Contrary to popular belief in Western cultures, meat does not originate in a clean, plastic-wrapped piece of Styrofoam. Some families still live a hunting lifestyle, but they are much less common than they used to be.
If times change for the worse, it may become important to supplement our carefully stored supplies with wild game and foraged vegetation. But how do you cook an armadillo, for example? What do you do with a fiddlehead fern?
By planning ahead, you can answer those questions now, while you still have time to stock up on any extra supplies you might need to make the most of those foods provided to you by nature.
The first issue is to get over your innate distaste for items not commonly considered to be “food” these days. While today, the idea of alligator chili might be enough to start a family revolt, tomorrow it might be a feast worthy of celebration.
Texture is important and a very good way to make alternative meat sources more palatable to the finicky eaters in your family. Ground meat and stewed meat are simple ways to make anything seem more familiar. When all else fails, stock up on really tasty barbecue sauce. And remember to say, “Don’t worry, it tastes like chicken!”
Incorporating your wild game into familiar recipes is another way to ease it into the menu. Further, adding the alternative meat to soups and stews is another way to slowly integrate it into your regular meal plan.
Here are some great wild game alternatives to consider:
Here are a few recipes to start your journey into the great world of eating wild game or what many would consider “alternative” forms of meat.
- 1 small to medium beaver cut into serving size pieces
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 11/2 tsp. instant minced onion
- 3 tbls. brown sugar
- 2 tbls. dark molasses
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ( 7 oz.) bottle of beer
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove all surface fat from beaver meat and cut into serving size pieces.
- In a foil-lined roasting pan, add sliced onions and cover the bottom, then add meat.
- Roast, covered for a half hour.
- Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl for barbecue sauce. After meat has roasted a half hour, uncover and pour barbecue sauce over the pieces. Then roast, uncovered, for another half hour to an hour and baste several times throughout remaining cooking time.
- 1 lb. venison backstrap, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tbls. Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tbls. season salt
- 1 tbls. black pepper
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- Place the venison slices into a shallow bowl and pour in the milk and hot sauce. Stir to coat, then cover and marinate for 1 hour.
- Heat the vegetable oil in an electric skillet to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt and pepper.
- Dip the venison slices into the flour, then into the egg and milk, then back into the flour. Shake off excess flour. Fry in the hot oil until lightly browned on each side, about 3 minutes. Remove with tongs and drain briefly on paper towels before serving.
- 1-2 pounds of turtle meat, cubed
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tbls. butter
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 3-4 potatoes, cubed
- 2 tbls. dry sherry
- 1-2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 dash salt and pepper
- 1 medium sized turtle that is a stream dweller (Lake and pond turtles taste is altered)
- Keep the turtle in a cooler with water in order to flush him out. Then fillet him.
- Brown the meat with the butter in a pan for a few minutes.
- Add remaining ingredients and cover.
- Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes and stir occasionally.
- Reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Wild Duck Burgundy
- 2 ducks
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped, fresh or dehydrated
- 2 apples, coarsely chopped, fresh for dehydrated
- 1 rib of celery, fresh or dehydrated and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 cups red burgundy wine
- Sliced Bacon or bacon bits
- Stuff cavity of ducks with onion, celery, apples, salt and pepper to taste.
- Add ½ bottle of wine. Marinate overnight.
- Take ducks out of juice and place in baking dish. Add bacon bits or sliced bacon to the top of duck. Pour some marinade in bag.
- Cover baking dish and bake for 4 hours at 300 degrees or until tender.
- Cool and serve sliced meat with sauce. Garnish with paprika. Can be served with fresh rice.
Quail and Rice
- 4 small, ready to cook quails or doves
- 4 tbls. butter
- 1 cup shredded carrots, fresh or dehydrated
- 1 cup sliced green onions, fresh or dehydrated
- 1 cup fresh parley
- 1 cup rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- ½ tsp. salt
- Dash of pepper
- Dash of bacon bits *optional
- In skillet, brown birds in butter. Remove birds and set aside.
- In skillet, cook carrots, onions and parsley until tender, stirring frequently.
- Add rice and stir until mixed.
- Add chicken broth, salt, and pepper.
- Top mixture with birds. Sprinkle with pepper and bacon bits on top.
- Cover and cook over low heat for 30 minutes or until tender.
- 1 small goat
- 3 lb. beef tallow
- 1 bottle of barbecue sauce
- 1 bottle ketchup
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- Place cut up meat and tallow in large pan over the coals or on top of the stove.
- Add enough water to cover bottom of pan. Mix sauce in large pot. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce to taste. Add half of the sauce to the meat.
- Cook over medium heat and turn the meat occasionally. As the sauce cooks down, add remaining sauce.
Grilled Lamb with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 tsp. dried tarragon
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 4 lbs. lamb
- In bowl, mix spices and rub on meat. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Cook on medium high heat. Hint: Brush grill grate lightly with oil and arrange lamb on grill. Cook 5 minutes per side.