I’ve worked for as a chef and I never thought I’d use game meat in any of my menus until my most recent gig. I was invited to prepare a menu for an annual gathering of our local hunters club. I imagined the participants to be burly guys with beards and complete with hunting gears and stuff. They could be wearing some hunting boots, much like the ones found on this website. What could be the best treat for such outdoorsy, muscular gang?
I was scouring over a long list of pre-set menus that I have but it seems there’s none that best suits the occasion. Then I suddenly realized: why not use game meat? I have rarely cooked wild meat and this gig is definitely the perfect time to be inventive.
Customarily, you don’t see game meat such as antelope, wild boar, wild birds, bison, buffalo and other more unusual animals on the restaurant menu. Not that game meat is unhealthy or unsafe, but because they are quite difficult to find. In fact, if I only had a chance, I’d serve game meat dishes as unique house specialties. I’m sure patrons will crave for it. But since these types of meat are not readily available, they rarely find the way to delectable menus.
Game meats are those that come from animals that have been hunted for food. Game meat recipes are as equally rare as the meat itself. When planning to use game meat, you have to be creative and versatile. You are unsure about what type of meat will end up in your kitchen. Normally, you’ll prepare the recipe on-the-spot, depending on what is on hand.
For this hunter’s club gathering, I plan to serve rosemary winter and pheasant stew, hearty venison stew, bison bulalo, bison meatballs, clay pot rabbit and rabbit cattiatore. I am unsure if I could get real games or probably I would go for farmed game animals. I’m afraid I will do the hunting myself and might need to wear hunting boots, such as the Lacrosse Aero Head Men’s Boots, if ever I couldn’t find sufficient game meat.
Game animals that have grown in the wild have that unique taste. They are also leaner compared to farm animals as they feed on natural vegetation that is abundant in the wild. Since game meats are leaner, they have the tendency to overcook fast. It is a good idea to stick with recipes that won’t overcook the meat. Stews, long marinades, braise, and moist heats are some cooking techniques that work well with game meats.
Authentic hunter recipes are very straightforward. Grilling is the most common way for cooking game meats, especially in the wild. After a day of hunting, hunters typically set camp in the wilderness and then start a fire where they can grill their game. But with my recipes, I’ll show them what better way to prepare and enjoy their games. I hope they love my dishes as much as I love this challenge!