Hope you're feeling edgy in the kitchen today because we’re about to amp up your cooking game. Preparing that meat that's been piling up in your freezer can become boring and repetitive. I’m here to tell you that doesn't have to be the case. Even if you are wary about trying new recipes, don't fear! If at first you don't succeed, try again and take comfort that your dog is always around to help you out...
Whether you're trying to impress your significant other or just bored with your usual cooking routine, these five wild game recipes from different parts of the world is sure to be a scrumptious addition to your life. With that being said, if you’ve never traveled the world I hope you’re ready for an adventure. Let’s take a little trip shall we?
VIETNAM -Bánh Mì-
To all of my spicy food addicts, you can go crazy with this dish which includes peppers and spices. If you have a stuffed freezer full of wild game from last season, you need to clear out for this recipe which is great for large gatherings or you can cut down the serving sizes to your liking if you're keeping it simple.
Ingredients:Serves 12 1/2 cup mayonnaise 3–5 tablespoons Sriracha or other preferred hot sauce 2 pounds wild game, such as venison or boar; or game birds like pheasant, duck or wild turkey, boned and roughly chopped (optional: skin included) 2–3 habanero chiles, seeded if desired (Take a walk on the wild side and leave the seeds in) 1 teaspoon coriander seed 1/3 cup Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce 1 tablespoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 2 teaspoons baking powder Baguette (Many vietnamese bakeries use bread made with rice flour if you wish to explore that option) 1 cup cilantro leaves
Directions: 1. Combine the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce, and refrigerate until ready to use. 2. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Combine the meat, skin (if using), chiles, coriander, fish sauce, sugar, cinnamon and baking powder in a bowl. Working in batches, grind the mixture into a paste using a food processor with the blade attachment. You want it finely ground, with no chunks or strands of sinew. 3. With an ice-cream scoop, spoon the mixture onto a parchment-lined or nonstick sheet pan. Gently flatten each ball into a hamburger-style patty. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the patties are thoroughly cooked and a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a patty reads 160°F. 4. Slather the cooled bread with the Sriracha mayonnaise and top with a big pinch of cilantro. Lay on the hot patty, and close it up with the remaining piece of bread to form a sandwich.
The Ossobuco is Italian for veal (venison) shank containing marrow bone. This rich Italian dish is perfect for a romantic dinner paired with pasta or rice! No date? Never fear, rather than reducing the juices by half when the Osso Buco is done cooking, leave it soupy and save it for the stand or the blind on a cold morning! (Since hunting is probably your significant other, let’s be honest)
Ingredients:Serves 4 to 6 4 lbs whole venison shanks Salt & pepper 2 tbsp butter 2 tbsp olive oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 large carrot, finely chopped 2 medium celery stalks, finely chopped 2 large garlic cloves, minced and finely chopped 3/4 cup red wine, preferably Burgundy/Pinot Noir or Zinfandel 2 fresh tomatoes, diced 4 cups beef broth 2 bay leaves 2 tsp fresh thyme Cornstarch (optional)
For Gremolata: 3 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 large garlic clove, minced 1 tsp. finely grated fresh lemon zest
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325°F. On the stove top heat a braiser or large pot over medium-high heat. Season osso buco with salt and pepper. Add butter and olive oil to pot then, working in small batches, brown osso buco on both sides. 2 Remove browned osso buco to a platter. Reduce heat to medium and saute onion until golden brown, adding a little more butter/olive oil if necessary. 3. Add carrot and celery and saute until tender. 4. Add garlic and saute 1 minute (don’t let it burn). 5. Add red wine and deglaze the pot by scraping up the crusty bits with a wooden spoon or spatula. 6. Add tomatoes, beef broth, bay leaves, and thyme to pot. Return the osso buco to the pan along with any accumulated juices. 7. Cover the pot and cook in the 325°F oven until meat is tender, at least 4 - 6 hours. 8. When tender a fork or knife will easily pierce the meat and separate it. If meat is not tender just keep cooking. There is no such thing as tough osso buco, just osso buco that hasn’t been cooked long enough. 9. When the osso buco is tender remove them from the pot onto a warm platter. Reduce the remaining pan juices by about half on the stove top over high heat. If necessary, the sauce can be thickened with a water and cornstarch slurry or beurre manie (softened butter and flower mixture). Prepare gremolata by mixing together parsley, garlic and lemon zest in a small bowl. 10. Serve Osso Buco topped with sauce and gremolata. Osso Buco goes well with “white” creamy sides such as risotto, polenta, bean puree, or simply creamy mashed potatoes. TIP: The meat is more tender and the flavors have blended if the meat is allowed to “rest” overnight. If possible, make a day in advance, store overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat when ready to serve. If you want a visual, check out this quick video to guide you step by step.
This recipe requires you to soak the duck in salt water overnight, if you have not already, so if you need a quick meal this probably won’t strike your fancy. For those of you who do have the extra time, this is the perfect tailgate snack! Your friends and family will go crazy over this recipe!
Ingredients: 1/4 cup salt 8 cups water 12 duck breast halves 12 slices bacon 1 (16 ounce) bottle Italian-style salad dressing toothpicks
Directions: 1. Mix together salt and water. Set aside 2/3 of the mixture, and pour the rest into a glass baking dish. Soak the duck in the salt water overnight to remove the gamey. Change the salt water twice, or until mostly clear. 2. The next morning, discard the salt water, and pour salad dressing over the duck breasts, and marinate for at least 8 hours. 3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Wrap each breast half in one strip of bacon, and secure with a toothpick. Place the breasts in a 9x13 inch baking dish. 4. Bake for about 1 hour, or until bacon is crisp, and duck is cooked through. 5. On the grill Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill duck breasts for about 30 minutes, turning once.
Perfect for a cold fall day when you just want to sit around a fire with loved ones. This is also perfect for those of you who don't really enjoy cooking but like to stock up on meals. It will last you a long time to say the least and will taste especially tasty mid hunt when you’re freezing.
Ingredients:Serves 6-8 2 lbs farm-raised elk meat 1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour 1⁄2 teaspoon salt 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper 3 slices bacon 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 3 medium carrots, cut in 1-inch chunks 2 stalks celery, cut in 1-inch chunks 3 small potatoes, skin on, cubed 2 tablespoons tomato paste 5 juniper berries 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 bay leaf 1 cup dry red wine 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 1⁄2 cups beef stock
Directions: 1. Cut meat into 1" cubes and pat dry. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl or plastic bag. Add meat cubes, a few at a time to coat. Shake off excess flour and reserve. 2. Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat and fry bacon until crisp. Remove, blot excess fat, chop and reserve. Note; this can be done in advance. 3. Heat olive oil in the same pot and quickly brown meat in batches on all sides. Transfer to a large bowl and reserve. 4. Reduce heat to medium, add onions, carrots, celery and potatoes. Cook, stirring until onions are softened. 5. Stir in tomato paste, juniper, thyme and bay leaf, then add wine and wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom. 6. Add stock and reserved meat with juices to the pot. Return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally until meat is tender. Add additional flour to thicken or water to thin to desired gravy consistency. Stir in bacon.
This is an acquired taste so if you aren't into Indian food steer clear of this one. BUT for those of you who love it you can replace rabbit with almost any wild game you so choose!
Ingredients:Serves 4 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter), or vegetable oil 2 pounds hare or rabbit meat, cut off the bone and into chunks Salt (to taste) 2 cups yellow or white onion, sliced root to tip 2 tablespoons minced ginger 2 tablespoons minced garlic A 14-ounce can of tomato puree 1 cup plain yogurt (Greek style is best) 2 cups water 2 bay leaves 1 heaping teaspoon turmeric 1/4 cup Madras curry paste, or 2 tablespoons Madras curry powder 1 tablespoon Garam Masala 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish
Directions: 1. Heat the clarified butter in a wide pot (like a sauce pot or high-sided frying pan with a lid) over medium-high heat. Pat the hare pieces dry with paper towels and brown them well. Salt the meat as it cooks. Remove to a bowl once browned. 2. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook another minute. 3. Return the meat to the pot and add the tomato puree, water, bay leaves, turmeric and Madras curry paste. Stir in the yogurt and bring to a gentle simmer. Add salt to taste and simmer for 30 minutes. 4. Finish by stirring in the Garam Masala and the cilantro. Serve over rice.
Now you've been officially introduced to the exotic world of wild game cooking. Many of us may already use a variation of some of these recipes but it is interesting to get a new twist on the food we eat so often as well as provide a new perspective of other cultures. Have any of these recipes been in your family traditions? What are some of your favorite world wild game recipes? Share in the comments below!