Some people will not touch wild game … despite the fact that it is one of the healthiest meats available. Did you know wild game is generally very low in fat and cholesterol while still maintaining good fats (omega-6 and omega-3)? It also contains higher amount of iron, zinc and other minerals needed by your body. And who has ever had a wild animal pumped full of hormones? Non one. So, why isn’t everyone chomping down on as much wild game as possible? It all comes down to taste. Apparently, some people think that wild game tastes, well, gamey.
So, how do you get the “game” taste out of wild game. Here are a few ideas:
- Proper Cleaning: Be sure to clean the carcass as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. Removing the innards allows the muscle meat to cool faster, which prevents enzymes that can give meat and undesirable flavor to form. While removing the hide, also remove most of the fat. The fat on wild game is not tasty and can be another source of gamey flavor. Also, remember to keep your meat clean and cool!
- Soak It: A common way to remove the “game” flavor is to soak your meat before you freeze it. There are many different options and every hunter has their favorites. Common “soaks” include, buttermilk, milk, saltwater, vinegar or lemon juice. Some even soak the meat in yogurt.
- Freeze It: Freeze your game meat properly. Freezer burn happens when you try to freeze a lot of meat in one container or package, so go the extra mile and individually wrap or vacuum seal each cut so that little to no air gets in.
- Don’t Overcook: Medium-rare is good on a steak … of any variety! Some say that how long you cook your game will make more of a difference than the age of the animal. Wild game has very little intramuscular fat marbled into the meat making it easier to overcook. One recommendation is to add pork or beef fat when using ground wild game.
- Marinade: Marinades can help (but remember soaking it first will make a big difference). Marinades will help keep your meat moist while adding flavor. The best marinade to use is just like the best liquid to soak your meat in … you will find a different answer for everyone you ask. Most hunters will agree that marinating for six hours is key and overnight is alright. The longer the marinade the better tasting the meat.