We are now in the full swing of hunting season and hopefully all your coolers are filling up. I got one of the greatest gifts someone can get from a friend the other day, fresh ground elk meat! That’s the beauty of being part of the hunting community. Even if you don’t have the opportunity to hunt a certain species, friends and family always come through to share their stories and fruits of their labor.
I’ve been asked by a lot of people for other ways to use ground meat other than burgers or meat sauce. This dish is very easy, quick and works as either a meal or an appetizer. It’s a play on a traditional Lebanese snack called Arayes. You can make it in the oven or throw it on the grill to get nice grill marks on the bread. I cooked this recipe with elk but you can really make it with any ground meat.
1lb Elk, Ground (You can also use Venison, Antelope, Beef or Lamb)
1/2 onion, fine diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tb parsley, chopped
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 cup Red pepper paste (optional)
2 pita bread 8”
Yogurt Dipping Sauce: Combine all ingredients
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tb olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice
1 tsp parsly, minced
Salt , Pepper to taste
- Pre heat oven or smoker to 400 degrees
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the pita bread and olive oil.
- Cut the pita bread in half and open them up gently to create pockets
- Divide the Elk mixture into 4 equal parts.
- Place one part of the meat mixture into each pita pocket. Spread the meat so it gets all around in the pocket. Close the pocket and gently smash it down.
- Place the pockets on a sheet pan with a wire rack. Brush both sides with a little bit olive oil. Then place them in the oven for 10-12 min. Flip them over and cook for an additional 10-12 min or until the bread gets a nice golden color.
- While waiting, combine all the ingredients for the yogurt dipping sauce in a small bowl and mix well.
- Serve hot with yogurt dipping sauce on the side, Enjoy!