Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cooking Your Catch: Winning Wild Meat Recipes

It’s hunting season. Although opinions run high on this controversial “sport,” there is no doubt that it has its avid followers. Traumatized by scenes from Bambi, you will never catch me wielding any sort of hunting apparatus, but that doesn’t stop friends and relatives from arming themselves and heading off into the great outdoors. And it’s not just for men; my perky blonde friend jumps at the chance to go deer hunting every year.

So despite my aversion to killing (hypocritical since I enjoy a juicy steak as much as the next girl) I have a lot of respect for those hunters who actually hunt for food and utilize every part of their catch. Though this is admirable, the “gamey” taste of wild meat can often be a deterrent for some of the best-intentioned hunters. (My perky blonde friend included.) So Carla Emery comes to the rescue again, providing us with some great ways to cook our catch so eating becomes just as satisfying as hunting.

For roasts, Carla Emery writes: I usually cook these in a Dutch oven, usually with the lid on, usually at about 350˚F but sometimes less, and I usually brown the meat in a little fat in a frying pan to just sear and seal the outside before commencing roasting.

Spicy Oven-Baked Wild Meat

Combine 1⁄2 c. flour with 1 t. salt, 1 t. curry powder, 1⁄8 t. pepper, and 1⁄8 t. paprika, making sure the seasonings are well distributed in the flour. Cover meat pieces (cubes, tips, small animal parts — whatever you want to cook) on all sides with the flour-seasoning mixture.

Fry meat in oil or fat until well browned on all sides. Then move meat to a baking dish, add 1 c. water, cover, and bake an hour. If you like, you can make a gravy before serving by adding flour and water to thicken liquid.

Barbecue-Sauce Wild Roast

This recipe is good for 1 entire small animal cooked whole or for a chunk of a bigger one. Cover meat with cold water, add salt, and 1 small hot pepper. Cook over low heat until just tender. Pour off the water; place meat into baking pan. Roast at moderate heat, basting often with barbecue sauce, until it looks done to suit you.

Onion-Smothered Roast

Mix together 1⁄2 c. flour, 1 t. salt, and 1⁄2 t. pepper. Flour your meat pieces thoroughly in that and then fry them until browned in just enough oil. Move meat to a baking dish. Add 3 large chopped onions, and 2 bay leaves. Bake in a moderate oven until tender.

For more great recipes using a Dutch Oven, check out the bestselling Dutch Oven Cookbook.

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