The beautiful, crisp days of autumn and November is here, and if your husband is a hunter, or you know some hunters they are happily enjoying these fall days enjoying this sport. However, there is always the question: How do I cook it? Since last year I did buy a cookbook that had a wild game section. I did learn a lot from reading it. There's nothing quite like the savory flavor of wild game, cooked just right! However, some of the recipes I know I'll never try. To cook and eat squirrels, possums or raccoons just doesn't appeal to my taste, but I was surprised there were plenty of recipes for these "dishes." There were even recipes for cooking or baking Doves, something I wouldn't do. I can truthfully say I'm against Dove hunting.
One rule when cooking game, no matter what it is, do not overcook it. It becomes dry and tough easily. All fat from wild game should be removed from the meat that is to be cooked. It's the fat that contains the gamey, off-flavor or strong flavor that most people object to. Butter or other fat should be added to prevent meat from drying out while cooking. Wine is another handy ingredient to have on hand when cooking game because it is a great tenderizer. As a point of information when alcohol is cooked, the alcohol content is destroyed but the marvelous flavor remains.
Another thing the cook-book said was that fish-eating ducks (pointed or serrated bills) need soaking or marinated in vinegar, mild wine or buttermilk to remove any fishy flavor. Soak the birds in a solution of 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vinegar per quart of cold water for 4 to 12 hours in the refrigerator to tenderize. Also stuffing birds with onion, grapes, quartered apples, or potatoes and a small bunch of celery during roasting will help the flavor-but DISCARD this stuffing before serving. Dressing or stuffing to serve with any wild bird is best baked in a separate casserole to avoid the hazard of bacterial growth.
Whenever I cook pheasants or wild ducks I usually bake them in the oven and serve with this sauce.
WILD GAME SAUCE
1/2 cup current jelly (or
any tart jelly)
1/4 cup tomato catsup
1/4 cup wine
Combine ingredients, cook until smooth and jelly is melted. Use on any roasted game.