As the fall weather makes its chilly descent and hunting season (finally) starts back up, we find ourselves craving some of our favorite wild game recipes. There’s nothing quite like knowing you were involved in the entire process of catching, dressing, and finally cooking your own meal—the joy behind it is, at times, unexplainable. Plus there are no long lines out in the woods. Here are some recipes that we tend to lean toward once fall rears its head. Maybe you’ll find a new favorite among our list!
Courtesy of Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook
- 1.5 cups wild rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 4 grouse skinned breasts
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1-2 pounds fresh mushrooms
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup fruit syrup
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- Salt grouse breasts and set aside at room temperature.
- Simmer 1 cup wild rice in the grouse (or chicken) broth until tender, 20-50 minutes. When rice is done, drain and set aside in covered bowl.
- Grind remaining wild rice in spice grinder into a powder (larger bits, are fine). Mix with flour and dredge grouse breasts in it.
- Heat 3 tsp. of butter in large pan and sauté grouse breasts until they are just barely done (about 4 to 5 minutes per side). Set aside.
- Put remaining butter in pan and turn heat to high. Add mushrooms until sautéed. Sprinkle with salt and add garlic and thyme. Let mushrooms sear for 1-2 minutes until brown.
- Add cranberries and toss to combine. Cook until they start popping, then add wild rice, vinegar, and fruit syrup. Toss to combine, and serve with the grouse.
Pan Seared Venison with Rosemary and Dried Cherries
Courtesy of Broken Arrow Ranch
- 1.5 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1.5 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (1lb) venison boneless loin
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/4 cup fat-free beef broth
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. black-currant jelly
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Grind 1 tsp. rosemary with coriander seeds and garlic to make a paste. Stir in 1/2 tsp. olive oil.
- Pat venison dry and put in bowl, then rub with paste. Season well with pepper. Cover and chill 20 minutes.
- Add remaining olive oil to hot skillet. Season venison well with salt, then brown both sides (about 6 minutes total).
- Roast venison until instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into center registers 125 degrees (about 7 to 10 minutes). Transfer meat to plate and cover with foil.
- Add wine and cherries to skillet and deglaze by boiling on moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits.
- Stir together broth, water, cornstarch, and remaining rosemary in a bowl and add to skillet. Simmer, stirring until thickened for about 5 minutes. Whisk in jelly and salt and pepper to taste.
- Cut venison into 1/4 inch thick slices and serve with sauce.
Courtesy of Field & Stream, contributed by Terrace Brennan (chef at Picholine Restaurant and Artisanal Bistro and Wine Bar)Ingredients
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground star anise
- 1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1⁄4 cup and 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 4 venison tenderloins, 6–7 oz. each
- 1⁄4 cup (packed) prunes, chopped in 1⁄4 inch pieces
- 2 tbsp. Armagnac (optional)
- 12 tbsp. softened unsalted butter, cut in tablespoon-size pieces
- 2 cups peeled cheese pumpkin, cut in 1⁄4 inch dice
- 10 minced sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Stir together 1-1⁄2 tsp. salt, 1⁄2 tsp. pepper, allspice, star anise, and cinnamon in bowl. Whisk in 2 tbsp. of oil. Rub mixture on both sides of each venison loin.
- Put prunes in another bowl. If using Armagnac, pour over prunes and set aside to soak.
- Heat 2 tbsp. oil and 2 tbsp. butter in sauté pan over medium heat. Add pumpkin and cook, tossing and stirring every few minutes until lightly caramelized on all sides (about 15 to 18 minutes). Toss in prunes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Put 2 tbsp. of oil and butter in 12 inch ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add venison loins when butter starts to sizzle and foam. Sear for 1 minute.
- Turn loins over and transfer pan to oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted to the center of loin reads 120 degrees for rare. Remove pan from oven and let venison rest on clean, dry surface for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Heat sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining butter and cook until it melts and turns brown (about 1 minute).
- Remove pan from heat and stir in sage leaves. Set sage leaves aside once crispy.
- Divide pumpkin and prunes evenly around plates. Top each portion with venison loin, drizzle of brown butter, and crisped sage.
Ducks in the Orchard
Courtesy of Hunter, Angler, Gardener, Cook
- 1-1/2 lbs. duck breast
- 1 tbsp. duck fat or butter
- 2 firm apples
- 1 lemon
- Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar or maple sugar
- Cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 2 tbsp. finely chopped mint
- Hawaiian red salt or coarse sea salt
- Salt duck breasts lightly. Let sit at room temperature for 25 minutes.
- Squeeze lemon juice into bowl of water. Slice apples into quarter slices (about 1/4 inch thick) and put in lemon juice. Coat all sides.
- Heat large sauté pan over high heat. Add duck fat or butter and coat the pan. Place duck breasts skin side down, turn heat to medium, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown. Remove duck breasts and tent loosely with foil.
- Spoon off all but about 3 tbsp. of fat. Cook apples over medium-high heat. Brown apples lightly on both sides.
- Sprinkle brown sugar over everything and swirl to combine while apples continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour cider in pan and put heat up high. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and cayenne into pan. Boil down by 2/3.
- Slice duck breast pieces roughly the same width as apples.
- Make rosette of alternating duck breast and apple in center of plate. Spoon small amount of reduced cider on each piece of duck and one more spoonful in center of rosette. Sprinkle with fresh mint and Hawaiian red salt.