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Wild Game Cuisine

Wild Ideas to Inspire Your Thanksgiving Feast

If you love wild game, chances are you love sharing your harvest with friends and family. Making wild game dishes that appeal to everyone at the Thanksgiving table can be a challenge, especially if you want to try something outside of the normal repertoire. We’ve compiled a list of wild game dish ideas to inspire your culinary creativity this year.

Gilbert Randolph November 23, 20223 min read

Roasted Rabbit, by Amy Hall

If you’re chasing small game and want a bright, savory dish, try roasted rabbit. Amy quartered her rabbit, then seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary. She cooked in the oven at 425F until the internal temperature reached 160F.

She recommends serving with hominy, roasted acorn squash, as well as blanched and seasoned dandelion greens.

Throw in some wild mushrooms and a cranberry relish for the side.

If you want it as a stew, simply put the rabbit in a bowl of chicken broth with dumplings.

Photo courtesy of Amy Hall.
Photo courtesy of Amy Hall.

Roasted Venison Loin with Squash, by John Wallace

This rustic preparation joins one of the prime deer cuts with a seasonal squash. Cut a butternut squash into cubes. Then, season with salt, pepper, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. Roast on cookie sheet at 425° for 20 mins (flipping halfway).

For the loins, season with steak seasoning and sear in cast iron with a little oil and butter, until an internal temp of approximately 110F. Place cooked squash in cast iron with venison, and then place in the oven at 425F (broil) until internal of approximately 132F. This takes about 5 minuntes.

Photo courtesy of John Wallace.
Photo courtesy of John Wallace.

Thanksgiving Stew, by Orion Aon

This stew will warm you up after a cold day! Here’s what you’ll need:

3lbs meat (shank, neck, shoulder, etc)
12 oz wild rice
1-2 oz dried wild mushrooms
Small squash (butternut, acorn, etc)
Salt and pepper
2-3 tbsp fat for browning

Soak mushrooms in 8 cups of boiling water.

Cut meat into bite-sized cubes and sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides. Heat fat in a large cast iron or enamel dutch oven and brown meat in batches, removing from the pot when most sides have browned.

Deglaze the pot with rehydrated mushrooms and a splash of mushroom broth. Scrape the bottom to remove any stuck-on bits. Once deglazed, add meat back in and enough broth to just cover the meat and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is mostly tender.

Add the wild rice and about 3 cups of water to a separate pot. Bring to a boil, reduce, cover and cook until done, about 35 to 45 minutes.

Peel, de-seed and cube the squash. Add into the stew and cook until tender, around 30 to 45 minutes. Once the squash is tender, stir in the cooked wild rice and its cooking water if you need more liquid. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Photo courtesy of Orion Aon.
Photo courtesy of Orion Aon.

Persimmon Scones (adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction), by Gilbert Randolph

Persimmons are in my top three favorite wild fruits. While wild Thanksgiving recipes tend to focus on protein, there are foraging options out there as well. This scone recipe is the perfect breakfast to get you through Thanksgiving prep or to have as an on-hand snack the day after.

I will simply link to her recipe, which goes into more detail on how to create the perfect scone. The most important thing when cooking with wild persimmons is learning how to tell if they are ripe. A ripe persimmon will pull off the stem with very little effort and will be quite squishy when ripe. They need to be deseeded, which is a messy proposition, but well worth the effort. If you have an abundance of persimmons, you can freeze them for use in later recipes.

Just sub in persimmons instead of blueberries and you’re all set for a mouth watering foraged dessert.

Read Sally’s recipe here:

Moose Stew, by Emilie Cram

Cold temperatures start settling in the fall and everyone wants a good hearty bowl of soup. This Moose Stew from Emilie Cram is a great way to use leftover vegetables and any wild game meat that you have in the freezer! Enjoy with your favorite slice of bread to soak up the last of the juices.

1-2 lbs stew meat
6c beef broth
1/2 c red wine
1 onion
1 sweet potato, peeled
2 potatoes, unpeeled
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon rosemary
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c flour

Lightly flour and season desired stew meat and cook in butter. Add onions.
Once meat has been browned and the onions cooked, add all other ingredients.

Let simmer for at least 2 hours.

Photo courtesy of Emilie Cram.
Photo courtesy of Emilie Cram.
Filed Under:
  • After the Hunt
  • Field to Fork
  • Healthy Harvests