Tactics

Find Your Date-Worthy Recipe for Wild Game

February 13, 2024

iSportsman Staff

iSportsman Staff

With hunting season over, your partner is probably glad to have you home more often. Show your appreciation AND your passion for the hunt with a date-worthy recipe for wild game. They’re sure to help you take advantage of whatever is in your fridge. 

recipe for wild game

If You Have Big Game (Deer, Elk, etc.) in Your Freezer… 

Try This Recipe for Wild Game: Bold Red Wine Elk Stew From Field to Table 

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Inspired by the classic French Bourguignon, this simplified version that more closely resembles a traditional American stew is perfect for both a date night or your winter recipe rotation.  

Chef Greg Ray from Field to Table uses elk cuts in his take of Bourguignon, but other big game cuts — such as venison or moose — will do just as well with sautéed carrots, onions, bacon, and herbs.  

KITCHEN TIP: While elk is definitely the best choice for this recipe given its naturally robust flavor and tenderness, keep the following in mind if whipping up this dish with other big game cuts:

Substituting with Venison: Venison is a fairly adaptable protein; with this dish the main thing you’ll need to keep an eye on is the meat breaking down into more of a pulled pork consistency. You can avoid this by utilizing choice cuts such as the backstrap, or you can reduce the amount of time the meat sits in the beef stock. Follow the recipe as dictated but add the protein to the stew around the two-hour mark, allowing the meat to infuse with the flavors for two hours instead of four, to help maintain its shape. 

Substituting with Moose: Substituting the recipe’s protein with moose is a great option if it’s available to you. Moose cooks similarly to elk and doesn’t run the risk of breaking down in the stew the way venison does. Depending on your familiarity with moose protein you may favor this option over the others (some say its taste is bolder than other choices). However, if you’re already a fan then that additional flavor will only add to this tasty recipe.

If You Have Waterfowl or Upland Birds (Goose, Duck, Quail etc.) in Your Freezer… 

Try This Recipe for Wild Game: Sherry Lemongrass Glazed Duck Breast from Foreign Concept

recipe for wild game

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This recipe is courtesy of Chef Duncan Ly, from the Foreign Concept restaurant in Calgary, Alberta. This glazed waterfowl dish has the advantage of looking fancy but being simple to achieve! While substituting your bird for this recipe is a little more complex thanks to the naturally fatty and flavorful consistency of duck, it’s not impossible. 

KITCHEN TIP: Duck breast has a distinct flavor and is a naturally fatty cut of bird; so, if you are attempting to substitute your game bird with goose breast or quail breast follow these tips:

Substituting with Goose: Goose tends to be tougher than duck, so sautéing the breast for 8-10 minutes won’t yield the same results as a duck breast. Hunt Gather Cook chef Hank Shaw breaks down the basics of getting a tender goose breast here, but the key takeaways are this: using goose over duck will take more time — either two hours in a sous vide or a few hours in a smoker; however, once your goose is cooked to perfection you can still add the sherry lemongrass glaze and sides for a flavorful meal.

Substituting with Quail: Quail lends itself well to this recipe and has the added advantage of cooking very similarly to duck.  However, the key details to remember for this substitute are the difference in size and fat consistency. Quail will cook in less time, about 4-5 minutes per side, and keeping the meat tender will require an additional fat source such as added butter. Once the protein is done, it can be added to the glaze as normal.  

recipe for wild game

If You Have Fresh-Caught Fish in Your Freezer… 

Try This Recipe for Wild Game: Perfect Seared Fish from Hunt Gather Cook

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Hank Shaw, the man behind the previously mentioned Hunt Gather Cook, has shared this great recipe that can be used for essentially any fresh caught fish.  Hank provides his seasoned expertise and breaks down the basics to achieving a perfectly seared fish fillet. No kitchen tips required for this one, it’s a one-size-fits-all type of deal. 

Find another recipe for wild game on iSportsmanUSA.

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