You will be entertained at parties this Thanksgiving and you will have your own events to plan. It's the perfect time of year to implement wild game into your holiday-meal repertoire. You might be new to wild game, but cooking with it yields new, exciting flavors and some real health benefits.
Meat from wild game is leaner than store-bought meat. It contains more Omega-3s and fewer Omega-6s. It provides healthy doses of CLAs, vitamin E, and beta carotene. Meat from wild animals is free from antibiotics, hormones, and contamination. Animals that live in their natural habitat are generally much healthier than animals that are crammed into small areas with a bunch of other livestock.
That's common sense, right? Healthy animals make for healthy food and a healthy you.
Not a Hunter?
The problem with eating wild game is that, well, it's wild. That means you need to go out and track down the meat yourself. It's difficult to locate elk or venison meat among the packages of beef and pork, and you must have the stomach for hunting. For some, the idea of putting a bullet through the Easter Bunny's head might bring tears to their eyes.
Our grocery store culture provides us a safe separation between our meat and however it goes from live animal to T-bone steak. (Trust us, you don't want to know.) If you're not into hunting, or you don't know anyone who'd be willing to part with some of their spoils, you can order wild game online. Be sure to do your research. Some ranches claim that their animals are wild, when in reality they're raised in much the same fashion as farm animals.
Don't Hate The "Gamey"
Wild game is different. It doesn't taste like regular beef or chicken. But that's part of the fun. If you have a picky eater, or one who's NOT interested in eating wild boar, have them help you prepare the meal. It's a great way to make meal preparation a family affair and introduce new types of food to traditional fare. With baby steps and a little persuasion, you can get people to make small dietary changes with big nutritional payoffs.
Wild Game Recipes
1 Venison Chili
- 1/2 lb Venison cut into small chunks
- 8 oz cooked Kidney Beans
- 4 oz cooked Black Beans
- 1 small to medium Onion, chopped
- 115-oz. can of Tomato Sauce (buy at a whole food store with minimal ingredients)
- Approx. 2 cups chopped Tomatoes
- 2 Garlic cloves
- Dash of Real Salt
- Dash of Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Safflower Oil
- Optional: can add Chili Pepper, Hot Peppers, or even Tabasco for flavor
- Soak and cook beans according to package directions.
- Coat pan lightly with safflower oil and slightly brown venison.
- Add other ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, longer if you want thicker chili.
- For faster cooking time, use only 1/2 can of tomato sauce.
Serving Size 6 Servings
Venison Chili PDF (13 KB)
2 Quail Stew
- 6 Quail carcasses
- 2 sets of Giblets from quail
- 1 1/2 cups cooked Quail Meat
- 4 oz Spelt Noodles
- 1 tbsp Parsley
- 1 cup chopped Celery
- Dash of Salt and Pepper
- 1 tbsp Poultry Seasoning
- 1 tbsp Vinegar
- 2 8-oz. cans Tomato Sauce
- 2 cups of chopped Tomatoes
- 1 large chopped Onion
- 2 chopped Carrots
- 12 cups of Water
- Put quail carcasses and giblets into a soup pot. Fill pot with 12 cups of water, add vinegar, and cover.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pour broth through a sieve and discard carcasses. Chop giblets and put them back into the broth.
- Add celery, onions, carrots, parsley, salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, tomato sauce, and tomatoes. Cook at a slow boil for 45 minutes.
- Add quail meat and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.
- Add spelt noodles and cook for 30 more minutes.
- Stir occasionally and add more spices if necessary. You can add 2-3 cups of chicken stalk or fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme for added flavor.
Serving Size 10 Servings
Quail Stew PDF (13.5 KB)