overhead photo of Elk Stew

Elk Stew with Parsnips, Sage and Juniper Berries

side view photo of elk stew

I visited Artesian Elk Ranch in Lacombe County earlier this year and the owners kindly shared some of the meat with me. I’ve been waiting for a fall day to make this Elk Stew with Parsnips, Sage and Juniper Berries. As September comes to a close, this is the food I’m craving. The herbs provide a gentle flavour and let the meat shine through. Eat it with a big hunk of fresh bread slathered with a butter and crispy green salad.

Note: I was given the elk during my visit to the ranch on other paid work for Lacombe County but not with any expectation I would write anything about it. This post is not sponsored and the owners of Artesian Ranch had no say in what I did with the elk or the contents of this post.


Elk Stew with Parsnips, Sage and Juniper Berries

overhead photo of Elk Stew

This slow cooked elk is fork tender and flavourful in its bath of earthy herbs and juniper berries.

  • Author: Karen Anderson
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes active time and 6 to 10 hours in slow cooker
  • Total Time: 20 minute
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: slow cooker
  • Cuisine: Canadian


2-3 lbs elk stewing meat or roast chopped in bite size pieces

½ cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil as needed

3 leeks, green removed, washed, halved and sliced

3 stalks celery, sliced

6-8 parsnips, peeled and sliced

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped

1 teaspoon juniper berries

2 cups mushroom broth

2 cups red wine

½ cup saskatoon berry dessert wine or sherry or port

More sage for garnish


  1. Rinse and dry the elk meat and set aside.
  2. Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a few tablespoons of olive oil and bring to heat.
  4. Dredge the elk pieces in the flour mixture and then cook them in batches in the heated skillet, being careful not to crowd the pieces (you want them to brown and if they are too close they’ll release juices and bowl instead). Transfer each batch to a waiting slow cooker until all the meat is cooked. Add more olive oil as needed.
  5. Bring the pan to heat again (it’s okay if there’s brown bits stuck on) and add more olive oil followed by the leeks, celery, parsnips and mushrooms and cook until softened. 
  6. Add the parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage and juniper berries and mix well.
  7. Add the mushroom broth, red and saskatoon berry wines and scrap the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits. Bring to a boil and then transfer to the slow cooker. 
  8. Stir the mixture and then turn on High for 6 yo 8 hours or low for 8 to 10 hours.
  9. Serve with a thick slice of bread and butter and a green salad or over mashed potatoes.


Keywords: Elk Stew with Parsnips, Sage and Juniper Berries

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