Cherry smoked “Pastrami” Elk Loin

By: Adam Daniels, Peppermill – Bimini Steakhouse



  • 1 5lb Durham Ranch Elk loin
  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds, crushed
  • 3 Tablespoons whole cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons whole coriander seeds
  • 3 Tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup crushed garlic
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • Cherry wood for smoking

Spice Rub

  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons ground clove
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground caraway
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 3 tablespoons course ground pepper


  • 2 Heads hearts of butter lettuce, large chopped
  • 1 Pound Brussels sprouts, scored in 1/4 and deep fried until crispy
  • 3 cups cooked toasted barley
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 3 cups oven roasted beets
  • 1 cup freeze dried mandarin orange segments
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts

Black Walnut and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 4 Oz. pomegranate vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 12 ounces Black walnut oil
  • S+P


  1. Trim the elk loin of all of the silver skin. Set loin aside in a container large enough to hold 2 gallons worth of liquid.
  2. Combine all other ingredients in a pot and bring to a simmer.
  3. Let the brine cool to 40°F.
  4. Pour brine over loin, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove loin from brine and wipe dry with paper towels.
  6. Rub the loin with the spice mix, and set in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Light smoker and set temperature to 150°F. Smoke the loin for 2 hours.
  8. Remove from the smoker.
  9. Heat a large sauté pan, add 2 ounces canola oil until hot. Sear the loin on all sides and cook to desired temperature. I pulled mine at 120°F internal temperature.
  10. Set aside to rest while you assemble the salad.


  1. In a blender, add the vinegar, honey, and shallot. Blend on high while you drizzle in the oil. Once emulsified add the thyme and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, for however many guests you have, add the salad ingredients. Dress with the walnut vinaigrette and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place salad on a plate and slice the elk loin 1/2 inch thick and add to the plate with salad.
  4. Add fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to the loin.

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