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  • April 11, 2014

    Stop Using Bacon. Seriously.

    By David Draper

    Of all the game-cooking myths and missteps I preach about, telling readers to stop using bacon is the most likely to start fights. Bacon is so popular and universally loved that I’m almost scared to bring it up because I’ll alienate all my readers, but it’s worth talking about, if only briefly.

    Ever eat duck breast wrapped in bacon? Or bacon-wrapped dove? Or anything game covered in bacon? What does it taste like?

    That’s right, bacon.

  • April 7, 2014

    All That Remains: How to Make Game Stock

    By David Draper

    One thing you can do to amp your kitchen credibility quickly is learning to make stock—a flavorful cooking liquid that forms the base of many soups, sauces, and other recipes. Making homemade stock from venison bones or bird carcasses not only give your favorite dishes, such as the duck pho in the photo, a flavor boost, but you’ll be get every last scrap of use from your bird or game animal.

  • March 21, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: How Marinades Really Work

    By David Draper

    For some reason, the go-to recipe for wild-game always starts with “Soak (insert game meat here) in Italian dressing for three days.” Seriously, how many times have you heard a hunter say this? This statement turned me off marinades for a long time and I have often mentioned on this blog I don’t use marinades. My stance on marinades has softened as I’ve come to value them for their ability to enhance the taste of wild game.

    One argument for using marinades is that they help tenderize tough meat. But this is probably the biggest misconception about using marinades, at least if you believe in science. According to a study done by Fine Cooking magazine, acidic marinades may, in fact, make meat tougher:

  • March 17, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: 7 Secrets to the Best Corned Beef Hash Ever

    By David Draper

    It’s hard to say which I like better: a big meal of corned beef, potatoes and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day, or that day-after cure of corned beef hash and eggs. Both are among my favorite meals of the year, but only the latter has the ability to put a high point on what is normally a rough morning. But there’s more to corned beef hash than mixing together meat and potatoes and frying it in a hot skillet. Here are seven of my hard-won secrets to creating the best corned beef hash you’ve ever tasted.

    You can also make a great St. Patrick’s Day (or anytime of year) meal by substituting venison roast or even goose breasts for beef brisket when making corned beef. You can find my recipe for corned goose here.

  • March 11, 2014

    Wild Game Recipe: Rabbit Sott'olio

    By Jonathan Miles


    Photo by Johnny Miller

    Craig Wallen, the chef at New York City’s ’Cesca restaurant, does an amazing thing with rabbit: Employing an old Italian method of preserving meats and vegetables called sott’olio, he submerges rabbits in oil and slow-cooks them until the meat is tender and rich. Then he dresses the warm meat in a salad for a perfect counterbalance. The only difficult part of this recipe is pouring that much oil into a pot—but it’s worth it. Be sure to fish the garlic out of the oil for later: Spread the cloves on toasted bread for a killer snack.

  • March 10, 2014

    What's the Strangest Thing You've Ever Eaten?

    By David Draper

    A few weeks ago I was up in Milwaukee, speaking about food at the 2014 Pheasant Fest. I ate plenty of good food while I was there, and had a couple beers of course, but by far and away the best meal I had was at Hinterland. I can’t recommend it enough. Along with Hank Shaw and several friends from Pheasants Forever, we were lucky enough to secure the chef’s table, and gave ourselves to the whims of Chef Dan Van Rite and the rest of his staff.

    After an initial appetizer of roasted Brussels sprouts, I don’t think we saw another vegetable for about eight, or maybe nine, courses. Instead, we got salami, beef heart tartare, oysters, elk loin and I don’t even remember what else. It was all amazing and by the end I was in physical pain from the food, drink, and laughter we enjoyed over several hours.

    One thing I did not get while I was there, but was featured on the menu, was the Pan Seared Duck Testes.

  • February 19, 2014

    5 Tips for Better Braising

    By David Draper

    Sometimes, when I mention the word “braising,” people look at me all quizzically—like I’m talking about some fancy, foreign cooking technique. Nothing could be further from the truth. Braising is the very simple act of cooking something—generally meat—at a low temperature under moist heat for a long period of time.

    Sounds a lot like cooking in a Crock-Pot, doesn’t it?

    In fact, anytime you’re using a slow-cooker, whether making a pot roast, stew, cacciatore, or any number of other low-and-slow recipes, you’re braising. You can also braise in a heavy-duty pot on the stovetop or in the oven.

  • February 7, 2014

    Food Fight Friday: Antelope Fajitas vs. Cast-Iron Grouse

    By David Draper

    For outdoorsmen and women in much of the country, February is a downtime, a chance to take a breather after the flurry of hunting the past few months and before the fish start biting and the turkeys start gobbling. It’s also a great time to enjoy the fruits of our labors. February is when I do much of my sausage making and experimenting in the kitchen with the spoils hunting season has delivered. Thankfully I get a lot of inspiration from Wild Chef readers sending in photos for each week’s Food Fight. For that, I thank each of you and encourage anyone who hasn’t submitted a photo to make it their mission to do so this month. Snap a photo of your next fish or game meal and send it, along with a short description, to fswildchef@gmail.com.

    Now, on to this week’s Food Fight...

  • February 5, 2014

    Cooking Wild Game: The Most Common Mistakes

    By David Draper


    CC image from Flickr

    In case you haven’t heard, I’ll be appearing at the upcoming Pheasant Fest in Milwaukee next weekend, Feb. 14-16. Throughout the three-day game bird extravaganza, I, along with Hank Shaw and Tovar Cerulli, will be presenting seminars on wild-game cooking. If you’re in the area, or are nearby, I’d encourage you to stop by — and if you happen to see me or are able to attend a seminar, be sure to say hello. A complete schedule of the event can be found here.

  • January 31, 2014

    Food Fight Super Bowl Edition: Smoked Goose vs. Squirrel Nachos

    By David Draper

    The Big Game is the perfect time to break out some, well, big game. Of course small game, such as squirrels, or birds or fresh-caught fish are worthy additions to your Sunday spread as well. If you still need a little inspiration for your Super Bowl party, I offer up a couple of suggestions via this week's Food Fight.