Our freezer is full! After getting into elk the last five times Roy was in this one particular area (pictured below), he was finally able to make a clean shot at one. We are so happy, relieved, and thankful!
A fine, wintry day to pack out an elk.
The evening Roy harvested the elk, he packed out one of the quarters and the back straps and tenderloins. The next morning, Roy, his dad, and I set out to pack out rest of the meat. With three of us, we were able to pack it all out in just one trip, which was nice as it was a little over 3 miles in. Although when we were going out with our packs loaded, all of it was downhill, so it was a pretty easy hike…even with the wintry winds! I also kept thinking how much easier it was than had he shot one 6+ miles back at the previous spot he was hunting during archery season.
But Roy did get an antelope! He got the doe Monday, and Tuesday was in the 70s, so it was a terrible day for it to hang. We managed to keep it cool, but we couldn’t let it hang another day as Wednesday was forecasted to be quite warm, too. So Roy butchered the antelope Tuesday evening, and we packaged all of the meat yesterday. The freezer is filling up!
The sunset outside of White Sulphur Springs, Montana was gorgeous the evening Roy snuck up on an antelope.
Switching gears a bit… This fall, we started a new budget. We have just a bit of school loan debt left, and we really want to be done with it! Roy and I are listeners of Dave Ramsey and we are motivated to be debt free. Why am I writing this on my food blog?!?
It is officially fall, and it feels like it here in Montana. I love it! The temperatures are starting to cool off a bit, the leaves are entering their next phase, the days are shorter (not my favorite aspect of the season…but we adapt), and the bull elk are bugling. Roy has been out hunting, but no success yet. He’s feeling pressure to get at least one this year as our supply is quickly dwindling. I was trying to reassure him that it is okay if he doesn’t get one, we’ll be fine. But I don’t think it helped when I told him we’ll just have to eat more vegetarian meals each week.
In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that we were reunited with our meat supply, and I found out we still had a few elk roasts left. This may seem inconsequential to many, but if you’ve had elk roast, you’ll understand. It is the type of meat that you chew as slowly as possible to ensure that you enjoy every bit of flavor.
So when I saw we still had a few in the freezer, I decided I couldn’t wait…we were having elk roast sandwiches this week. And luckily for me, it even cooled down a bit (because elk roast sandwiches in 90 degree heat doesn’t sound like the best fit…).
You know those days when you are so busy it is hard to even think about planning for meals?? Let alone actually preparing them! We go through those. And one of our standbys for nights like that? A taco salad.
It’s so simple. Brown the meat (elk, beef, antelope, deer…it doesn’t matter) with onions, garlic, and spices from your cupboard (who needs those taco seasoning packets?? ). Fill a bowl with crushed chips, greens of your choosing, and load it up with veggies and additional toppings. Scoop some meat onto the salad and top with cheese, salsa, maybe sour cream, and there you have it. Dinner (or supper…whichever term you prefer..) is ready!
We recently moved and were reunited with our entire meat supply! (It had been staying in one of our freezers at Roy’s parent’s house, and Roy would periodically restock our own Bozeman freezer.) So I was digging through the freezer and realized a few things. 1) I have been putting off cooking the ducks Roy got months ago (and now that it is summer, heavy-flavored ducks do not seem appetizing so I will continue to put them off for a couple more months). 2) We still have a few elk roasts!! 3) We still have a lot of meat in general. Since hunting season is only a couple of months away (and Roy just found out he drew some special tags meaning more chances for more meat), I should probably start cooking (with meat) even more!
During the summer, we try to avoid using the oven. Without an AC unit, it heats up the house way too much! Thankfully, living in Montana, we get lots of cool nights! As long as we plan, we can keep the house pretty cool if we just open all the windows at night and close everything up in the morning (and don’t use the oven all day). We figure if Jethro isn’t panting, it’s cool enough!
Jethro staying cool, despite his thick wintry coat!
That leaves us eating cereal (usually just for breakfast), salads, wraps/sandwiches, and whatever we can throw on the grill. So we eat LOTS of burgers during the summer! (Warning: I’ll be posting several elk burger recipes in the next couple of months.)
Rainy, chilly days call for comfort food. It is technically spring (although it hasn’t really felt like it), so we weren’t feeling like a hearty stew. But a warm, toasted, cheesy, meat-and-veggie-filled sandwich? Yes, please!
Roy and I had a discussion about the title. I wanted to do a name-take on the classic Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. Originally I had Montana Cheese Steak Sandwich…but that didn’t have a nice ring to it. I kept throwing out different possibilities, but then Roy suggested since antelope are more prairie like creatures, why not Prairie Cheese Steak Sandwich. And so it is!
I originally called this dish a stir fry, but it’s not really a stir-fry by technical definitions. I didn’t use a wok. It wasn’t cooked quickly. There was not smoke or splashing oil involved. It was rather tame in the kitchen. More of a sauté, stir a bit, and simmer until thickened. So I’m calling it a “bowl.”
But whatever you want to call it, the end result was delicious! I always say that, though, don’t I?? But this time, I have Roy’s words to back it up! His words were something along the lines of, “That’s definitely a top 5 meal!” Yup, top 5.