Because it’s fall

Recipes by Tim and Dana Phillips | Photography by Greg Lindstrom

Elk Meatloaf serves 4-6

2/3 lb Italian sausage
2/3 lb ground beef
2/3 lb ground elk
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup panko
1 tsp sage
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp rosemary
½ cup shredded carrots
½ cup minced celery
1 cup minced onion

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and use your hands to mix until well combined.
3. Put the mixture into a loaf pan and pat it down into an even layer.
4. Bake uncovered for 55 minutes, make sure to let the meatloaf rest for 8-10 minutes before serving so it doesn’t fall apart.

Tomato Bacon Jam

½ lb bacon
2 lbs tomatoes, small dice
1 yellow onion, finely diced
1 cup white sugar
2 ½ Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco or Crystal)
1 Tbsp fresh minced sage

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on paper towels. Crumble or chop the bacon when cool.
2. Add tomatoes, onion, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper and hot sauce to a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Make sure to stir constantly to dissolve sugar. Stir in crumbled bacon and cook over medium heat, stirring often until the spread is very thick, about an hour. Add the fresh sage to finish, re-season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. This will stay good in a fridge for a week or in a freezer for a couple of months.


Elk Bolognese Serves 4-6

¼ cup olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage
1 lb ground elk
1 cup onions, finely diced
½ cup carrots, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
1 ½ Tbsp fresh minced garlic
4 oz tomato paste
1 can (28 oz) San Marzano tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole milk
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf

1. Heat oil in a large stockpot and add onion, carrot and celery until it begins to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
2. Add sausage and elk to pot and cook meat until no longer pink, making sure to stir and separate the meat. Once the meat is browned, pour off excess fat.
3. Stir in tomato paste and cook for another two minutes. Pour in wine and scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot until the liquid has evaporated.
4. Add the milk and reduce by half.
Add thyme, oregano and bay leaf,
and pour in tomatoes and stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer and cook partially covered for 2-3 hours. Make sure to skim fat from the top of the sauce frequently. If the sauce starts to dry out, add a little more stock. Season again with salt and pepper to finish.


Elk Chili Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp bacon fat
1 ½ lbs elk (ground or stew meat)
1 large white onion, cut into eight wedges
1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
4 tomatoes, cut into six wedges each
1 Tbsp garlic powder
½ Tbsp cumin
1 ½ Tbsp fresh minced sage
2 dried chilis (guajillo or pasilla)
1 dried arbol chili
4 cups beef stock
1 cup amber ale
1 can (15.5 oz) garbanzo beans
¼ cup achiote paste

1. Toss onion, tomato and jalapeno in olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a mild char develops. When the vegetables are done, let them cool and rough chop them.
2. Stem and seed the dried chilis using shears. Place the chilis in a single layer on a baking sheet and add them to the oven for 3-5 minutes. The chilis should be hot and fragrant when removed. After removing from the oven, grind them into a powder with a food processor or coffee grinder to make chili powder.
3. Heat bacon fat in a medium-sized pot and brown the elk, adding the garlic, cumin, sage, chili powder and achiote paste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Deglaze the pan with amber ale, making sure to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan. Add your roasted vegetables, beans and stock to the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes covered on medium-low heat. Continue to simmer another 15 minutes uncovered to reduce.
5. Serve with your favorite toppings and bread.

Tim and Dana Phillips took ownership of Hop’s Downtown Grill in October 2017 with the goal of bringing their passion of family, friends and community to their new business. Hop’s continues to be a community destination that people seek out for creative, high-quality, locally sourced food. The Phillipses are passionate and proud to work with local purveyors to support the community they love, and are happy to share some of their favorite recipes with you. With hunting season right around the corner, hopefully everyone will have a freezer full of elk. If you are not a fan of game, these recipes still work great with your favorite cuts of meat.