Do not overcook lean cuts of wild game!
Wild game is leaner than domestic meats. Wild game is very low in fat. What fats you do find, are subcutaneous. You will also find that there is very little to nonexistent marbled fat in the meat itself. While it’s true, marbled meats will seem, “Juicer,” remember that juiciness is really about the fat. It doesn’t mean that your wild game is going to be drier or something that resembles shoe leather. It does mean you will want to cook it differently from beef or even chicken.
Don’t be afraid to add some fat back into your game. One of my favorite recipes I created calls for 1/3 lb of bacon added to it. Who can go wrong with bacon? Adding fats back into lean meats can help with the cooking process. Over cooking lean cuts of meat never work. Even if it’s a lean breast of chicken. Cook it until it’s done and no longer pink. The recommended cooking temperature is 165 degrees.
Pheasant Breakfast Sausage
4 pheasant legs, meat removed, approximate weight, 16-oz. You may substitute breast meat.
1/3 lb of bacon
1 tbsp of dry rubbed sage
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 tsp of onion powder
½ tsp marjoram
½ tsp lightly crushed fennel or caraway seeds
Place all ingredients into food processor and pulse 5-6 times until combine or chop with a sharp knife. Shape into patties and fry over medium/high heat until cooked thoroughly.
Then, try this recipe with any left over Thanksgiving turkey!
Breakfast Pheasant-Turkey Hash
8 ounces breakfast pheasant sausage
1 cup cooked turkey
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup red or green peppers, chopped
1 1/2 cups potatoes, cubed and partially cooked (5 minutes on high in the microwave)
2 cups left over stuffing
Salt and pepper, to taste
Add the sausage to a heavy skillet over medium high heat and cook until the sausage begins to render some of it’s fat, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the onions, peppers to the sausage and cook until soft and translucent. Add the potatoes to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Cook until the potatoes are lightly browned.
Add the stuffing and turkey and stir occasionally. Cook until the hash is thoroughly heated. Season with salt and pepper and serve with fried eggs.
There is nothing more satisfying, than eating a well cooking meal consisting of the bounty from your hunt. Learning some new methods and ideas when cooking wild game will help ensure everyone will enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Bon Appétit!
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