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Elk Shank and Pepper Medley Taco

Brad Fenson

braised elk taco

Put a little Mexican twist on your next braised elk shank. Shanks are often a hunter’s quandary and the connective tissues are often avoided. When braised low and slow, the connective tissues and sinew break down to collagen and gelatin, and virtually disappear, giving the meat tons of flavor. The peppers change flavor once you roast them. Throw them on a gas grill, turning frequently, and into a plastic bag for a few minutes once charred. The peppers will sweat a bit making the skin much easier to remove.

  • 2 lbs elk shank
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper or your favorite all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 2 Hungarian peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 12 4-6” flour tortillas
  • Beef broth, optional

Optional toppings

  • Sour cream
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro
  • Red onion


  1. Add oil to an Instant Pot set to sauté. Season the shanks with salt and pepper or your favorite wild game rubs like Hi Mountain Venison Rub or Bearded Butcher Chipotle. Brown the shank on all sides.
  2. Add the onion and peppers on top of the shanks and pour the can of tomatoes over top. If you don’t have an Instant Pot and would like to use a slow cooker, add enough broth to just cover the meat. 
  3. Put the lid on and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Let the Instant Pot naturally release for 30 minutes before fully venting and removing the lid. 
  4. Remove the meat and place it on a cutting board. Using a slotted spoon, remove the onions and peppers and lay them across the meat. Roughly chop the meat and peppers with a butcher knife.
  5. Assemble tacos with the meat and peppers, and additional toppings if desired.
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