WWYD with $30 and a hankering for game?
Question: my wife gave me a $30 gift certificate at our local organic butcher, and I'm looking for an adventure or splurge. What would you do with it? Any recommendations? I'm liking the idea of game meats or birds, but have almost no experience making them. Thanks for your input -- BD
I'm a huge fan of buffalo (favorite steak is bison rib-eye, bar none), but it is not so radically different from the flavor of beef that your super-special $30 should be splurged on 2# of buffalo.
30 bucks can buy a dozen (or more) quails, 3 or more squabs, 2 decent sized guinea hens or 2# of tender ostrich fan (like the sirloin of a cow).
For 4 legged beasts, you could definitely get a couple of elk chops or a small venison rack- a pair of huge buffalo steaks- I would suggest, however, going for wild boar. It is as versatile as pork (of course) but it is distinctly meatier, and though lean as all game is lean, it has better marbleing than "commodity" pork. Most Boar butchers do a 9 bone rack that averages about 2-2 1/2 pounds (think large lamb rack)- and it takes any flavor. May I suggest a bourbon espresso glaze with a dried cherry rice pilaf and roasted forest mushrooms.
Whatever you decide, experimenting with new meats is always fun. Do a bit of research on cooking technique suggestions- Kelli2006 was right- cook pheasant and guinea hen moist- (braise), Squabs & quails can go for dry heat but get quite gamey past medium (especially squab).
for all of the antlered/horned- chops and steaks are great grilled or panseard/oven finished to medium rare (about 130 F) and all benefit from simple preparation and from savory sauces.
I used to reccommend a particular recipe site for all game inqueries-
- just oodles of recipes and excellent technique suggestions.
Unless the USDA/US fish and game rules have changed lately, wild game cannot be sold at retail establishments. You can raise wild species on a farm and sell the resulting meat, but you cannot catch/kill wild game and then sell it.
If you have never had buffalo, elk or venison, I would suggest those for a beginner. They are all much leaner than beef and the flavor is similar to a dry aged piece of beef.
Turkey or pheasant are very good, but they are so lean as to be difficult to cook. I would recommend ostrich and emu before I would turkey and pheasant for the beginner.
Bon appetit and please report back.