Tag Archives: cooking

Jam Excites Game Dishes

jam-jarsJam is for more than simply putting on bread as it can enhance a main course, easily converting your wild game dish into a mouthwatering gourmet experience bursting with unique flavors! You may want to take a look in your cabinets to see if there are currently any jars of jam, possibly homemade or given to you in a gift basket, that just never got used and that you could use with your next meal.

Jams, jellies, preserves, marmalades and conserves are all suitable for livening up a meal; only a very fine line separates each of them.  Jellies are cooked twice using the juice only, while jams are purées made with fruit.  Preserves, conserves and marmalades are made with bits of fruit cooked until translucent, with preserves typically made from one type of fruit and conserves made with fresh fruits and dried fruit or nuts. Marmalade is made most often from one or many kinds of citrus fruit.

Wild game meats, especially venison and wild boar, pair exceptionally well with apples, cranberries, pears or apricots–fruit that has a lighter sweet and tart enhancement. Pomegranate, grape, plum, or any of the “berry” jams, add rich color and a more robust sweet and tart flavor and are excellent choices for elk or bison.

For game birds, you may want to consider a lighter colored jam choice such as peach, apple, mango, fig, pineapple or orange that will not darken or discolor the meat.  Stuffing and dressings with fruit such as prunes, raisins, dates or pomegranates are often prepared with roast turkey, duck or goose. While pineapple and orange serve as a more traditional glaze, mango and fig can be a spectacular contrast flavor to a bird stuffed with cornbread & sausage dressing.  Fruit and fruit jam also add moistness and provides an intense fruit flavor to mask a gamey flavor.

orange-chicken-IMG_0195A citrus marmalade is a good choice for any seafood dish, typically intense in flavor, but not too sweet and translucent in color. Pork and veal go best with the lighter colored fruit choices, apples, figs, lemon, lime, oranges, mangos, apricots and pears, flavors that will brighten the dish.

If you’re looking to transform a bland dish into a brilliant flavored dish with very little effort, try any of the pepper jams such as jalapeno, habanero or red or green bell pepper. Those jams will add the sweetness of fruit, the tang of vinegar and the heat of the pepper. This provides a perfectly balanced flavor, without the overpowering heat of a straight pepper sauce.

Once you’ve decided on a flavor pairing, fruit jams make fabulous bases for marinades or glazes.   Marinade needs to be liquid enough to be “saturated,” so add balsamic or wine vinegar or even lemon juice to your choice of jam to create a marinade.  In addition to making a jam more liquid, vinegar or lemon juice have the added benefit of helping tenderize your choice of meat.  In general, prior to cooking, seafood and chicken can be marinated up to two hours, pork or lamb four to eight hours, and beef or wild game up to 24 hours, refrigerated.

jam-oil-and-vinegar-jarsGlazes add flavor, color and texture and are typically drizzled or brushed on toward the end of a cooking cycle. To make a glaze, simply add a little balsamic or wine vinegar or lemon juice to your choice of jam and stir until smooth.  If you have any trouble getting the jam and vinegar to blend, heat it gently on your stovetop over medium low temperature, and add any other seasonings during the heating. For oven roasting you typically apply the glaze during the last 10 to 15 minutes bake time after increasing your oven temperature to 400 to 450° F. When grilling, brush the glaze on throughout the entire cook time–it will also help maintain moistness.—Debbie McKeown

2013 Convention Seminar–Paring Game With Wine

What: Wild Game & Wine Paring
Speaker: Lisa Freeman
Where: 2013 SCI Convention, Reno
As seen featured in SAFARI Magazine Awards Issue gourmet section three years in a row, Chef Lisa Freeman, of Hooks and Horns Catering, will take you on a culinary journey!  In this session, tips and techniques for preparing fine wild game recipes will be demonstrated.  We will also be discussing how to pair game recipes with the perfect wines that will offer complementing flavors and balance without intimidation. Come explore this savory experience!


Duck Plucking Tip

If you’ve plucked many ducks or other birds, then you know it’s impossible to get every little pinfeather or hair. Thankfully, it’s a simple matter to singe them off using a propane torch. Once you’ve dressed your duck, try the recipe below.  It works great with any wild or domestic duck–you won’t be disappointed.


Spicy Duck

1) Rinse a whole duck and pat it dry.

2) Sprinkle the duck inside and out with the following mixture more or less to taste:

1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice

(To get the best flavor from the spices, combine them and grind them into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.)

3) Use a fork to pierce the skin all over. Pierce deeply to get the spices into the meat.

4) Place duck breast side down on a roasting rack in a 3750 oven and roast.

5) When the duck has 15 minutes left to cook, baste the duck with a 50/50 mixture of honey and soy sauce.

6) When the duck has 5 minutes left to cook, baste with pan drippings.

Let duck sit for 10 minutes before carving, then serve with rice and steamed asparagus.

The Complete Book of Making Jerky at Home

Make-Jerky-At-Home-BookMaking your own jerky is easy, fun and economical. Jerky is the oldest snack food in history, and is still just as popular today as it was during our more primitive days.  J. Wayne Fears, author, explorer and outdoor cook, teaches readers of his new E-book, The Complete Book of Making Jerky at Home, how to become master jerky makers.

This Amazon/Kindle book provides instruction and 24 recipes for making jerky from red meat, ground meat, fish, turkey and fruit. Readers will learn about the tools and seasonings needed to enjoy making their own jerky, meat safety guidelines and how to store jerky properly.

The Complete Book of Making Jerky at Home will guide you toward making the best jerky you ever ate. It explains the four primary methods of making jerky, including electric dehydrators, kitchen ovens, electric smokers and air-drying.  J. Wayne Fears states that even though our ancestors didn’t know it, jerky made from lean fresh meat is low in fat and very high in protein, which makes it a wholesome and nutritious snack. Jerky is easy to make in the kitchen, backyard or the great outdoors.  This book tells you how.

J. Wayne Fears is one of today’s preeminent outdoor cooking writers. He has cooked in a wide variety of outdoor settings, ranging from one-pot meals in northern Alaska to elaborate dinners served in plush hunting lodges in Alabama. He has served as a judge at many outdoor cook-offs, and has written four major outdoor cookbooks including The Complete Book of Dutch Oven Cooking.