Food: Elk burgers make for a delicious alternative |

Food: Elk burgers make for a delicious alternative

Arica Davis
Tribune Food Columnist
Burgers, in this case elk, make for a great way to try different types of meats.
Courtesy / Arica Davis |

If you shop at Raley’s you may have noticed a freezer in the meat department filled with ground meats from Durham Ranch. In this white freezer you can find ground elk, bison, venison and boar. If you’ve never tasted these unusual meats, burgers are a great way to try them out. For this burger recipe I decided to use the ground elk. Elk is low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein. This dense red meat is also very tender and very flavorful. This recipe has quite a few parts to it, but that’s what makes this burger mouthwateringly delicious. I made a garlic aioli, as well as red onion jam, which you can substitute out for caramelized onions. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Elk Burgers with Red Onion Jam

Makes 4 servings

Red onion jam

1 tbs olive oil

1 large red onion, sliced thin

1 cup red wine

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tbs dried thyme

1 tbs white balsamic vinegar

dash salt and pepper

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium. Add onions and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Add in wine, sugar, thyme, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat low and let simmer until liquid thickens, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Burger fixins

Burger buns or romaine lettuce


Smoked mozzarella

Garlic aioli*

Red onion jam

For the burgers:

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 pound ground elk

Mix together the ingredients above and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes shape into three or four large patties. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add burger patties; cook three minutes. Turn patties over; cook two more minutes. Internal temperature should be 130-140 degrees. Top patties with cheese; cook until cheese has started to melt.

Divide red onion jam among bottom halves of buns. Top with patties and arugula. Spread garlic aioli on top halves of buns. Top burgers with top halves of buns and enjoy!

*For the aioli, simply place half a cup of mayonnaise in a food processor with three garlic cloves and one tablespoon of lemon juice with a dash of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Keep cold until ready to use.

Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit or call 530-539-4504 to book your next dinner party.

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Food & Drink