Venison. Quail. Pheasant. Bison. Wild boar. This is man food at its finest. However, these recipes starring wild game meats were developed by a woman. Georgia Pellegrini author of Girl Hunter and Modern Pioneering, has been known to butcher, freeze, and pack a small pig in her suitcase to cook up upon arrival, so clearly she's a pretty badass woman ("These are things I do in pursuit of bacon," she says). Having worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the south of France and New York restaurant stars Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Gramercy Tavern, the girl knows how to cook—and not with just how to whip up the typical chicken, beef, and fish you'd find at a fine restaurant.
"No food is more in tune with the seasons than game meat: More than any other food, wild game cannot be harvested until it is ready. It is seasonal, local and organic," says Pellegrini. But beyond that, it's an excellent source of muscle-building protein: "Wild animals are athletes, providing lean, dense protein without the marbling you find in factory farmed meat and there is a wonderful variety in flavor that you just can’t get from standard meat," she says. A mere 3-oz serving of wild boar, for example, packs 24 grams of protein, while 3 oz of venison packs 31 grams.
And perhaps the best news: You don't have to go out and hunt it yourself or bring home a pig in your suitcase. "Wild game is available in stores even when it hasn’t been hunted and is still a better alternative to feedlot meat—venison, quail, pheasant, bison, and wild boar are all available at many higher-end grocery stores, like Whole Foods now," says Pellegrini. You can also buy it online from reputable sources like Broken Arrow Ranch. However, you can swap beef in for the game meats for many of these recipes if you just can't hunt (literally or figuratively) down the real deal.
Get more easy, healthy recipes that you can make for yourself in 14 minutes or less through Georgia Pellegrini’s Cooking School for Men. Download the free Georgia Pellegrini App to get cooking videos plus an interactive shopping list and recipes.
2 pounds venison shoulder, or other muscular cut 1 medium white onion, cut into chunks 2 bay leaves 1/4 cup Kosher salt 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon light brown sugar 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1 cup diced tomato 1 large cucumber, seeds removed and diced 6-8 radishes, diced 2 cups pickled julienned carrots, (or another pickled vegetable available in your grocery store) 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped Juice of 2 limes Salt and pepper, to taste
Creme fraiche, to garnish Lime wedges, to garnish Corn tortillas
1. In a large pot, add the venison, onion, bay leaves and salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook partly covered for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender and shreds easily. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. 2. Remove the meat from the liquid with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl. Pull the meat apart with your hands, until it is shredded. 3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed when ready to serve.
2 pound wild boar roast (or pork shoulder roast or butt roast) salt and pepper grape seed oil 1 large leek, sliced lengthwise (white and pale green part only, the dark green you can freeze and save for stock) 5 large carrots, diced into chunks 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered 1 large onion, diced 5 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 cup Marsala wine 2 cups beef broth 2 cups chicken stock 1 cup cooked orzo pasta (optional)
1. Set the wild boar onto a paper towel to dry it well. Generously season with salt and pepper on all sides. 2. Cut up all the veggies and smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife. 3. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of grape seed oil over medium high heat. Brown the boar for several minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside. 4. Add an additional tablespoon of oil and toss all of your vegetables into the same pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 5. Stir in tomato paste to coat the veggies. 6. Add the Marsala wine, beef broth, and chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing. 7. Nestle the wild boar roast back into the pot. Cover partially and simmer on low for about 4-5 hours. 8. Once the meat is tender and easily falling apart, prepare orzo or another pasta. Then ladle the stew on top.
4 tablespoons sesame oil 2 cups diced duck meat, soaked in 2 cups of orange juice for at least 4 hours 1 cup thinly sliced green onion (white and green portion) 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon grated ginger 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes 2 cups diced cabbage 2 cups sliced mushrooms 1 1/2 cups frozen peas Salt and pepper 2 eggs, lightly beaten 2 cups cooked long-grain brown rice 1/2 cup soy sauce
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of sesame oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or wok over medium-high heat. Add the duck meat and cook through, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan to a plate and set aside. 2. Add 2 tablespoons of sesame oil to the pot over medium-high heat. Add the green onion, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for 1 minute until fragrant. 3. Add the cabbage, mushrooms and peas, season with salt and pepper and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan to a plate. 4. Over low heat, pour the beaten egg into the pot and scramble with a wooden spoon or spatula. Fold in the rice and add in the vegetables and duck. Moisten with the soy sauce and stir. 5. Spoon the rice onto a serving platter and serve.
4 cups venison, cubed 1/4 cup flour 4 cups chicken broth 3 tablespoons coconut oil 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 medium onion, diced 2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced (one large) 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 10.75 oz. can of tomato puree 2 teaspoons ground garam masala 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper 1 teaspoons ground cardamom 1/2 cup heavy cream 1 15 oz. can of chick peas, drained 1 tablespoon salt 1 tablespoon black pepper
1. Toss the meat with flour, salt, and black pepper until each piece is evenly coated. 2. Add coconut oil to the bottom of dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat. 3. Work in batches and cook the meat 2-3 minutes on each side, stirring occasionally. 4. Continue on with the next batch of meat. Add more coconut oil if the pan is dry. 5. Remove the meat from the pot and transfer to a plate in order to cool. 6. Then include the onion, garlic, and grated ginger. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Remember to add more oil if needed. 7. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes, until it becomes thick and dark. 8. Add coriander, turmeric, cumin, cardamom, cayenne pepper, and garam masala. 9. Transfer the meat back into the pot. 10. Include the chicken broth, tomato puree, heavy cream, chick peas, and sweet potato. 11. Bring to boil, reduce heat. 12. Simmer on medium heat, partly covered, until liquid has thickened and venison easily falls apart --about two hours. 13. Serve, garnish with optional fresh herbs such as cilantro, and enjoy.
4 whole quail, deboned Salt and pepper 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ¼ cup whole wheat flour 4 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil
1. Rinse the quail and pat them dry. Season them with salt and pepper inside and out. 2. In a small bowl, combine the spices with the flour and mix until fully blended. 3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. 4. Drop the quail in the bowl of spices and toss so that each piece is well coated. 5. Place them in the skillet and let them brown, about 4 minutes on each side. 6. Remove to paper towels and serve immediately, preferably alongside your favorite salad or grilled fruit.
1 pound of ground venison 2 strips of bacon 1 16 oz can of kidney beans 3 cups of beef or chicken stock 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes 1 whole red onion 3 cloves garlic 1 tsp dried oregano ½ tsp cinnamon 1 tsp paprika 1 tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp cayenne 1 tsp ground chili pepper ½ tsp salt to taste 1 sprig rosemary 3 bay leaves
1. Start by rendering bacon in a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Render bacon until crispy and golden brown. 2. Finely dice a red onion and add to the pot with the rendered bacon. Add diced garlic and cook until onion is soft and translucent and garlic is slightly golden. 3. Add beef and brown for about 5 minutes, breaking it into smaller pieces as it cooks. 4. When the meat is browned, add the spices, rosemary, and bay leaves to the pot. 5. Add the kidney beans and diced tomatoes, followed by your stock of choice. 6. Partly cover the pot and let simmer for about an hour and a half until the liquid is full flavored and reduced. Season with salt to taste.
Inspired by the book "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: food from my frontier"
4 tablespoons olive oil or butter 6 rabbits, quartered Salt and pepper 1 medium onion, diced 1 ½ cups whiskey 2 cups barbecue sauce 2 chipotle peppers in Adobo, chopped 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 4 -6 cups fresh peach slices 2 cups water 1 bunch kale, collards or other leafy green, roughly chopped 2 TB peach preserves (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed Dutch oven and brown the rabbit quarters for about 4 minutes on each side. Season each side with salt and pepper as you go. You will need to work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, so transfer the meat to a plate once it is well browned and add new meat. 2. Once the rabbit is all transferred to a plate, add the diced onion to the pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring until translucent. 3. Pour in the whiskey and reduce to about half. Add the barbecue sauce and chipotle pepper and stir. 4. Add the rabbit quarters to the pot, then the peaches. Cover with foil or a lid and place in the oven for at least 2.5 hours, or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. In the last 10 minutes, add the greens and peach preserves and stir. 5. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice. It is delicious the next day for breakfast too!