On the hunt for new flavours from wild game meats

Families who hunt are always looking for new and interesting ways to process and prepare their fresh bounty. Some friends and readers have shared their recipes.

Angela Japp shared preparation tips and a steak marinade recipe. She said that it works well for deer, elk, moose and antelope.

Japp recommended marinating wild meat with a mixture containing at least one acidic component. She also suggests waiting until after cooking to add salt to prevent drying out the meat.

  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 c. olive oil 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce 60 mL
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire 15 mL
  • sauce
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice 15 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • pepper
  • parsley
  • onion powder and paprika (optional)
    1. Mix together and marinate steaks (up to six) overnight. Barbecue until cooked, sprinkle with salt if desired and serve. This recipe can also be doubled or tripled and used on a deer roast. Cook the roast in a crock pot and serve with rice.


Brigitte Wolff of Sidney, B.C., offered this recipe.

  • 1 thin medium-sized steak per person of venison, elk, moose or deer
  • seasoning salt
  • prepared mustard
  • bacon
  • onion cut into rings
  • 1/4 c. butter or margarine 60 mL
  • 2 c. water 500 mL
  1. Pound the steak with a mallet to tenderize. Sprinkle with seasoning salt and smear with a spoonful of mustard. Cover meat with bacon strips.
  2. Lay on rings of raw onions, enough to cover but not thick. Roll up each steak and use toothpicks to hold the meat together.
  3. Melt butter or margarine in a large skillet, add meat and brown on all sides. Add water to cover the meat and cook on low heat until done, about two hours. Remove meat and make gravy from juice in the skillet.
  4. Return meat to skillet and simmer for approximately half an hour. Serve with potatoes and red cabbage.
  5. Note: The steaks are easier to roll if cut into about three inches (7.5 cm) by four to five inches (10–12.5 cm) long.

When we were in Newfoundland this fall, we visited a seafood restaurant in Twillingate, where they served both seafood and moose. We tried moose burgers, soup and sandwiches.

Moose are not native to Newfoundland but were introduced from New Brunswick a century ago. With no natural predators on the island, their numbers have rapidly increased, causing damage to young trees.

Good reading

An excellent resource for wild game is Cookin’ Wild Game, The Complete Guide to Dressing and Cooking Big Game, Small Game, Upland Birds and Waterfowl by Teresa Marrone.

A family friend used the following recipe to make sweet Italian deer sausage that we enjoyed on pizza.

Teresa said the best choices for sausage are cuts that might be tough if cooked whole or small scrap pieces. Trim the game meat of fat and the silverskin, the thin membrane that encases each muscle.

Fatty pork is usually added to produce a juicy, flavourful sausage. To produce the best texture, keep the fat and meat cold during chopping or grinding.

This sausage freezes well.

  • 1 lb. trimmed deer or 500 g
  • other big-game meat
  • 1 lb. boneless fatty 500g
  • pork shoulder or pork butt
  • 1 tsp. salt 5 mL
  • 1 tsp. sugar 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed 2 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper 2 mL
  • seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. celery salt 1 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. dried crushed sage 1 mL
  • leaves
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne 0.5 mL
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce 15 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce 2 mL
    1. Cut the deer and pork into 3/4 inch (1.5 cm) cubes. Place in medium mixing bowl and set aside.
    2. Mix remaining ingredients, except soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle seasonings over the meat and toss to coat. Mix and sprinkle the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce over the meat. Mix, cover and refrigerate eight hours or overnight.
    3. Chop meat mixture to medium consistency in food processor or grind with medium plate of meat grinder. Fry one small patty over medium heat to check seasonings. Adjust salt and other seasoning if necessary before cooking or freezing remaining sausage.

To make a fresh breakfast sausage, purchase sausage casings from a butcher and stuff the sausage meat into the casing using a sausage stuffer. Make small linked sausages. Freeze the sausages or cook and use as meat for a pizza.

    • 2/3 ground goose breasts, or other game meat
    • 1/3 ground pork
    • sausage casings
    • spices as listed in the recipe above
    • Prepare as for the fresh Italian sausage, except make into long coils of sausage. Hang in a smoker and smoke heavily, but don’t dry out. Smoke to 140 F (60 C) internal temperature. Cool and freeze.
    • To serve, barbecue with a glaze of equal amounts prepared mustard, vinegar and molasses. Turn frequently and repeat glazing. Once heated through and glazed, remove and serve. Don’t overcook.

Glazes could include barbecue or teriyaki sauce.

This is a favourite recipe that another friend often makes using moose and prairie chicken or grouse breasts.

  • 1/2 lb. boneless moose 225 g
  • steak
  • 1/2 lb. deboned prairie 225 g
  • chicken or grouse breasts
  • 1/4 c. stir fry sauce 60 mL
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce 30 mL
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil 30 mL
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 c. frozen stir fry 500 mL
  • vegetables
  1. Cut the moose meat and breast meat into cubes. Mix the soy sauce and stir fry sauce, pour over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Put oil into a frying pan and heat. Drain the meat, but reserve the sauce.
  2. Add the meat to the oil and brown. Add the onion, cook and stir about four minutes. Add the reserved marinade and simmer the meat for 10 minutes, adding more stir fry sauce if needed.
  3. Add the stir fry vegetables, cover the pan and steam five minutes. Serve with rice.

About the author



Stories from our other publications