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Outdoor Cooking and Wildlife Recipes



Other Game Birds
Venison (deer, elk, moose)
Other Big Game
Small Game (rabbit, squirrel, etc.)
Goose / Duck
Camping Food (Game / Non-game)
Dutch Oven Recipes
Kids Can Cook

Miscellaneous Recipes




Marinating Wild Game

Acid is the tenderizing agent in the tenderizing process. Wine, lemon or lime juice and tomato juice are great products to use. Another great tenderizer is a can of Coke.

Oil is the product that makes the marinate stick to the meat so include salad oil in your marinating recipe.

Marinating wild game enhances the flavor but also tenderizes the meat. You may use the prepackaged tenderizers but be careful that they don't contain MSG agents that can cause some people irritation of the stomach. The marinating process should be done for a minimum of 12 to 24 hours to truly enhance the flavor and give the maximum level of tenderness desired.

Tenderizing can begin with the freezing process when you can rub the meat with a tenderizer of your choice. Freezing accelerates the tenderizing process!!!
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Marinating Ideas

Soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce are great added to a red or cooking wine. Remember that these will greatly affect the flavor of the game so be careful to test the taste of the marinade before adding too much of any ingredient. If the flavor is too strong you may add milk or half/half to make a milder flavor. However, do not add the milk if you are using the marinade on meat to be grilled as it may "bleed out" during the grilling process and leave an undesirable flavor.

Meat should not be left in the refrigerator in a thawed state for more than 4-5 days but may be in the marinating sauce while in the refrigerator for that period. The tenderizing process is only enhanced with the time allowed to marinate.

The shoulders and hind-quarters of large game will require the longer marinating process and would benefit from the tenderizer being added before freezing.
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Larding is a process used to tenderize the larger roasts of big game especially in older animals or from the neck/shoulder region as well as the rump.

Larding involves pushing a piece of bacon or salt pork into sections of the meat at about 2-3 inch intervals using a "larder" tool or a thin, sharp knife with a long blade. This process will disperse the fat needed to tenderize the meat while cooking. Garlic salt can also be used with the bacon to speed up the tenderizing process.

Buffalo meat is extremely lean and should be larded. Bear cuts should be larded to enhance the tenderizing of the toughness especially in the muscular regions. Elk and moose have shoulder, neck and rump regions that would benefit from larding as well.
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Remove the meat from the pan used to roast or cook the meat. Mix ¼ cup of flour or cornstarch with one cup of COLD water. Stir well until all lumps disappear. Add additional water to the pan drippings a cup at a time until at the level of the gravy desired (3 cups is usually enough for a family of 5-6).

Turn the burner on under the pan at a medium-low setting while adding the thickening mixture. Stir constantly until the mix has reached the desire of thickness. If gravy is too thick add small amounts of water and stir until acceptable. If gravy is too runny add small amounts of the thickening until as thick as desired.

Potato juice is an excellent additive for making gravy as the water is loaded with starch from the potatoes.
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Freezing meat properly is important to preserve the meat for future enjoyment. First clean the meat well with cold water. Game birds (especially fowl) should be soaked in COLD water mixed with salt to thoroughly clean and set before freezing.

Generously trim and cut away all meat in bullet area.

Freeze meat in meal size portions for ease in preparation.

Heavy-duty freezer paper and plastic wrap are the best products to use when wrapping for freezing. After soaking/cleaning the meat pat it dry and tenderize. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap trying to not allow any air to become trapped. Place the plastic wrapped meat on a sheet of freezer paper and proceed to wrap again while trying to not allow any air to be trapped and secure with masking tape until satisfied airtight.

It is recommended that all meat be in the freezer only 6-9 months to enjoy the maximum flavor of the meat. However, if the meat was frozen properly it can be eaten safely for a longer period, but may have a less desirable tenderness and flavor. Cut off any freezer burn on the meat as it will not look or taste appealing.

Other methods for meat preservation include canning (which provides the ultimate in tenderness) and vacuum sealing. Vacuum sealing is a more desirable and simple form of preparing game meat for freezing or preserving dried meat but may not be economically feasible unless your hunt and preserve a large amount of game each year.
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Venison means "a deer like animal" and would be considered deer, elk and moose for the purpose of recipes.

Bear eat a lot of sweets like berries, honey and sweet grass. The bear meat will usually be sweet and very rich.

Antelope is not related to the deer and feeds on sage. When preparing antelope you will not need to add herbs but cooking wine and onions will enhance the flavor of this lean meat.

When field dressing and preparing game meat, always wear latex or other protective gloves.

Always cut off the outer fat of game meat. It may smell and test strong, and may ruin the meat.

Cuts of meat from older animals and birds are better served in barbecues, stews or as canned meat.

Do not leave the hide on the meat of large game animals while hanging to age meat. This may taint the flavor of the meat.

If starting to cook meat (especially fowl) and you notice an excessive amount of foaming or a bad odor throw the meat out as may have spoiled in the field or been sickly. Whenever in doubt, error on the side of caution.
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Sourdough and wild game

Sourdough pancakes and breads are always an excellent accompaniment to wild game.

Boil potatoes with jackets on until they fall into small pieces.
Lift skins out; mash potatoes making a puree. Cool.
Add more water to make sufficient liquid if necessary.
Richer the potato water, richer the starter.
Put all ingredients in the starter pot.
Beat until smooth creamy batter.
Cover. Set aside in warm place to start fermentation.

A few hints and facts about sourdough.
You cannot spoil sourdough. It is a wild yeast - a ferment. If it separates, water forming on top, just stir well and add fuel (flour) to a smooth batter again. Dip the sourdough into a bowl to make your batter. Do not mix in the sourdough pot, as there must be a starter to build new sourdough supply. Leave about one cup of sourdough for a starter. If it is all used - just add flour and water and scrape down the sides of the sourdough pot. There will be enough enzymes to start the sourdough to bubble again. Sugar is used as a booster to make the enzymes work faster. It is not used to sweeten the sourdough. Lightly cover the sourdough pot. Never seal with a tight lid as sourdough needs to breathe. Sourdough may be kept in the refrigerator when not in constant use. But remember to take it out at least a day before using to get the sourdough enzymes working again. Add flour and water. Keep warm. Never use a metal pot or spoon with sourdough. Sourdough works best when between 65 and 77 degrees. Age improves and mellows the taste appeal of sourdough.
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