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Cooking With Wild Game When cooking meats of any kind, there is no sauce like a sauce made from the meat trimmings and bones of the animal itself. Here’s one suggestion for a great venison sauce; use it with any roast or pan-roasted venison, such as leg, rack or loin – the black pepper and juniper lends itself well to the caramelized flavor of the roasted meat. Yield: 1 cup ½ cup canola oil 2 ¼ lbs. venison bones, chopped into 1” pieces (or, 2 lbs bones, ¼ pound meat trimmings) 1 quarts water 1 quarts light chicken stock 2 quarts veal demi-glace (best: make it yourself; more than gourmet’s ready made is not bad) ½ lbs. carrots, cut into ½” pieces ½ lbs. onions, ½” 5 ounces celery, cut into ½” 3 peppercorns, crushed 2 juniper berries, crushed Heat canola oil over high heat in a heavy pan large enough to hold bones in one layer, until just before smoking. Add bones and cook until well-browned and caramelized – do not turn before a good crust develops, and once turning, do not stir bones. You want a good, deep, rich caramelizing layer. The last few minutes, add the meat trimming, if you are using it. You want a good russet color to the bones, not black – watch for this and discard any blackened bones. Pour off fat from pan. Add a little of your water, enough to deglaze the pan, reserving the rest for later. Using a wooden (ideally, flat) spoon, scrape the bones free and scrape up and loosen any browned bits. In my kitchen, I use to tell my chefs the pan should look, on the bottom, as if it had been washed. Add a little more water and allow to work – listen for the crackle to die down to a gentle bubbling, then, as the water evaporates, the gelatin will extract from the bones and it will begin to crackle again. Add ¾ cups of the light chicken stock and deglaze/reglaze as before. Add vegetables and stir to deglaze/reglaze. Add remaining water, chicken stock, and veal stock. Deglaze fully and transfer to stock pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, with pot offset to one side to set up a convection for


skimming – throughout the process, you don’t want to allow accumulated scum and impurities to be reincorporated into the sauce, so skim the surface regularly. Skim and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until stock is at level of bones. If you have a fine mesh sieve, first strain the sauce through a coarse strainer then through the fine mesh sieve. If not, a coarse sieve with a layer of cheesecloth will do. The important thing is to strain with the coarse strainer first, then pass through the fine strainer. Pour strained stock into pot. Simmer until reduced to sauce consistency. Last ten minutes of reduction, add your crushed peppercorns and juniper berries, and reduce to 1 cups. Double strain again and serve. Hunting can bring good food to the table. As a chef, I always sought to marry what I knew with what hunters and farmers always knew – the best food comes from the season and the land one knows. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Cooking With Wild Game Duck Breast Prosciutto Prosciutto is a traditional aspect of charcuterie in French cooking. Simply, it is cured meat which is then cured and matured further by drying in air – leaving a wonderful, intensely flavored butchery product. Sliced thinly, and served with good, strong country-style mustard, dried fruits and black bread, it is a great lunch or part of a late autumn dinner. Most prosciutto is made with pork. The recipe which follows is made with moulard duck breast. Moulard is a duck raised for foie gras, and its meat is typically more flavorful than domestic pekin, while not as gamy as wild mallard. The magret is the lobe, or half breast of the moulard duck (each duck will have two magrets, or one full breast). Cooking With Wild Game Moulard Magret Prosciutto Salt/Spice Cure: Ratio: This is an important part of any cured meat recipe. The salt ratio is especially important, the spice and garlic ratio which follows less so. Weigh you duck breasts and salt very carefully. Per pound of Magret: (i.e., salt per <i>weight</i> of duck meat) .7 OZ salt per pound of duck magret Per Magret: (i.e., curing spices per <i>unit</i> of duck magret) 10 juniper berries ½ bay leaf, crushed


1 tsp coriander seed 10 black peppercorns 1 clove garlic Crush to medium-fine juniper, bay leaf, coriander, peppercorns and garlic in mortar and pestle. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Each Magret: Place large square plastic wrap on counter. Place Magret on wrap and place ½ of mixture on Magret, skin side, spreading so it coats evenly. Turn over and repeat with flesh side. Roll wrap up tightly and seal edges and repeat for up to weekly need. Cure under refrigeration for 24 hours. Air Cure: Wipe cure off meat – do not rinse. Place Magret on large square of cheesecloth and wrap cheesecloth around Magret, ensuring cheesecloth fully covers meat. Place twine around Magret and secure Magret as if it were a roast, leaving a 6” piece of twine free at one end. Hang in dry cooler at 38F for two weeks. Remove from cheesecloth, wrap in plastic and cut in paper-thin slices at service, freezing if needs be to obtain thin cuts (the freezing helps to firm up the duck breast, making it easier to slice thinly). http://www.recipekingdom.net


Cooking With Wild Game