From Trees to Table, Cooking Wild Game

Going from this,

To this,

-can be a scary journey for most people but cooking wild game should be an enjoyable and flavorful experience.

When I talk to people about a recent successful hunt they often time say what do you do with if once you shoot it.  I instantly say “I eat it” and honestly I enjoy it.

I am lucky enough to be blessed with a wife whom not only cooks wild game on a regular basis but also enjoys eating it.  We usually eat one or two meals a week that have been taken through hunting (usually duck, pheasant or goose but lately a lot of bear)

The stigma that wild game has to be tough or ”gamey” tasting is simply not true.  Wild game can be just as tender and flavorful as prime cuts of beef if it is prepared properly.

Here are some general rules to live by when cooking wild game.

Marinate

This will give your meat the tenderness and juicy flavor that you and your family have grown accustomed to from your typical meats.

We generally marinate wild game meats for at least 3 hours and most times  leave them overnight. 

Don’t Overcook. 

Wild game, such as venison, does not contain marbling so it can dry out and toughen up a lot faster than beef.  Cook till your meat is rare to medium, depending on your preference, but never further unless you are using a slow cooker.  Try to turn your meats while on the grill only once to keep juices from escaping.  This will keep your meats succulant and delicious

Eat What is Fresh

Birds killed earlier that morning are going to taste a lot better then those that have been sitting in your freezer for 6 months.  Just like fresh vegetables, fresh game will always taste better.

In light of filling my Rifle Deer Tag this past weekend I will leave you with my recipe for grilled whitetail tenderloins.

Marinade:

1/2 cup brown sugar

4 tbls soy sauce

1 tsp ground coffee

4 tsp olive oil

1tsp black pepper

a pinch of rosemary

Combine marinade in a small bowl and then score the meat with a small knife (2 inch long 1/4 inch deep diagonal incisions).  Spoon marinade over the loins covering both sides and cover on a plate with plastic wrap.  Leave sit for at least 3 hours, overnight is preferable.

In a large high skillet heat olive oil on medium heat.  Sear each side of the tenderloin for about 5-7 mins depending on how you prefer your meat.  Slice in 2 inch wide cuts. Serve with potatoes or your favorite green vegetable, and a dark beer and enjoy.

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