and they’ll soak up some of the heat. Saute them til they’re soft and start getting translucent. Add the garlic then, very low heat, lots of stirring. Garlic is a great addition, but it can burn so quickly! And nothing ruins a dosh entirely as badly as burned Garlic. If you want to test it out, saute a pan of just Garlic and saute a pan of just onion. See how long it takes to get the garlic where you want it, and how long it takes to get the onion where you want it. I’ll bet every bullet I own the onion will take three or four times as long at the same heat. I really enjoy your articles and recipes, please keep them coming!

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