If you don’t follow Eric Gryba on social media, you should. He’s an Edmonton Oiler by day, and a Traeger enthusiast by night. He’s created his own brand called Grillin With Gryba, and it’s basically his wife filming him make all sorts of game and locally sourced meats on his Traeger. He recently marketed some T-shirts, so of course I ordered one for Chris for Christmas. He loves it, and it’s actually a beautiful quality shirt.
Anyway, Chris and his friends went hunting in November and they harvested 2 elk. They processed all the meat themselves and he came home with 48 pounds of elk meat, all a selection of ground, roasts, and loins. His GWG shirt has a convenient infographic on the front!
Chris has wanted a Traeger forever and he finally got one at Christmas. Since then, we’ve been drowning in all sorts of smoked protein, because I cannot get him to stop Traeger’ing. Yes, I use Traeger’ing as a verb. He’s obsessed with it and grills everything in sight.
So today he planned to Traeger an elk roast. He started marinating it 2 full days ago, in a sesame oil soy sauce marinade.
He sliced garlic and jalapeño into the marinade as well, and turned it every 12 hours.
The Traeger cookbook doesn’t have recipes for game for some reason, so we had to wing it. Chris prepped a skillet with oil and heated it to sear all sides of the roast before it went to the Traeger.
At this point we nearly burned the house down with a grease fire, the smoke alarm went off and the dogs started barking in panic, all while Chris laughed hysterically.
But we successfully seared all sides without a fire, and Chris stabbed his Weber iGrill Bluetooth meat thermometer into the thickest part.
He’s also obsessed with the iGrill app that reads the temperature back to his phone; he likes to give me play by play updates of the rising temperature. It’s not annoying at all.
We left the roast in the skillet, covered it with tinfoil and moved out to the Traeger.
It Traeger’d for about 45 minutes until it reached 140 degrees F. Elk should never go over 150 degrees. Chris took it off and let it rest, covered, for about 20 minutes.
The roast shrunk substantially throughout cooking, but turned out very tender.
The Traeger cookbook says you can take your leftover marinade, which I was always taught to throw away, and make it into gravy. It can be put in a saucepan and heated to a boil for over 2 minutes, and reduced, and it will be safe to use as a gravy.
Chris can never plate anything nicely because he eats half of it before he makes it to the table. Here we have half a piece of elk with reduced marinade gravy, and baby potatoes with mushrooms.
I love having the option of eating meat that came from the Alberta wild, and went straight to our plates. We’re very blessed to live in a place where the land can sustain us. As always, when an animal provides us with food, I think of this excerpt from Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, a quote from Kahlil Gibran.