With two more cow tags to fill this year, I’m still working on making a dent in the freezers from last year’s elk harvest. Of course, I wouldn’t mind if we need to buy another freezer to add to the collection that we already have. With that in mind, I’m continuing to work on more and more ground meat recipes. This elk meat sauce and polenta dish is just one more that is so quick and simple to make but won’t let you down in flavor.

(Substitute ground venison or antelope if desired.)

Serves 4


  • 1 pound ground elk meat
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • Fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • Shaved parmesan cheese

Quick Polenta

I follow an easy microwave recipe for quick polenta from Golden Pheasant. Simply mix the polenta, water, and salt in a Pyrex bowl or pan. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 8 minutes. Remove and stir until blended. Cover and microwave for another 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in butter and parmesan cheese.

  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt 2 tablespoons butter. Saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic until the onions are softened. Remove from heat. Add ground elk meat to skillet and cook until browned. While browning meat, stir in oregano, salt, and pepper. Push meat to side of skillet and add marinara sauce. When sauce is warmed, mix together the elk meat, onions, and mushroom mixture. Reduce heat to low.

Heat cast iron griddle or skillet over medium heat and melt remaining butter. Add heaping spoonfuls of polenta to griddle and cook until browned and crispy on one side. Turn and continue to brown on other side. Remove when done.

Serve polenta with elk meat sauce and garnish with shaved parmesan cheese and fresh basil. Enjoy!

Publisher’s note: Please check out Kristy Crabtree’s Wild Game Cuisine cookbook. It includes 100+ recipes from her personal collection that feature elk, venison, antelope, bison, waterfowl, and more. Be sure to order your copy (or a few copies for the wild game enthusiasts in your life). Each cookbook will be personally signed by Kristy!