Savory Comfort Foods Using Game


Comfort foods take many forms, but using game as the main ingredient adds that unique twist for an even more enjoyable meal. Here are some comfort food ideas using game to consider.



Braised Wild Boar

From Georgia Pellegrini, April 01, 2105

  • 2 pound wild boar shoulder roast 
  • salt and pepper
  • grape seed oil
  • 1 large leek, sliced lengthwise (white and pale green part only)
  • 5 large carrots, diced into chunks
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup cooked orzo pasta (optional)
Set the wild boar onto a paper towel to dry it well. Generously season with salt and pepper on all sides.
Cut up all the veggies and smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife.
In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of grape seed oil over medium high heat. Brown the boar for several minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove from pot and set aside.
Add an additional tablespoon of oil and toss all of your vegetables into the same pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Stir in tomato paste to coat the veggies.
Add the Marsala wine, beef broth, and chicken stock. Scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing.
Nestle the wild boar roast back into the pot. Cover partially and simmer on low for about 4-5 hours.
Once the meat is tender and easily falling apart, prepare orzo or another pasta. Then ladle the stew on top.

Bison Chuck Roast

Written by The Kitchen Hand , in On the Gas

2 pounds Bison Chuck Roast
• Two tablespoons oil
• Two tablespoons Herbes de Province (or any spice of your choice)
• One yellow/white slice onion
• One teaspoon dried minced garlic
• A quarter tablespoon kosher salt
• One parsnip, turnip, and a rutabaga all cubed

First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Use a knife to cut off any of the silver skin that surrounds the meat. 

Mix the Herbes de Province (or the spices you chose) with garlic, salt, and oil in a small bowl.

Rub the entire roast with the spice mixture until it covers every part of the meat. The meat absorbs the spices, so before you settle on the amount to use, first consider the size of the meat you want to cook.

Chop the vegetables into pieces. Add the meat to the roasting pan and surround it with the vegetables before drizzling them with oil.

Place the meat in the oven uncovered for the first 15 minutes.  After 15 minutes, Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and continue cooking the roast for about 30-45 minutes. 

Remove the bison from the oven while leaving the vegetables in the oven to continue to cook. Place the meat on a cutting board for about 15 minutes to rest. You can leave it uncovered or slightly cover it with aluminum foil.

Remove your vegetables from the oven, and serve.

Hasenpfeffer (Rabbit Stew)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1 tablespoon currant jelly
  • 10 each black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Sprinkle rabbit with salt and coat with 1/3 cup flour, shaking off excess. Brown rabbit in remaining bacon fat. Remove from skillet, along with all but 2 tablespoons of the fat, and reserve.
  2. Saute shallots and garlic in skillet for about 4 minutes, until tender. Stir in wine, 1 cup water and bouillon. Heat to boiling, then stir in jelly, peppercorns, bay leaf, and rosemary. Return rabbit and bacon to skillet. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until rabbit is tender.
  3. Remove bay leaf and discard. Place rabbit on a warm platter and keep warm while preparing gravy.
  4. To Make Gravy: Stir lemon juice into skillet with cooking liquid. Combine 3 tablespoons water with 2 tablespoons flour and mix together; stir mixture into skillet over low heat. Finally, stir in thyme. Pour gravy over stew and serve, or pour into a gravy boat and serve on the side.


Coffee Marinated Bison Short Ribs


Short Ribs

  • 1/4 cup chopped bacon (about 1 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño chile, seeded, chopped
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chili sauce or ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For marinade

Stir 4 cups water, coffee, 1/2 cup coarse salt, and sugar in large bowl until salt and sugar dissolve. Add syrup and next 3 ingredients; stir until ice melts. Add ribs. Place plate atop ribs to keep submerged. Cover and chill 4 to 6 hours. Drain ribs; discard marinade. DO AHEAD: Drained ribs can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.

For short ribs

Preheat oven to 325°F. Sauté bacon in heavy large wide ovenproof pot over medium heat until beginning to brown. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to plate. Increase heat to medium-high. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook ribs until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Transfer to large plate. Add onions, shallots, garlic, and jalapeño to pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add coffee and broth; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add chili sauce and all remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Add bacon and ribs, cover, and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is tender, about 2 hours 15 minutes. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm in 325°F oven until heated through, about 20 minutes, before continuing.
Transfer ribs to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Spoon fat from surface of sauce. Boil sauce until reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over ribs.

Roast Shoulder of Elk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Crush the juniper berries and mix with some salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Smear over the surface of the meat, then cover with sliced guanciale. Put in a roasting dish and roast in the oven for 15 minutes per pound.

(Optional step: Before wrapping roast with sliced guanciale, use a paring knife to make several small 1-inch-deep slits around roast and stuff with garlic cloves and/or rosemary twigs. Just take care not to slit too deeply into roast.)

Be sure to let the roast rest for 20 minutes under a loose sheet of foil before carving. 

Excellent with roasted root vegetables and wild rice. 

 Braised Elk Shoulder

from Foodista, Dec 6 2009


Make a rub by adding juniper berries, fennel seeds, salt and guajillo peppers to a dry saute pan and roasting gently over medium-high heat until spices become fragrant. Set aside to cools. grind spices into a coarse grain and rub this mixture over the elk meat until well coated.
Pour olive oil into a cast iron or large heavy bottom pan. Place over high heat and brown in batches. It’s important not to crowd the pan to receive optimum browning\, and avoid steaming. Add more oil to pan as needed, continue to brown meat in batches. Remove meat and set aside.
Add 6 heads of young whole garlic cloves, dried figs, white wine, chopped scallions, 1 quart of water and one handful of fresh picked thyme to the pot. Bring to a boil,  add meat and all the juices that have collected to the pan and reduce to a simmer. Cover, place into a 350 F degree oven. Cook for 3 hours or until tender.
Serve over farro ( 2 cups prepared as instructions suggest) combined with 1 cup parsley, one cup mint, one cup chopped walnuts, toasted, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 tablespoons vinegar of your choice, and one cup olive oil.

Roasted Bone in Leg of Venison

Rub ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 Tbsps. crushed Juniper berries
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup freshly ground peppercorns

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl and mix until they are combined into a paste-like consistency. Rub the mixture into the venison. Add a touch more olive oil if needed to help the rub spread evenly. Wrap the venison in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 12 hours. Remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it return to room temperature before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Massage the butternut squash seed oil all over the leg. Set the leg of venison on a rack in a roasting pan and pour enough wine, stock or water into the bottom of the roasting pan to just moisten the bottom -- don't cover the bottom or the meat will steam. Put the venison in the oven and roast until it is nicely browned, but no more than 20 to 25 minutes.

Take the venison out of the oven and drop the temperature to 350°F. Carefully sprinkle the minced sage and black pepper all over the roast. If you want, drizzle a little more oil over the top of the roast. Adding the spices at this point prevents them from burning.

Set the venison back into the oven and roast until the deepest part of the meat reaches the 125°F - 130°F - at least 25 minutes and up to another hour more. Check the temperature after 25 minutes, then every 10 minutes after that. A general rule is about 20 minutes per pound at 350°F.

When the venison has hit the temperature you want, move it to a cutting board and tent it loosely with foil. Don't carve it for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.
Serve with Lingonberry preserves, something green and roasted potatoes.

Pheasant Pot Pie

2 c. all-purpose flour
½ c. canola or vegetable oil
5 T. water (plus 2 T. for egg wash)
1 egg (for egg wash)

Mix oil and 5 T. of water and stir into flour to form dough. Divide into two equal parts. Roll out each part between wax paper to make two pastries.

2 pounds boneless pheasant breast - cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 T. olive or vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 celery ribs, diced
1 c. butternut squash or carrots, chopped into 1-inch chunks
3 c. chicken stock
5 T. butter
¾ c. all-purpose flour
1 c. heavy cream
1 t. dried rosemary
½ c. frozen pearl onions, cut in half
½ c. frozen peas

Preheat oven to 375°. 
Heat 2 T. of the oil over medium-high heat in a large cast-iron skillet. Salt and pepper meat and add to the pan. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. Set meat aside. Add remaining 1 T. oil to the pan along with the garlic, celery, and squash (or carrots), and cook until slightly soft. Set aside.

Bring stock to a simmering boil in a small pot. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour for 1 minute. Add stock and cream. Once mixture boils, turn heat down and simmer, whisking all the while, for 5 minutes. Add rosemary and season with salt and pepper.

To the cream mixture, stir in meat and all vegetables.

Place one pastry in a 9-inch glass pie pan. Trim so it’s ½-inch wider than the glass edge. Spoon filling into the pastry-lined pan. Top with second pastry. Pinch the two edges together to seal. Cut slits in several places in top for steam to escape.

Make egg wash by mixing egg with 2 T. water. Brush top pastry with mixture. Bake pot pie for 35 minutes or until crust is golden.

 Grilled Spiced Quail with Shaved Fennel & Yogurt

From Food and Wine, America's Greatest New Cooks 

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 8 kaffir lime leaves  (the leaves freeze well for future use)
  • 2 tablespoons oregano leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, crushed
  • 3 fresh or jarred Calabrian chiles 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 semiboneless quail 
  • aged balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • Shaved fresh fennel, plain Greek yogurt and lime wedges, for serving

In a blender, combine the olive oil with the parsley, orange juice, kaffir lime leaves, oregano, garlic, coriander seeds, fennel seeds and chiles; puree until nearly smooth, then season with salt and pepper. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable plastic bag, add the quail and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 8 hours.

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Remove the quail from the marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill the quail over high heat, turning once, until the outside is nicely charred and the breast meat is pink, about 5 minutes. Transfer the quail to plates, breast side up. Drizzle a little vinegar over the quail and serve with shaved fennel, yogurt and lime wedges.

 Quail in Mushroom Gravy 

From Taste of Home, December /January 1995

Combine 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper; coat each quail. Melt butter in skillet; brown the quail. Transfer to an ungreased 2-1/2-qt. baking dish. In the pan drippings, saute the mushrooms until tender. Add remaining flour and stir to make a smooth paste. Add broth and thyme, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil; boil for 1 minute or until thickened. Pour over the quail. Cover and bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until tender and juices run clear. Serve over noodles if desired.


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