Game & Offal
If you want to sample some of the finer tastes on the meat spectrum, it might be time to learn how to prepare some game and offal recipes.
Chicken, lamb, beef, pork—these are all meats from animals that have been domesticated for thousands of years. But not all sorts of meat come from animals raised on farms specifically for the purpose of consumption. Hunting is another way to come by a huge range of tasty meats. Some forms of game come from smaller varieties of animals, such as rabbits, geese, or ducks. But others come from much larger wild specimens like deer, moose, or even bears, depending on where you live.
Hunting is as old as humanity itself. During the tens of thousands of years before human beings began domesticating animals for meat consumption, hunting was the only way that people could enjoy a protein-rich, meaty meal. In many cases, this was on a kill-or-be-killed basis—if you were part of a hunter-gatherer tribe in North America thousands of years ago, hunting a bison or bear would sometimes have involved a huge amount of risk. These huge animals are not easy prey, and usually put up a good fight if fleeing isn’t an option.
Nowadays, with modern hunting weapons at our disposal, game has become a much less dangerous human pastime. Indeed, many fantastic dishes stem from fresh game nowadays, depending on which part of the world you live in. Did you know, for example, that zebras are still hunted for their meat in South Africa? And in Australia, kangaroo meat is not only widely-consumed—it’s even shipped overseas for people all over the world to enjoy.
While game is one form of meat you can try to widen your palette, there is another way to consume animal products that you may not have much experience with. Welcome to the world of offal. Dishes like Scottish haggis, Mexican menudo, and kosher chopped liver are all examples of using the internal organs or other lesser-eaten parts of animals as a source of nutrition. While these sorts of dishes might not be for everyone, if you’re after some new experiences in the world of meat, offal might just be what you’re after.
Bird in a blanket
Sure, you’ve probably heard of pigs in a blanket. But have you ever considered wrapping meat of the delicious pheasant with bacon and prunes? If this isn’t the case, it’s time you gave it a chance. The Italians have been doing so since at least the Renaissance, and you’re going to want to follow suit. This enticing dish combines two kinds of meat—one wild, and the other domesticated. Put together, and you’ve got yourself an unforgettable meal.
Of course, no one likes a dry bird. So you’ll also want to whip up a sauce to go with your bacon-wrapped pheasant. For this recipe, a prune-based sauce mixed with scallion, celery, carrot, and a combination of both dessert and red wine will do the trick nicely.
And just because the pheasant is a relatively small bird doesn’t mean that you can’t include a good stuffing with this dish. On the contrary, stuffing is the final key to unlocking the pheasant’s flavor. In this case, a mix of pork sausage and prunes spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg is going to bring this magnificent Renaissance dish through to completion. Buon appetito!
A French delicacy unlike any other
The people of France are well known for their sometimes unorthodox palette of meats that they as a nation enjoy. And while veal is in itself not the most adventurous meat you can try, the ears of the animal are definitely consumed less often. But that shouldn’t deter you from trying your hands at preparing some stuffed veal ears, a French delicacy that you’re bound to enjoy.
Veal isn’t the only variety of meat found in this classic French dish. Chicken breast and sliced ham will accompany the veal offal, along with sautéed mushrooms and breadcrumbs. Combined with a tasty béchamel sauce and you’ve got yourself a winning offal dish that’s going to have your dinner guests talking about the tangy flavor of veal ears for days.
Roast deer, reimagined
When you think of game meat, images of campfires, spit roasts, and hunting rifles probably come to mind. But wild game finds itself just as much as home in fancy restaurants as in a forest campsite. If you’re still not convinced, then take a leaf out of Swiss master chef Andreas Caminada’s book. He’s prepared a majestic recipe which will take your game dishes to the next level.
Welcome to the beautiful world of roasted roe deer loin, a gourmet meat recipe that you’re unlikely to forget. This dish may be slightly complicated, but it’ll be worth every minute you spend unlocking the potential of its myriad of luxury ingredients, including cassis liqueur, juniper berries, and game gravy. Without a doubt, you’ve never had roast deer like this before. But if done right, this is a recipe you’ll be destined to repeat again and again.