Nothing says comfort food like roast.
Roast is a traditional British meal served on Sunday’s, but came to America and quickly became a New England favorite. Since then, Mississippi has laid claim to their own version and the majority of American homes have their own recipe that they’ve grown up with.
Typically served with potatoes and carrots, the recipe is very versatile and can be made in a crockpot, instapot, or braised in the oven. The meat is typically a rougher cut, but by slow cooking it, it becomes melt in your mouth tender. Top it with gravy, and it’s heaven bliss! For this elk roast recipe, you can use the same recipe for venison, bear, or moose.
To me, roast has always been okay; in other words, it was just a way to get rid of some of those tougher cuts of meat, but it was never something I craved. That is, until I finally figured out this recipe. This elk roast recipe is so flavorful, I often catch the hubby eating cold leftovers from the fridge, and the gravy could be eaten with a spoon. It is simply divine.
I’m sure you’ve heard of using onion soup packets in your roasts, which is fine, but it’s hard to control the sodium level. Instead of using those packets, just use sliced onions (shocking, I know). No reason to get fancy with any other ingredients if you use this recipe, the onions and spice/herb combo work perfectly together.
Also, I usually cook my veggies outside of the crockpot or instant pot, because I like to control the texture of them. I don’t want them to crumble and fall apart, so I like to cook them on the stovetop while the elk roast cooks.
This doesn’t mean you can’t throw your veggies in the pot though. If you’re good with veggies cooked to a fall-apart consistency, go ahead and throw them in. Instant pots seem to be a bit more forgiving when it comes to overcooking the veggies, so it’s a much better texture.
Why Brown Roast Meat Beforehand?
I hate when I see a recipe that is supposed to be fast and it calls for all of this prep work, like browning the meat before cooking it, but there’s got to be a reason for that, right? Well, technically, you don’t have to brown meats before slow cooking them.
The time spent cooking will cook the elk roast perfectly fine, but I’ve always been a fan of the benefit of browning the meat beforehand was to add a caramelized flavor to the entire dish.
The technical term for this added caramelized flavor is called the Maillard reaction, and if you ever want to really be a meat cooking enthusiast, you should probably understand what that reaction means to cooking your meats.
BUT, with all of this said, there are people on either side of this argument that bring up great points to whether it is necessary to brown or not brown.
I like this argument for browning beforehand by one of my favorite foodie blogs, Kitchn, and I also like this argument against browning beforehand by another one of my favorite foodie blogs, Serious eats (Kenji is a favorite of mine, for sure).
Again, know it’s okay to not brown, and I’d recommend trying both ways to find out your favorite.
Should You Drain Blood from Wild Game?
We try to trim as much of the silver skin away from the meat, which typically helps with any gamey flavor, but for an extra step, the hubby likes to sit the meat in a colander that is then sat in a bowl. He then places the bowl in the fridge overnight.
This helps drain some of the blood away, which is just another step to getting rid of that gamey flavor. If you don’t have time for this step, no worries if the meat was properly trimmed, but if you’re finding that your meat does have a gamey flavor, this may help.
UPDATE: I’ve had a few people mention the timing of the recipe, which you can see in the comments below. After cooking with an instant pot for a few years now, I’ve noticed that my timing is likely due to the altitude I live at, which is 7,680 feet.
With that said, if you’re new to this recipe try starting it out at 30 minutes and do a taste/shred test. If you need more time, do another 30 minutes, and so on.
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Elk Roast Recipe
- 3 slices Bacon Cut into 3 pieces.
- 3 lb Elk Roast Venison, moose, and beef work well too.
- Salt + Pepper To taste, and use Kosher salt.
- 1 Onion Chopped.
- 3 cloves Garlic Chopped.
- 1 cup Mushrooms Sliced.
- 1/2 cup Beef Broth
- 1/2 cup Red Wine
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 tsp Rosemary
- 1 tbls Corn Starch
- If you have time, drain the elk roast in a colander set in a bowl overnight to try to get some of the blood out.
- Turn on the instant pot so it gets hot enough to cook the bacon and brown the meat.
- Par-cook the bacon slices in the bottom of the pot. What you're looking for is there to be enough grease left over to brown the meat and cook the vegetables. This step probably takes about 5-8 minutes.
- Shake some salt and pepper all over the elk roast - feel free to use a generous amount; if the elk roast is thick enough, a thick crust of salt and pepper will make it wonderful! Kosher salt, not table salt.
- When the bacon is done, remove it and set aside. Add the elk roast to the instant pot to sear and brown on all sides in the bacon grease - about 5 minutes per side. You may have to do this in batches if you're doing multiple roasts (like with smaller venison roasts).
- If you haven't already, use this time to chop your onions, chop your garlic, and slice your mushrooms.
- Once the elk roast is browned, remove it and set aside. Add the onions, garlic, and mushrooms to the pot and saute until translucent and cooked. (In a pinch, I'll use dried mushroom powder from the mushrooms I foraged for over the summer and dehydrated at home.)
- Add the elk roast back to the pot, top with bacon, and add the remaining ingredients (but not the corn starch).
- Cook the elk roast in the instant pot for 1-2 hours. Release the pressure, and then check the cut of the elk roast and decide if you want to cook it a bit more.
- Once the elk roast is done, remove the roast to a cutting board, turn up the heat on the instant pot (no lid needed) to start boiling the liquid. Take 3 tablespoons of the juice and add it to a small bowl. Stir the 1 tablespoon of corn starch into the juice until well mixed. Pour the corn starch mix into the elk roast juice, and stir to incorporate. Let this mixture boil until thick - this usually takes the time it takes to cut up the elk roast.
- Slice the elk roast and serve the gravy on the side as an option to pour on top. The gravy is so good, it could be it's own side.
Hi . . thanks for the recipe. I have an instant pot pressure cooker. Does it really take 2 to 3 hours? My usual beef roast takes 50 minutes. I was gifted an elk roast, and I really don’t want to mess it up !!! Thanks for the recipe – Carole
I made this tonight, it was delicious! I ended up cooking it for 2 hours. The last Elk my husband harvested was an old one so it needed a little time. It was not dry .
A buddy got an elk last week and, lucky us, didn’t have room for half of it in his freezer. I made this roast last night and it was hard to stop eating! The gravy is to die for. I had home made bone broth and used a Cab. When we run out of elk had have to go back to beef, this will be my new roast recipe. Thanks.
Yay, I’m glad you liked it! I’m going to have to make it again soon, that gravy could be eaten like soup!
Roger in ATL
2-3 HOURS!?? Seems like that would result in dry, cardboard textured meat.
You’re making me second guess myself! I’ll make it again tomorrow for dinner and do a taste test, but if I remember correctly, the 1 hour mark didn’t leave the roast tender enough.
So, I cooked this again tonight in the instapot pressure cooker, and then took it out at the hour mark, sliced it, and tasted it. The hubby and I both thought it could cook longer, so it went back in.
I also did a bit of research on cuts of meat for roasts and the timing could depend on where the roast cut came from on the animal; in other words, the roast could be more or less tender depending on where it was cut from. With that said, perhaps the best answer is to taste it every hour and see what you think as far as tenderness.
I am cooking one today for Christmas dinner; it doesn’t have a guide,one for cooking in an oven.?any help?
So yummy! I didn’t have mushrooms, but it was still delicious without. Next time I’ll reduce the time to 90 minutes (I did 120 minutes, and we live at 6500 ft which affects the time, too). Thanks for the recipe!
I find one of the best ways to remove gamie flavor along with removing silver skin, is to brine your meat in salt water. I will do this 1 hour up to 12 hours, and love the results. Meat is never dry, full meat flavor comes through instead of the gaminess that can happen.
If an elk is dressed properly in the field, there should be no need to soak the blood out.
Our 6 pound sirloin roast was too big for my pressure cooker, so I cut it in half…. sprinkled with kosher salt & pepper, seared in bacon fat, cooked for 50 minutes, & let pressure drop on it s own. Used onion, garlic, mushrooms, no wine or broth, only water, & 2 bay leaves.
Roast was fall-apart tender & delish! This recipe is a keeper!!! Thank you!
I had a 2.3 lb elk roast I used with this recipe, it turned out soooo great! Thank you! I had to modify it a bit… Used chicken broth (was out of beef broth), used carrots (no mushrooms on hand), and added a whole pack of bacon since my roast was relatively small. Otherwise followed instructions exactly. Instant pot for 1 hr 40 min. A little salty (probably my fault making the roast crust), but this will definitely be my go-to roast recipe!!!
I’m not the best cook but this recipe turned out great.The Elk was delicious and the gravy was incredible.
Thanks Kasy Allen
I just finished my first elk roast. I followed this recipe and man was it good. So much lighter than eating beef roast. Not fat or heavy feeling after. Carrots and potatoes came out fine after cooking the whole time, not mushy. I will definitely make it again.
When do you add in the veggies so they’re not mushy?
Cooked a 2lb elk roast for 60 minutes and it came out way over cooked :/ would probably do 35 minutes next time.
Trying this recipe tonight, you mention using mushroom powder from dehydrated foraged mushrooms. Did you grind it into a powder?
Yes, in my food processor I grind the dried mushrooms into a fine powder.
I think instant pot is the same as a pressure cooker. Do you use High or Low setting?
I did a 2 lb elk roast last night for 90 minutes. It was tender but also quite dry. Should I have cooked it less? Thank goodness for the delicious gravy!
Mine was also very dry at 2 hours. Thinking about using more bacon next time
Mine was sooo dry. I cooked it for 20 min the next time and that was perfect.
Will you please tell me at what temp to set the instapot after browning
You, know, I’m not sure. My instapot only has one temperature setting.
Okay…so I must say…I thought the 2hrs…was going to be waaaay too long in the instant pot…bless my husband for waiting patiently for dinner. It really took 2 hrs for my elk roast to shred easily. And trust me…I checked it at an hr and an hr and a half lol. I wish I would have had faith and left it alone for the 2 full hrs. It was shredding pretty easy, however I threw it in my kitchen aid mixer bowl with the batter beater and it shred the entire roast in about a minute. The flavor is amazing! I used cabernet and beef broth. Thank you for posting the recipe. I was just worried about the time because elk steaks coo in about half the time and are better medium rare.
Yumm! I made this ahead of time for camping to warm up and it was delicious. I shredded the meat and mixed all of it in the gravy. I served it with baked potatoes and green beans. The entire camp was so impressed. Draining the blood got rid of any strong game taste. I had a lot of liquid for the gravy, so I just slowly kept adding more cornstarch mixture.
This meal will be a forever addition to elk camp. Thank you so much for sharing your delicious recipe.
Any thoughts on a choice of wine?
Also, new to instapot. Are you talking about pressure cooking it?
Everything you read about the gravy is true. Like everyone else in this thread, I can’t leave a recipe alone, but I made no significant changes. I had about a 1.6 lb elk chuck roast and couldn’t it actually took over an hour. I opened at the 1 hour mark and put it back in for 18 minutes. Came out perfect.
That gravy though–mwah!
Thank you for this recipe! I have not had very good success with elk roasts in the past, so I tried this recipe last night. Mind blown! So tender and delicious! I finally feel that I am sufficiently honoring this beautiful creature. I used a 2.5-lb roast, 1 hr high pressure and natural release, then 15 more minutes, and it was perfect. I live at 3,800 feet.
2 hours of cooking results in elk that’s the texture of an eraser. Outside of the gravy, this recipe was a sad “second butchering” of our cow elk. Just a heads-up, the red stuff that drains from meat is myoglobin — not blood.
Trying this for dinner tonight. My husband got two elk this year, and this year we got roasts. We usually steak or burger the meat when butchering. I am using the regular crockpot method. I have an instant pot brand crock pot, so I can do the entire process in the crock pot from searing to slow cooking. Used Himalayan pink salt instead of kosher salt, will report the difference (forgot to check pantry and had used last of kosher salt). So far the kids and husband say it smells amazing. Will update with the final results.
So, just finished dinner. The gravy, wow. So good. My boys were silent, the only sound was the klink of silverware on the plates. The roast was so tender and falling apart. Will definitely cook this again.
Absolutely delicious!! I don’t like mushrooms, and we didn’t have any wine on hand, so I used 1 cup of broth and omitted the mushrooms. I only cooked it for a little over an hour and it was DELICIOUS! I know if I’d waited closer to two hours, it would have been even better.
Thanks for this great recipe, it’s a keeper for sure! That gravy is to die for. We’ll definitely make this again and again.
Have tried this recipe several times now. Firstly, the recipe for gravy is absolutely fabulous – so much so, we make it for plenty of other dishes.
My insta-pot has 3 settings – lo, med, high. We have tried 1 roast on high for 45 minutes, like shoe leather. Second roast for 30 minutes on medium (tough). Third roast for 25 minutes on medium (somewhat better). Our last two roasts we are trying for ~15 min. We use the meat/stew select button and then adjust to medium on the insta-pot.
I do note, there is a slow-cook button – but per manual, this is akin to crock-pot setting……
We like our game medium rare to medium – the roasts never “flake apart” – rather maintain their consistency. None of the comments I see refer to “doneness” of the roasts – but trust most people are not dissimilar and prefer game more to the rarer side.
We live at 6400 ft – so elevation should not be an issue.
I just cannot understand how/why my insta-pot seems to cook roasts uber-quick……These are ~2 lb roasts BTW…..
Anyway, you are onto something good here – just not clear why the differences in cook time…….thoughts?
I used this recipe with my ninja 7 in 1. I pressure cooked for 1.5 hours and the 3lb roast was medium. It was so tender, my husband had a hard time cutting it. Everyone loved the flavour.
Thanks for the recipe!
This was delicious! Very easy to make. I followed the recipe closely. Loved the flavor. I put my veggies in the pot I wanted the flavor of the meat. Even though I like my veggies les cooked iit was worth it to get that flavor. Thanks so much!
This roast was delicious!! So tender. I did 2 hours on high pressure and naturally released. Would definitely recommend
This recipe ruined a lovely 5 lb elk roast.
Yes, you can be too generous with the salt “crust”. It made the resulting gravy inedible.
I cooked it at 275° F as the recipe calls for in the oven, in a covered roasting pan. It said to let it roast for “3-5 hours”.
I checked it at 2 hours. Internal temperature was already 180°F and the roast had shrunk by half its size, was overly well done and inedible with the texture of shoe leather..
Made this in a crockpot. 6 hours on low. Came out great. Used Cabernet wine.