Recipe: Impress Your Guests With Elk Strudel

A DIY guide to Elk and Wild Mushroom Strudel with white cheddar, jalapeno, pickled winter squash and hunter sauce.

This is delicious served as a hot appetizer or light dinner. In the restaurant we use morel mushrooms and truffles in the sauce, but any mushroom works well. Hearty and light all at once, it’s a dish sure to please in any season, but particularly during the bookends of summer when fresh wild mushrooms are abundant and winter squash is becoming available.


1 pound ground elk
1 pound wild mushrooms
½ pound white cheddar
1 pound phyllo sheets
1 yellow onion, sliced
8 ounces butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste

Pickled Squash

6 ounces winter squash, finely sliced
1 cup sherry vinegar
¼ cup sugar
2 jalapenos, finely sliced
1 teaspoon salt


1 cup mushrooms, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups red wine
½ cup port
1 cup beef or veal stock
1 tablespoon shallot, sliced
1 teaspoon thyme leaves

james africano at the warehouse
James Africano in the kitchen at The Warehouse, photo by Elayne Prechtel


Saute elk, mushrooms and onions in 1 tablespoon olive oil until elk is fully cooked. Cool.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lay out one phyllo sheet, and brush liberally with butter. Place another phyllo sheet on top, and brush with butter. Repeat with one more sheet. Fold phyllo in half lengthwise and then across. Sprinkle 2 ounces cheddar cheese in the corner of the phyllo. Add one-quarter of the elk and mushroom mixture. Roll phyllo around meat mixture, and brush with butter. Place on a baking sheet with the seam down. Repeat for four strudels. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden.

In a sauce pan, bring vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil. Add jalapeno and squash strips. Return to boil, and remove from stove. Steep for 20 minutes. Strain and reserve squash and jalapeno.

Saute mushrooms, shallot and thyme in 1 tablespoon olive oil until shallots are clear. Add wine and port, reduce by half over medium heat. Add tomato paste and stock. Simmer about 30 minutes until thickened.

To plate: Spoon sauce equally onto four plates. Slice ends off of strudel, and cut remainder in half. Place on sauce with cut sides up. Garnish with squash and jalapeno. Shave truffles on top for a real wow factor!

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