Backstraps in the Burch Barrel

How to make hickory-seared elk tataki.

It would be a damn shame to make a bad meal from an animal’s life, especially when you share it with family and friends. Elk tataki is a great meal, and a unique and meaningful way to tell the story.

6 oz. chunk elk backstrap, cleaned & trimmed
1 1/2 oz. wafu dressing
1 green scallion, thinly sliced
1/2 fresno pepper, thinly sliced
2 sprigs cilantro, cut into 2-inch sections
3/4 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. chili-infused sesame oil (plain is an okay substitute)
Pinch of finishing flake salt (Maldon)

Build a large, hot fire with lump charcoal in the Burch Barrel. Temperature gauge should read at least 700F. When ready to cook, add handful of pre-soaked hickory chips to coals. Sear all sides of elk backstrap chunk quickly, but allow just enough time to caramelize. Interior of meat should still be very rare, or even raw. Chill in refrigerator until ready to slice and plate. Slice meat into strips no thicker than 1/4 in. thick and shingle slices onto plate to showcase the rare temperature of the meat. Gently spoon wafu sauce over and around the slices of elk. Place as many or as few slices of fresno pepper onto the elk as you wish and drizzle a small amount of the chili-infused sesame oil over the meat. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, lightly season the slices of meat with the finishing salt, and gently garnish the meat with the sliced scallion and trimmed cilantro sprigs to complete your presentation.

Chef Topher Strittmatter has a passion for creating and sharing amazing food with his community. When he’s not sharing recipes or chasing his own wild game, he runs the kitchen at a globally renowned luxury resort.