Although I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions—as I don’t have the willpower to stick to them—I do like to make a list of new things to learn or adventures to try in the coming year. Of those, there are more than a few related to cooking as you might imagine. I encourage Wild Chef readers to make their own list, so I’ve listed few new things to consider for 2015. If you succeed at checking one or more of these off your list, I’d love to hear about your experiences. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cooking wild game “under vacuum,” as the French term translated, in a temperature-controlled bath is incredibly effective at creating the perfect deer steak. It does, however, require some highly specialized equipment, such as a sous-vide machine or a temperature water circulator. Of course, if you’re a redneck (like me), you could do it in a beer cooler.
Of all the types of sausages out there, dry-cured salami is probably my favorite. Yet I’ve never tried making it at home due to the difficulty of monitoring temperature and humidity. That’s going to change this year, and even if I don’t build a dry-curing chamber like I want to, there are a couple of other options, such as ccuring the salami in an Umai dry bag or using Hi-Mountain Seasoning’s new Salami Kit.
Eat It Rare—or Better Yet, Raw
Contrary to popular belief, eating most wild game (with the exception of upland birds, bear, and wild pigs) rare or even raw will not kill you. It won’t even make you sick. I have a hard time convincing skeptical hunter to eat wild game cooked anything more than well done, but just once, slice off a small piece off the backstrap (preferably when you’re in the field) and eat it. You’ll not only live, you’ll also discover something wild, almost primal, about yourself. From there you can graduate to venison tartare.
Cook On Coals
Okay, even I’m skeptical about a few things, and cooking deer steaks directly on hot coals is one of them. But, people swear by it and I’m constantly being goaded into trying it, so that’s my one resolution for 2015. I’m going to lay a perfectly good chunk of elk backstrap onto a pile of hot coals and hopefully not have it taste like ash.
Happy New Year, everyone!