Tamarind Braised Elk Shoulder with Kumquat, Chili & Thai Basil

elk shoulder recipe

• Prep Time: 3 hours • Yields: 10-12 servings


1 pkg. Elk Boneless Shoulder, 8 lbs. avg, cleaned of sinew and cut into 1 inch cubes
6 lime leaves
½ cup fish sauce
½ cup palm sugar
1 stalk lemongrass cut into
3 pieces and bruised with back of a knife
2 galangal root, peeled and sliced
2 ginger, peeled and chopped
¼ cup peeled garlic cloves
3 cups tamarind paste
6 dried Thai chilies 
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Thai chili
1 ½ cups kumquat confit
1 cup Thai basil leaves torn
2 quarts beef stock
Kumquat Confit:
2 cups kumquats
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick



Large Dutch oven
Medium Bowl
Measuring cups & spoons
Food processor



1. Combine tamarind pulp, fish sauce and palm sugar in a medium bowl. Make sure sugar is dissolved and incorporated.

2. Grind the garlic and ginger in a food processor 3 minutes until paste and add to the tamarind mixture.

3. Add the tamarind mixture to cubed Elk meat and marinate for 24 hours.

4. Remove Elk from marinade and brown in a large Dutch oven pot. Remove Elk and set aside.

5. Add beef stock to pot and scrape up any caramelized bits.

6. Return Elk to the pot with the dried chilies, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves.

7. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours, until Elk is tender.

8. Remove Elk, lime leaves, galangal, dried chilies and lemongrass from the pot and reduce the sauce until it begins to thicken and is able to coat the back of a spoon.

9. Discard the lime leaves, galangal, dried chilies and lemongrass.

10. Add Elk back to sauce and keep warm.

11. To make kumquat confit, combine water, sugar, vanilla, star anise and cinnamon and bring to a boil, making sure sugar is dissolved.

12. Add the kumquat and poach until tender but not popping.

13. Cool the kumquats down in the simple syrup. When slicing, make sure to take the seeds out before slicing.

14. Serve the Elk shoulder topped with sliced kumquat confit, chopped chilies and Thai basil.


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