7 Delicious Ways to Serve Hunted Game This Winter

This is not a knock against any of the culinary mainstays that hunters (and their families) have enjoyed for hundreds of years. But this fall and winter, why not experiment a little with the game you bring home by trying one of the following recipes. Please note: this post shouldn’t be read on an empty stomach.

Venison Osso Bucco

  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 10 juniper berries
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 10-oz. venison osso bucco, cut from the hind shanks
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup fruity red wine, such as chianti
  • 1 cup fresh carrot juice
  • 6 plum tomatoes, peeled and crushed
  • 2 cups hot chicken stock
  1. Peel zest from oranges and lemon in wide strips. and set aside the zest from one orange and lemon for sauce. Slice zest of other orange into narrow strips about 1/8 of an inch wide and set aside for garnish. Remove and discard membrane of one orange, then slice into segments and reserve for garnish. Juice second orange and set juice aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a heavy, covered pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring until soft for about five minutes. Add carrots, celery, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, and juniper berries, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until the vegetables are light golden brown (about 15 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Thoroughly season venison with salt and lightly coat it with flour. Add vegetable oil to same pot and raise heat to medium-high. Add venison in a single layer and cook until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Return vegetable mixture to pot, reduce heat to medium, and stir in tomato paste; cook until the tomato paste begins to caramelize (roughly 6 minutes). Add wine and bring to a boil; scrape up all the brown bits that are stuck to bottom of pot. Add carrot juice, as well as the orange juice and orange and lemon zest you previously set aside. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the sauce has reduced and vegetables are soft (about 8 minutes). Add tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Stir in chicken stock, partially cover pot, and simmer for 90 minutes or until meat is fork-tender.
  4. Remove meat from pot when it’s done cooking. Strain sauce through a sieve, then squeeze the vegetables to extract liquid and discard the solids. Return meat to pot with sauce and keep it warm until the dish is ready to serve. Garnish the finished product with reserved orange segments and zest; this dish goes well with polenta. Serves six. [Courtesy of Outdoor Life/Restaurateur Lidia Bastianich]

Big Bear Stew

  • 4 pounds bear meat
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons margarine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds of diced red potatoes
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 5 sliced carrots
  • 2 cubed turnips
  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, oregano, salt, and pepper. Coat bear meat one piece at a time.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Fry the bear meat until browned, then drain using paper towels.
  3. Fill a large Dutch oven with 2 to 3 quarts water. Add bear meat, onions, beef broth, bay leaves, potatoes, mushrooms carrots and turnips. Cook on medium-high heat for 2 to 3 hours. Add more water as needed. Makes eight servings.   [Courtesy of AllRecipes]

Mozzarella Stuffed Elk Meatballs and Red Wine Tomato Sauce

  • 1.5 lbs ground elk or venison burger
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves diced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • 3 slices white bread without crusts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese balls (size of cherry tomatoes)
  • 28oz. can diced plain tomatoes
  • Fresh chopped basil
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  1. Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced white onion and 2 diced garlic cloves. Cook until onions are soft and translucent; then add thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and remove mixture from heat. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a separate bowl tear bread into small pieces and soak in milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze milk from bread and place in another larger bowl. Add elk burger, egg, parmigiano-reggiano, and onion mixture, and then mix with your hands.
  3. Take elk mixture and form meatballs, with a mozzarella cheese ball in the center of each one. Meatballs can be small, medium, or large. Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Add remaining oil to cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place each meatball into skillet and cook on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan when browned.
  5. Add ½ cup dry red wine to skillet to de-glaze the pan. Add canned tomatoes and ¼ cup fresh chopped basil. Bring sauce to a simmer, add meatballs, and reduce heat to low. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Makes 13-15 meatballs (depending on size).
  6. Optional: garnish with crusty bread or pasta and oil-fried basil leaves. [Courtesy of Nevada Foodies]

Duck Fat Pancakes

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Rendered duck fat (about 1 cup)
  • Pure maple syrup (accept nothing less)
  1. Whisk milk and eggs and blend in a large bowl. Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder, sugar, and salt in another smaller bowl. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture; whisk to blend, then cover and chill for up to 1 hour.
  2. Melt duck fat in a large skillet to a depth of 1/3 inch over medium heat. Using a 1/4-cup measure and working in batches, spoon batter into skillet. Cook until pancakes are slightly puffed and golden brown and bubbles form and begin to pop along edges, 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown and cooked through (1–2 minutes longer). Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancakes to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Serve pancakes, and drizzle with syrup. Recipe makes 16 pancakes. [Courtesy of Epicurious]

Slow-cooked Grouse with Chorizo

  • Olive oil
  • 2 grouse, cut in half through the breast and backbone
  • 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
  • 2 sliced onions
  • ¼ bunch of thyme with leaves stripped
  • A handful of sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 160g of fresh chorizo (big chunks)
  • 440g amontillado sherry
  • Braised spinach or chard to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a generous amount of oil to a heavy-based casserole dish and place over a high heat. Coat the grouse with oil, and then season and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Reduce heat and add another splash of oil to the pan. Add the onions, garlic, herbs, and a pinch of salt; then fry for 15 minutes, or until the onions are soft and sweet; add the chorizo in the last five minutes.
  3. Return the grouse to the pan and mix thoroughly with the onions. Pour in the sherry, bring to the boil, and then cover with the lid; place in the oven for one hour, or until the meat is falling off the bone. Serve with spinach or chard. Recipe serves two. [Courtesy of Guardian UK/Stevie Parle]

Crockpot Gameday Moose Chili

  • 2 lb. ground moose meat
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of dark red kidney beans
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn (optional)
  • 1 package of slow cooker chili seasoning
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Fresh oregano
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Cumin
  1. Brown meat and chopped onions in a skillet. Drain most of the fat (but save some in a small dish).
  2. Place cooked meat and onions into large crackpot. Add chili seasoning packet to the meat, using the leftover fat help the meat absorb the seasoning.
  3. Dump tomato sauce and diced tomatoes (drained) into the cooker. Rinse the kidney and black beans, and then add those as well. You may also add the corn here if you choose to include it.
  4. Add basil and oregano, salt and pepper, chili powder, and garlic.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. Serve chili with sharp cheddar cheese, sour cream, corn bread, or whatever fixin’s you prefer. [Courtesy of Just a Pinch Recipes/Becky Hammond]

Stewed Rabbit with Biscuits Biscuits:

  • 1/2 pound (plus 1 ounce) of cold small-cubed butter
  • 4 ounces of sugar
  • 1/8 cup (plus 1/2 teaspoon) of baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds (plus 1 1/2 ounces) of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/8 cup of buttermilk
  • 3 eggs

Stewed Rabbit:

  • 2 whole rabbits (2 1/2 to 3 pounds each)
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 medium diced shallots
  • 10 baby halved carrots, halved
  • 2 large sprigs of rosemary
  • 1/2 head of spring garlic
  • Crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 quarts of hot chicken stock
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 8 quartered morels (or other seasonal mushrooms)
  • 1/2 cups of fresh peas
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon with the leaves chopped
  1. For the biscuits: Combine the butter, sugar, baking powder, and salt in an electric mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix until the butter is pea size. Then add the flour, tarragon, and pepper, followed by the buttermilk and eggs. Mix until homogenous.
  2. For the rabbit: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the rabbit into eight equal servings (save the extra bones and trimmings to make the stock). Coat the pieces in flour, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or small rondeau, and sear the rabbit over medium-high heat. Remove the meat when golden brown (roughly 3 to 4 minutes). Discard the oil and turn the heat down to medium-low.
  4. Saute the shallots until blonde (roughly 4 to 5 minutes). Add the carrots, rosemary, spring garlic, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and a pinch of salt. Saute until soft (roughly 3 to 5 minutes). Add the rabbit, and allow it to cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the hot stock, white wine and morels, and bring the liquid to a simmer. Simmer for about 4 minutes.
  5. Top with the biscuit mixture in small dollops, and then add the peas. Bake until the biscuits are golden, the filling is bubbling and the rabbit is tender. Should take about 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Top with the tarragon and serve. Recipe makes 6 servings. [Courtesy of Food Network/Scott Conant]