Cooking Game and Fish

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Guy Miner 1 week ago.

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  • #192595

    Otis Ranhofer
    Participant
    Premium Member


    Gift list book suggestions – for which ever holiday y’all celebrate:
    We did get to hear Hank Shaw talk about his latest book – Buck Buck Moose. It was easy to tell why he was chosen for a James Beard cooking award – http://honest-food.net/about/

    Available books:
    Buck Buck Moose Recipes & Techniques for Cooking Deer Elk Moose Antelope & Other Antlered Things
    Hunt Gather Cook Finding the Forgotten Feast
    Duck Duck Goose Recipes & Techniques for Cooking Ducks & Geese both Wild & Domesticated

    As we prefer to support small business and their families here is a no sales tax and free shipping alternative:
    http://www.powells.com/SearchResults?au=Hank+Shaw

    Heads up hunters, game lovers, and cooks: Wild foods author Hank Shaw is producing a cookbook for all creatures antlered–including deer, elk, antelope, moose, and more. The book promises to take readers from nose to tail around the world, with recipes that represent a spectrum of world venison traditions, along with the author’s own creations. Buck, Buck, Moose is Shaw’s third book after his waterfowl cookbook Duck, Duck, Goose and Hunt, Gather, Cook before that.

    Did you discover some cuisines or preparations you didn’t know about while researching the cookbook?

    I did. One thing I learned is that there are lots of cultures where hunting isn’t very common any longer, like India, but where old recipes for venison have become modern recipes for lamb or beef. A lot of modern beef and lamb recipes were once used with venison. Another interesting technique I learned from a Scandinavian cookbook is “frost bump” venison, where you put a roast in a pan still frozen and cook it very slowly all day. The process keeps the meat super tender. No thawing needed!

    What are some of your favorite recipes in the book, and why?

    I am currently fascinated by Nordic cooking, so there will be a strong Scandinavian current in the book. These nations still cook a lot of moose and deer, and still have a very vibrant venison tradition. I am also keen on the Chinese and Vietnamese recipes, which are adapted from common beef recipes. These Asian dishes are flavor bombs and are often very quick and easy to make.

    How do you develop your recipes?

    A variety of ways. Some are traditional recipes, and in those cases I read a lot about the dish in question, looking at variations from cook to cook, country to country, and then synthesize it into a dish that has my stamp on it. Some dishes are completely original, like a stew I call Food Plot, which includes all the vegetables you would find in the seed mixes some landowners plant to attract deer to their property.

    What process did you use for recipe testing?

    I make the dish a few times first, tinkering with it. Then I send it to friends and readers of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook for outside testing. It’s vital that the recipes work for people who are not trained chefs.

    Are there any cookbook authors or chefs whom you see as sources of inspiration?

    Lots. I don’t know that there is just one or two or three, but I do avidly read chef cookbooks as well as those cookbooks that are really pieces of anthropology, like Nanna Rognvaldardottir’s Icelandic Cookery, Kho Kian Lian’s Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees, or Paula Wolfert’s Cooking of Southwest France. If I had to pin one chef as a constant source of inspiration, it would be Magnus Nilsson of Sweden’s Faviken.

    How often do you hunt?

    From Labor Day until February, several times a week. The rest of the year, I am mostly fishing.

    For your round-the-world recipes, have you gotten to travel and hunt the game of other countries? Or, are you using local game in your world cuisine?

    I have only hunted in Canada, New Zealand and the United States, so yeah, I am using North American game to cook.

    What has been your most interesting hunt of late?

    Probably grouse hunting in the Boreal Forest of Alberta. I love hunting and eating grouse, and being in a true bush camp was a great experience.

    Why did you go the Kickstarter route with the book?

    Well, mainstream publishers, for the most part, don’t know how to market to deer hunters — and you will need to be a deer hunter, family member of one, or a person who is given venison to really appreciate this book. Yes, you can buy venison, but it’s very expensive. This fact stumped every publisher who was initially interested save one, and that publisher turned out to be a poor fit for this book. So I decided to try to do this in-house.

    Are you enjoying shepherding the project through all its stages?

    Yes. I am something of a control freak, and the ability to fine-tune every aspect of this book has been exciting… and scary at the same time. I am out of my comfort zone, and sometimes that’s a good thing.

    #193256

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    “Otis” – I don’t know how I missed this post! I dearly love preparing and serving wild game dishes, and fish, for my family and friends. Often I’ll even cook wild game on my overlanding trips!

    Just tonight I prepared oven-roasted vegetables, sauteed mushrooms and venison steak. The steak came from a mule deer I shot about a month ago. Grew up hunting and fishing, always have, always will. And, have always eaten wild game as a part of my diet. Except when Uncle Sam sent me to some oddball place in the world, and I existed on MRE’s, C-Rations, or other military chow… Yum…

    I highly recommend books by Eileen Clarke: http://www.riflesandrecipes.com/

    Have a couple of her cookbooks and they’re great!

    I tend to keep my recipes simple, like I try to keep my life, but I don’t sacrifice quality. Good wild game starts with selecting a healthy animal, taking it cleanly, swiftly, without lots of running, struggling & fighting. All those things pump adrenaline into the system, which does nothing good for the flavor of the meat.

    After the game is taken, it is important to cool the meat quickly. Clean the animal, get the hide off. Cooling the meat quickly results in excellent table fare. Even just placing the meat in the shade helps tremendously. Never put it in a plastic garbage bag! Those bags retain an amazing amount of heat and can lead to spoilage.

    With birds, the same thing goes – remove the desired meat quickly. Let it cool.

    This year I’ve had a really good big game season. I’ve taken bear, pronghorn antelope and a big mule deer as well as several pheasant. All the bear meat became excellent breakfast sausage. The antelope and the deer became roasts, steaks, chops (yum!) and some ground meat as well. The pheasants were all “breasted out” to get the best meat from those birds.

    Am still holding a late-season elk tag. If I manage to fill that tag, I doubt we’ll buy any beef for a year, maybe two years if the elk is big.

    I often take salmon and steelhead with my fly rod, and they too are excellent fare.

    Venison backstrap steaks cooking at home:

    Guy

     

    #193258

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    And, at the risk of offending some, here’s a few photos of obtaining that meat, which is so wonderful!

    Silver salmon (koho) via the fly rod, Alaska:

    Steelhead on the Methow, Washington:

    This year’s bear, one shot. Nice, clean kill. Washington state. Wonderful sausage. Bear sausage is a staple for breakfast, even on my overlanding trips, and makes really good meat for pasta sauce too:

    This year’s antelope, Wyoming. Antelope meat is delicious! My favorite. He’s not big. They’re not very big animals, but the meat is excellent:

    This year’s mule deer, Wyoming. Though he’s a big, mature buck, his meat has proven to be very good. I do take care to marinate his steaks for a day or so. It helps keep them tender.

    And of course a pheasant! I love hunting “upland game” meaning pheasant, chukar, huns, grouse, etc… Lots of action, and my goodness, the meat is terrific. Like chicken with FLAVOR!

    So… When I’m over to the side, on an overlanding trip, usually solo, cooking my meal on my little backpacking stove… It’s usually pretty doggone good. And I’m enjoying something I brought to the table.

    Regards, Guy

    #200597

    Brad Bacon
    Participant
    Basic Member

    “Antelope meat is delicious!” I agree! I’m not a hunter (yet) tasting Antelope made me not want to wait till I retire to become a hunter.

    I suppose I don’t have to wait, just have so many irons in the fire now.

    #200600

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    Antelope roast I did in the oven not long ago. Also oven-roasted veggies.

    My wife added the biscuits at the last minute, and although just store-bought “pop ’em in the oven” biscuits, they were a nice addition.

    The antelope roast was very nicely done, cooked through and still rare. If it’s cooked too long, antelope, like other wild game meat, loses much flavor and gets tougher. This was very mild, nicely flavored, tender, and to my liking, perfectly done.

    I hope to hunt antelope again this coming fall, in Wyoming. Antelope is an every-other-year hunt for me.

    Regards, Guy

    #200601

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    “Antelope meat is delicious!” I agree! I’m not a hunter (yet) tasting Antelope made me not want to wait till I retire to become a hunter. I suppose I don’t have to wait, just have so many irons in the fire now.

    Depending on age, you may need to take a Hunter Safety Course, and it is a good idea.

    Are you in Washington?

    Guy

    #200602

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    Venison steaks, peppers & onion, in a cast iron pan on the stove-top at home.

    I make similar meals time to time on our overlanding trips.

    Guy

    #200603

    Brad Bacon
    Participant
    Basic Member

    “Antelope meat is delicious!” I agree! I’m not a hunter (yet) tasting Antelope made me not want to wait till I retire to become a hunter. I suppose I don’t have to wait, just have so many irons in the fire now.

    Depending on age, you may need to take a Hunter Safety Course, and it is a good idea. Are you in Washington? Guy

    I’m 53, I plan on taking the course when the time comes. Yep Washington (Tacoma) pretty sure the Antelope I had was from Eastern Oregon. My boys step dad gave us some. Never forget it. He also had me try Cougar sausage, it was delicious. Then again it was sausage but it didn’t seem overwhelmed with spices as to hide anything.

    Do to some recent health issues I’ve come to agree with my wife on organic foods, how cool to get it yourself!

     

    #200604

    Guy Miner
    Participant
    Area Coordinator

    For procuring wild meat in Washington…

    Our fishing is better than our hunting. Consider salmon, steelhead, trout and more. My vision of heaven includes fly-fishing for steelhead…

    Bird hunting with a shotgun is hugely fun, it’s not hard to be successful, and wild birds can taste very good! I love hunting for chukar the most. Often it’s a very physical hunt as they favor steep hills and cliffs. Quail and pheasant are also good.

    We can get “over the counter” tags for deer, elk, and bear. All three have good meat. Yes, even the bear! I take my bears in the fall, when they’re feeding on wild berries, and the meat is very good. No antelope hunting in Washington at this time. There are a couple of herds, recently re-introduced, and they’re doing pretty well. It might be many years before there is a season for them though.

    In my opinion, elk meat is second only to antelope for flavor! And elk are BIG. Get one down, and the work starts… But, once reduced to steaks, roasts and burger… You’re in for some great meals. 🙂

    Guy

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