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Anyone know a good wild game or venison cookbook?

visciole Jan 30, 2010 10:14 AM

I don't mean a book that tells you how to cook game or venison, but one that provides interesting and sophisticated recipes.

  1. buttertart Feb 1, 2010 09:29 AM

    The LL Bean Game and Fish Cookbook by Judith and Evan Jones comes to mind - I don't own it, but a quick look at the index on Amazon shows recipes of the sort you are looking for. (And the fact that the author was Julia Child's editor of course doesn't hurt.)

    1. p
      pacheeseguy Feb 1, 2010 10:01 AM

      Author Dale Shelly has a cookbook in publication.
      "Original Wild Game, Fish, and Seafood Recipes"
      He's based out of the Reading, Pa area, and it's sold in many hunting/fishing shops
      as well as Cabelas I believe.

      1. visciole Feb 1, 2010 10:42 AM

        Thanks for the advice.

        About that Dale Shelley book, I took a look at his website. It says, "It is my hope that you will try the wild game recipes in my cookbook and see for yourself that wild game does not have to taste 'wild'" That sort of statement always makes me wary, since the aim seems to be to try to disguise the flavor of the venison, which is the exact opposite of what I want. I know many people think venison is gamy and not good-tasting, but I love it and am looking for recipes that don't try to hide it or cook it forever.... yanno?

        4 Replies
        1. re: visciole
          buttertart Feb 1, 2010 10:49 AM

          It's my favorite meat hands down and going away. I use it instead of beef in just about any recipe, when I can lay hands on it. The best thing about living in the North Country (way way upstate NY) was that my coworker's father was a hunter and always bagged 2 deer (the second on his wife's license) and the family was thoroughly sick of it - which translated into a free flow of venison into my freezer from theirs. Sigh.

          1. re: buttertart
            alkapal Feb 1, 2010 10:09 PM

            buttertart, swamp mustard is really good with venison and wild turkey (the gobbling kind): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/659069

            1. re: alkapal
              buttertart Feb 2, 2010 05:16 AM

              Oh you, another temptation put in my way. It sounds great, kind of like a tropical fruit Cumberland sauce - flavored mustard. Gonna get some!

          2. re: visciole
            pacheeseguy Feb 1, 2010 08:19 PM

            I know Dale, and I think his comment is more about people not being put off by eating wild game. With the proper preparation and good cooking it should taste great.
            But he does do a lot of dips and bologna type recipes that helps use up less desirable cuts.
            I prepare mine very simply, as I want to taste the meat.

          3. m
            mcuneo Feb 1, 2010 12:38 PM

            Hmmm... not sure if it's what you are looking for, but try to find a copy of American Game Cooking by John Ash ( I think you can see the index on Amazon) and see if that one interest you. Best of luck!

            1. p
              pacheeseguy Feb 1, 2010 08:16 PM

              In my opinion, Elk meat is much more flavorful than venison.
              I enjoy Elk as burger, steaks, sausages, and my favorite - Tenderloins.
              I've served them up for Christmas dinner two years running now. The flavor is fantastic.
              For the burger and steaks I typically add blue cheese and thats it.
              I only eat commercially raised products. Both Venison and Elk, as well as many other meats. Since they''re farm raised they don't have a gamy taste. Very good quality.
              As for recipes, I tell people to just cook it like they would beef, but not to overcook since it
              has so much less fat. Needs to be rare/med rare only IMO.
              As for availability, Venison burger, ground, sausage, tenderloins, frenched racks are all available on a regular basis.

              2 Replies
              1. re: pacheeseguy
                buttertart Feb 2, 2010 05:19 AM

                I've eaten wild moose - shot by my dad - and it is very flavorful but I really prefer venison. Haven't had commercially raised elk yet, must try.

                1. re: pacheeseguy
                  visciole Feb 2, 2010 11:06 AM

                  I eat exclusively wild venison, and it does not taste gamy.

                2. w
                  weem Feb 2, 2010 12:22 AM

                  It has struck me that the traditional cuisines of a number of European countries (Germany, Austria, etc.) don't shy away from the full-throttle flavor of venison and other game meats, even if such dishes aren't staples like pork and beef. They might not qualify as "sophisticated", but cookbooks of that genre will almost certainly have a few venison and game recipes that might help increase your recipe options. For instance, just a quick glance at the index of Mimi Sheraton's "The German Cookbook" reveals, among other things, four venison recipes, as well as recipes for pheasant, rabbit and "wild boar in burgundy".

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: weem
                    buttertart Feb 2, 2010 05:20 AM

                    Very good point. I even had some quite decent venison stew on Deutsche Bahn a couple of years ago!

                  2. alkapal Feb 2, 2010 05:18 AM

                    this is a neat cookbook with historical game recipes. it is a very entertaining read, and has lots of arcane "outdoor living" kind of information. a neat book to browse, albeit not one with the sophisticated recipes you seek. http://www.amazon.com/Bull-Authentic-Historical-Recipes-Practices/dp/0880013907

                    found this thread, too: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/280796

                    btw, it ain't gourmet but it is darned tasty: cooking a marinated venison roast with herbs in a bake-in bag. succulent!

                    while looking for info on the bake-in bag method, i came across this site with some venison recipes, and goose & pheasant (fish too): http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/bnatre...

                    1. Ernie Diamond Feb 2, 2010 10:30 AM

                      I have had my eye on this one for some time;


                      1. MMRuth Feb 2, 2010 11:45 AM

                        Charlie Trotter has a beautiful book on Meat and Game, with stunning, albeit complicated, recipes. I'm not remembering the name of a cookbook dedicated to venison that I gave to my (hunter) brother in law for Christmas, but will try to remember it.

                        Edit: Here it is - http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookD...

                        1. h
                          Harters Feb 2, 2010 02:17 PM

                          For a European (and, specifically, British) slant:

                          Mike Robinson's "Wild Flavours"

                          Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "River Cottage Meat Book" (only has a chapter on game but the whole book is worthwhile)

                          1. kaysyrahsyrah Mar 20, 2010 06:00 PM

                            "American Game Cooking" by Goldstein and Ash. Published in the 80s to accomodate the farmed game movement. Brilliant ideas galore.

                            It taught me a lot of smart things to do with the wild birds and bigger game that I hunted.

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