girls-guide-dining

Why Do Chefs and Foodies Love Game Meat?
Here’s Everything You Need to Know

gg-dining-1Glenn and I arrived in Jackson Hole ready to try new things. We discovered not only a newfound love for the wild west, but also a new favorite dish: Elk chop. As elegantly prepared by the Westbank Grill, it was so delicious I ordered it on two separate evenings during our stay at the Four Seasons.

Venturing into town, we loved exploring Jackson Hole’s fabulous fine dining scene, and found that game meats were typically the stars of the show. Think venison, bison, wild boar, rabbit, and pheasant. These may not be your everyday dinner fare, but they are actually close relatives of the animal cuts you’re used to. And, you’ll be pleased to learn, they’re actually leaner and higher in protein than beef, pork, or chicken.

In Europe it’s long been common to see duck, venison, quail and rabbit offered at all kinds of restaurants, and now in the U.S. these meats are enjoying something of a gourmet renaissance as our attitudes toward food evolve. For globe-trotting foodies like us, it was a delight to indulge in a local specialty that we don’t always see on the menu while in Jackson Hole. So if you’re looking for a way to shake things up in the kitchen or while dining out this season, I highly recommend going for a flavorful venison stew, or a wild boar osso buco. Enjoy our Girl’s Guide to Game Meat to get you started!

 
what-to-know

 

The Flavor


What gives a venison steak that rich, “gamey” flavor you just don’t get with beef? It’s all in how the animals are raised. Never cooped up in a barn, and allowed a varied, more natural diet, game meats develop an intense taste that chefs and foodies prize. It’s also why they’re leaner—because they’re able to roam free and exercise.
 

The Source


Many chefs and foodies love game as a great alternative to mass farm-raised animals—one that is better for both our animals and our health, and provides greater flavor and quality. Because hunting is highly regulated in the U.S. and hunters are not allowed to sell what they kill, a growing wave of entrepreneurs are sustainably raising game on ranches, where they’re allowed to roam free within a large fenced-in area. Meanwhile specialty distributors have risen to source game internationally for the world’s best restaurants as well as online customers.
 

The Cuisine


A lot of people have had bad experiences with “tough” game meat dishes—especially when it comes to venison, deer, elk, caribou, etc. It’s important to remember that even ranch-bred game meats are much leaner than your traditional grocery store protein, and that makes them easy to overcook. If you’re not super confident on the grill, the easiest way to cook it is to go low-and-slow. Unless you’re dealing with game birds (which can generally be cooked like chicken or duck), opt for stews, braises, and marinades. If you want to make it easier on your family, you can try introducing a mixed stew dish with half beef, or go for something spicy with plenty of seasoning.
 

where-to-buy

 

dartagnan
D’Artagnan
Founded by a woman entrepreneur from France, this company has long supplied some of the finest restaurants in the U.S. with high-quality, sustainably raised game meats, and their unparalleled selection is neatly available for individuals to purchase via their website.
dartagnan

 

fossilfarms
Fossil Farms
Another great online purveyor of carefully selected, high-quality meat, Fossil Farms also works with small, sustainable ranches that are raising elk, bison, rabbit, and even exotic game like alligator and kangaroo.
fossilfarms

 

where-to-buy

 

dartagnan
 
D’Artagnan
Founded by a woman entrepreneur from France, this company has long supplied some of the finest restaurants in the U.S. with high-quality, sustainably raised game meats, and their unparalleled selection is neatly available for individuals to purchase via their website.
dartagnan

 

fossilfarms
 
Fossil Farms
Another great online purveyor of carefully selected, high-quality meat, Fossil Farms also works with small, sustainable ranches that are raising elk, bison, rabbit, and even exotic game like alligator and kangaroo.
fossilfarms

 

where-to-eat

 

Find a prime cut of game year-round at any of these
elegant fine dining restaurants.

Saddle Peak Lodge
Malibu, CA Saddlepeaklodge

saddle-peak

Snake River Grill
Jackson Hole, WY Snakerivergrill

snake-river

The West Bank Grill
Jackson Hole, WY Fourseasons

west-bank

Rules
London, UK Rules

rules

The Gentleman Farmer
New York City, NY Gentlemanfarmernyc

snake-river

what-to-make

Grab one of these acclaimed cookbooks and 
learn to prepare wild game like a pro.

WILD GOURMET
An all-star team of renowned American Chefs have come together to create this wonderful cookbook with a focus on recipes for wild meats and fish, including salmon, elk, boar, quail and turkey.
DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE
Chef, hunter, gardner, and blogger Hank Shaw’s award-winning cookbook adds a wild perspective to cooking duck expertly, from succulent confit to perfect prosciutto.
THE WILD CHEF
This outstanding cookbook from Field & Stream magazine editor Jonathan Miles is full of over 130 delicious recipes for every kind of game meat. It’d make a great gift for your guy if he’s into cooking and the outdoors.

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