Recipes for Wild or Gamey Tasting Meats

For people who aren't used to wild, "strong," or unusual-tasting meat and want to disguise that taste, the following recipes will be helpful. They are most likely to suit small and large wild mammals but are also tasty recipes for domestic meat. In addition to these recipes, Oregon State U. Extension will sell you a booklet, "From Hunt to Home," for $2.50. Order from 541-737-2513; OSU, Ad S 422, Cor-vallis, OR 97331.

steak: I was raised in large part on wild meat, and our deerburger was all deer, but there are more gourmet ways to fix wild meat, starting with a simple canned deer stew, which was a childhood favorite of mine, and going from there. One fall my father was hurt in a logging accident in Oregon and had to be laid off for the rest of the winter. The little cash my folks had went for baby milk, and the rest of the diet was venison. So we never knocked venison!

A possible problem with wild meat is that its tenderness varies greatly. Tame meat is usually butchered relatively young. But wild meat might be any age—and correspondingly tough or tender. You'll soon know the kind you have and will be able to make cooking adaptations accordingly. Tender Ones

<l> FRIED WILD MEAT WITH JELLY GRAVY Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper or garlic salt on both sides, and then dip it into flour. Fry quickly over moderate to low heat in a little butter or oil. After I side is cooked, turn to brown the other side. Remove the meat from the pan. Thicken the pan drippings with I T. (or so) Pour. Add water until it is of a suitable gravy consistency, and add 2 T. currant (or other tart) jelly. Season the gravy if your taste buds say it is needed.

<i> WILD STEAK, ORIENTAL Mix together A c. cooking oil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, and 2 T. soy sauce. Cut about I lb. wild steak into cubes or strips. Let first mixture rest about an hour to get well flavored. Remove and discard seeds from I green pepper; then cut it into strips. Chop an onion, add I c. chopped celery if you have it and get ready a couple of fresh tomatoes by slicing into chunks. This is a good one to make near the end of the garden season, when you have this stuff Now brown the steak bits in your oil mixture; then add green pepper, onion, and celery; and cook about 7 minutes more. Dissolve I t cornstarch in a little water and stir it into the mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a little homemade ketchup or tomato sauce, if you have it; your fresh tomatoes; and a little more water if needed to give the mixture a manageable consistency. Serve with cooked rice.

<i> WILD MEAT, HAWAIIAN Cube or cut into strips about I lb. wild steak. Shake the meat in a paper bag with some flour until the pieces are all coated. Brown them in enough butter to do the job. Then add Ai c. boiling water, salt to taste, and simmer until tender. Hollow out and slice 2 green peppers. (Optional: add Ai c. pineapple chunks.) In a separate pan make a sauce of2T. cornstarch, Vi c. vinegar, 2 T. soy sauce, 2 T. brown sugar, and Ai c. pineapple juice if you are using pineapple or water if you aren't When the sauce is thick, pour it over the meat Cook the entire mixture about 3 more minutes and then serve with rice. Tough Ones c§> MUSTARD STEAKS Brush both sides of 4 good-sized wild steaks with about 2 T. mustard. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper, and then dip both sides in flour. Brown in melted butter in your Dutch oven. Set aside. In a saucepan combine 2 T. brown sugar, I t salt 2 T. mustard, and a dash each chili powder and cayenne — and, if you have have a strong digestive tract 2 T. Worcestershire sauce, A c. vinegar, A c. water, and I c. tomato juice or A c. tomato ketchup and A c. water. When the sauce seems well mixed, pour it over your meat Put the lid on the Dutch oven and bake at 350°F until done.

C§> WILD STEAK, HUNGARIAN Start out with enough steak for 6 people. Dip it lightly in flour; shake off the excess. Brown in a little fat Pour into your Dutch oven. Brown several large onions, sliced, in some oil. When they're cooked to transparency, pour them over the meat Add I t salt Vi t paprika, A c. sour cream, % c. water, and I bay leaf Bake at 325°F about 2 hours.

C§> STEAK AND WATER Brown steaks in 2 T. shortening. Remove meat from pan. Make a gravy by adding 2 T. flour, salt and pepper to taste, and 2 c. water, after your flour has absorbed all the drippings and browned. Return steaks to pan in gravy. Cook, covered, in the oven at 300°F until tender (about 45 minutes).

roasts: 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. You can substitute your favorite roasting pan for my Dutch oven. Trim all the fat away from a wild roast before commencing.

If your meat is from a comparatively old, tough animal, you may prefer a first stage of simmering in a large pan of boiling water, 30 minutes per pound, or until tender. Then drain and finish "roasting." A quicker way to precook is in your pressure cooker. You may have to cut the roast into several pieces to fit. Pressure-cook for 15 minutes at 15 lb. pressure. Then go ahead and "roast." It won't take long after the precooking. Your results will be both delicious and tender.

c§> WILD MOCK HAM Bake in an airtight cooker like a Dutch oven at 350°F, 30 minutes per pound. When meat is tender, take it out In a separate container combine Ai c. brown sugar, I t. mustard, and I c. orange or pineapple juice (or available juice of your preference). Score outer layer of roast with knife, and pour juice mixture over it Stud with cloves. Bake uncovered for an additional half hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Good served hot or cold.

c§> SPICY OVEN-BAKED WILD MEAT Combine 'A c. flour with I t salt I t curry powder, As t pepper, and As 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 I 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 I entire small animal cooked whole or for a chunk of a bigger one. Cover meat with cold water, add salt and I 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 A c. flour, I t salt and Ai 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.

WILD ROAST WITH DRESSING Brown your roast in a little bacon grease or other fat Sprinkle it with salt and pepper to suit yourself Bake in a Dutch oven, covered for 2 hours at 300°F (assuming about a 2A-lb. roast). Make about I lb. bread crumbs. Combine them in a bowl with I Ai t sage, 2 eggs, 3At c. chopped onion, and I bay leaf Add enough milk to moisten the mixture, and mix it well. Take your roast out of the oven. There will be juice in the bottom of the pan. Skim off any grease floating on top of it as best you can. Then spoon your dressing right down into the meat juice all around the roast Cover and continue baking at 350°F for I hour more. To serve, remove the roast and carve it Serve the dressing in a separate bowl. This is a favorite of mine.

ci> COFFEE WILD ROAST In a wild roast make slits big enough for sliced onions. Slice 2 onions and fit them into the slits. Make a marinade of A3 c. vinegar and 2/j c. water; pour that over the roast Marinate overnight in the refrigerator or other cool place. When ready to cook drain off the marinade, brown roast in bacon fat or other oil, lay a few bacon strips across the top, sprinkle salt and pepper over, and set in your Dutch oven or roaster. Add a mixture of half coffee and half water (about 2 c. of each); keep the lid on your roaster and cook at 350 °F until done.

GREEN PEPPER WILD ROAST I like this one a lot too. Put your wild roast a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and 4 chopped garlic cloves (or fewer if you aren't a garlic lover) into your Dutch oven. Pour in I c. water, cover, and cook until done. Remove the seeds from 3 green peppers, cut them into slices, and saute about 10 minutes in a little cooking oil. Add some of your homemade tomato ketchup, canned tomatoes, or tomato juice if you like the flavor. Pour the green pepper sauce over the meat carve and serve.

<i> HERBED WILD ROAST Combine A c. flour, 2 t marjoram, I t thyme, 2 t rosemary, and I cut-up clove garlic. Rub your wild roast with a little cooking oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on it then apply your herb mixture to it Put the roast into your Dutch oven; add I c. water and I c. apple juice. Bake, basting occasionally, until done.


From cookbook author Lane Morgan! Marinate meat a few hours in red wine, raspberry or blueberry vinegar (if available), and a little soy sauce. Brown meat in a little oil. Then add a few chopped garlic cloves, a chopped onion, and 2

tomatoes (fresh, canned, or frozen). Reduce heat. Add a pinch of tarragon, 2 T. Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. You can also pour in some of the marinade, but you don't have to. Cover tightly, and simmer or bake until meat is done. The meat will make its own juice. Pour the sauce, which is fantastic, over the sliced meat and barley or rice. Heart, Liver, Kidneys, Brains, and Tongue Recipes

WOODSMAN'S LIVER Slice liver A to I inch thick. It will grill quickly over a campfire on the end of a pointed stick or over a rack made of green wood. Eat plain or with salt and/or butter. A method that's a step less primitive is to brown it in a frying pan in fat. Optional: add chopped onions.

W> LIVER AND ONIONS Cut liver into thin slices and soak in salted water for I hour. Dry slices and dredge in flour; fry in butter and add sliced onions. Fry until tender.

WOODSMAN'S HEART Cut heart A2 inch thick, season, baste with margarine, and broil over campfire about 3 minutes per side. A less primitive method is to fry in a pan in a little fat and season with salt and pepper. For tougher meat roast in a Dutch oven until tender. Add vegetables (potatoes, carrots, onions) to boiled heart for a campfire stew.

STUFFED HEART Prepare your favorite stuffing or combine instant rice, mushrooms, chopped onions, celery, salt and pepper, and beef bouillon. Cook all the stuffing ingredients in the bouillon. Clean the heart and remove membranes. Stuff the heart and bake, loosely covered, at 325 °F for 15 to 20 minutes per pound of meat.

KIDNEYS Strip away the connective membrane. Cut kidneys into walnut-size chunks. Simmer covered with water in low heat with butter, salt cloves, and some chopped onion. Discard liquid and serve meat with mashed potatoes and/or fresh bread.

WOODSMAN'S BRAINS When the fresh brain arrives in camp, salt it lightly and keep overnight. The next day, dip it into hot water. The outer membrane will peel off easily. Dip the brains into beaten eggs and then in crumbs, and fry in a little oil slowly until crisp outside and hot all through. Season to taste. Or mince them, add chopped green-onion tops and beaten eggs, and scramble the whole works.

TONGUE Cover with cold, salted water and boil thoroughly, spooning off any scum that comes to the surface. When the tongue is tender, cook it then peel off the outer skin. Good sliced thin and served with mustard or horseradish with or without bread. The tongue of a very young wild animal is so tender that it will cook up to a mush if you're not careful.

<i> CAMPFIRE MARROW BONES Heat them in the campfire, break them open to get at the marrow, and eat the marrow.

Continue reading here: Small Wild Mammals

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