Rules of the Game
Rules of the Game.
Let’s take a walk on the wild side shall we? A lot of people make the squishy face with their nose in the air when I mention wild game as a dinner option. Needless to say I don’t invite those people to my house for BBQ’s or appy parties. Who needs all that negativity when enjoying slow cooked moose ribs or Venison burgers with carmelized onions anyways? Not this gal. Go home and eat your same ole, same ole boring dinners. NO SOUP FOR YOU!
When dealing with wild game there are a few basic grilling steps to follow. Game meat can be lean and dry out quickly — wrap it in bacon, or use a marinade and baste while cooking to keep the meat moist. Presto! No dry meat. And hey, who doesn’t love bacon?
When most people think of game meat, venison springs to mind. It’s a versatile meat, most of us know a deer hunter and venison’s more tame flavour takes well to bolder spicing like rosemary or fragrant Chinese five spice. Here’s an interesting tidbit for you. Venison originally described meat of any game animal killed by hunting, and was applied to any animal from the families of deer, hares, wild pigs and goats. However, in the northern hemisphere, the word's usage is now almost entirely restricted to the meat of various species of deer.
Then there is bison or buffalo, it is a meat that is getting more and more popular as we search out healthier alternatives. This lean protein can be enjoyed as a roast or steak. Basting the meat and cooking to medium-rare helps keep buffalo succulent, and barbecue sauce will add richness to the lean meat.
Duck and goose is a wonderful addition to any home cooks menu. Especially as the limit on Snow Geese is very high so the opportunity to make homemade sausages is at your fingertips. Complement the rich fattiness of the duck with tart notes of raspberry, cranberry or black currant, and watch your guests go Daffy over the flavours. Goose breasts can actually come out quite dry when used in sausage, so the addition of fats to the mix is vital.
You can build a better burger with venison, elk or bison, which can stand up to mustard, fennel or other strong seasonings. Offer your guests upgraded toppings such as caramelized onions and homemade garlic aioli. You may want to supply some after dinner mints after that aioli though.
Mmmm, ribs... Who says ribs have to be baby back pork ribs? Buffalo and moose will delight the adventurous eater, especially when slathered with homemade barbecue sauce or sambal oelek glaze. Here’s an awesome recipe for wild game ribs that I think you’ll love.
Ribs Gone Wild
Moose ribs (or pig, deer, buffalo, elk)
1 clove garlic
1 celery stalk
⅔ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp A-1 Sauce
3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 ½ Tbsp bourbon
3 Tbsp beer
3 Tbsp mustard
5 tsp grapefruit juice
¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
1 onion (thinly sliced)
3 cloves garlic
⅔ cup brown sugar
4 tsp chili powder
2 ½ tsp ground pepper
4 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp butter
Remove the excess fat from the ribs.
Place all of the ingredients in a pot and add water until the meat is completely submerged. Cook over low heat for 3 hours, until the meat comes away easily from the bone.
Continually skim the top during cooking. Remove the meat from the stock and set aside.
While ribs are cooking make the bbq sauce.
Coat the ribs generously with the sauce.
Cook at 400F (200C) for 15 minutes.
In a large pot, sweat the onion and garlic in butter and then flambé with bourbon.
Caramelize the brown sugar. Add all the other ingredients, except the mustard. Cook for 1 hour, until the mixture is reduced by one half.
Add the mustard and then purée the sauce in a mixer. Set aside.