LARGE GAME IS OFTEN DEER OR MOOSE
Game can be categorized in different ways. It’s often divided into large game, small game and wild fowl. But the vast majority of animals in the “large game” category are various kinds of deer or moose.
Reindeer – in on flavor grounds
Here at Professional Secrets, we’d also include reindeer in this category. While reindeer are a domesticated, or semi-domesticated, animal – at least in Scandinavia – here, as you know, we go more by the food experience. When it comes to flavor and quality, there’s no doubt about it. We’re classing reindeer as “game”.
Game is exciting
There’s something exciting about game meat. Firstly, it’s often excellent quality and it’s produced in a humane, natural and environmentally sustainable way. Secondly, it’s a meat we often buy from what you could call “laymen” (not all of them are men either, the number of women hunters is growing all the time), not from established meat producers. This means that the important processing stage after the moose or wild boar is shot can vary.
Game is a lean meat
Many people who hunt themselves have an excessive respect for game meat, but it’s still meat like any other. Just maybe a bit leaner, and a lot more eco- friendly.
Forget your old game recipes
Game doesn’t need marinating, to spend a night soaking in milk or to be stuffed to make it worth serving to guests. As refrigeration, freezing, hobs and ovens have improved, it’s time to update our ideas about cooking it too. The basic idea is a simple one: because the meat is leaner than the kind of meat we usually cook, you need to be a bit careful with it. An overcooked joint is and always will be an overcooked joint.
We stick to the old temperatures even though we’ve modernized our ovens.
– KC Wallberg, Gubbhyllan, Stockholm
See the temperatures shown as guidelines
Experienced game cooks have differing opinions on optimum inner temperatures. At Professional Secrets you’ll find guidelines but then it’s up to you to experiment for yourself. Something everyone agrees on is that you need a good meat thermometer and that all ovens are different. It’s the final temperature that counts. Remember that you can always cook things for a bit more but you can’t turn the clock back and cook things for a bit less.
Overcooked game tastes of liver
If you overcook your meat, you’ll end up with what lots of people think game tastes like, a dull taste of liver. That’s what happens when the fresh, game flavor that you want disappeared long before you stopped cooking it. Hold onto the fact that most dark game meat is cooked once its temperature has reached a maximum of 65°C.
Different hunting seasons
The availability of fresh game in butchers and in restaurants naturally depends on when the different types of game can be hunted, which varies depending on the country or the area. Most types of game can only be hunted for a few months in the autumn and winter. Check your local hunting season, or ask your butcher when they’ll have meat available
If in doubt, ask
If you have the slightest doubts about the meat you’ve found at the market or via a friend of a friend, don’t hesitate to ask questions. A good hunter will be on top of their dates and their hanging times. Read more about this under Choosing game.
Hung meat is like wine, the warmer it is, the quicker it develops. The colder it is, the longer it takes. If it’s really cold, sometimes nothing happens at all.
KC Wallberg, Gubbhyllan at Skansen in Stockholm
Unlike the domesticated animals we have turned into our daily food, game meat often varies much more in character depending on where the animal has been grazing and the time of year. A one year-old deer shot in one habitat won’t have the same texture or flavor as a deer of the same age from further north or south. Choosing game means adding an extra touch of random into your kitchen.
The best meat according to WWF
The World Wildlife Fund gives game meat the green light on biodiversity, pesticides, animal welfare and climate. Cheese and Quorn don’t get such a perfect score.
Climate-smart and nutritious
Game is the most environmentally friendly meat we can eat. Just the idea that the animal lived a free life in the wild, chose its own food and was never transported anywhere leaves a better taste in the mouth. It contains a higher mineral content than other meat, especially iron and zinc. It’s also lean and rich in protein. The small amount of fat in game meat has a higher Omega-3 content than fat from domesticated livestock. And as if that wasn’t enough, the meat is also free from antibiotics, colors, nitrites and other additives.
At the moment game only accounts for a small proportion of total meat consumption. Let’s hope that more people grab the opportunity to impress their guests with game.
- Moose entrecôte
- Moose fillet
- Moose joint
- Moose mince
- Moose prime rib
- Moose rump
- Moose sautéed
- Moose shoulder
- Moose sirloin
- Reindeer fillet
- Reindeer joint
- reindeer mince
- Reindeer prime rib
- Reindeer saddle
- Reindeer sautéed
- Reindeer shoulder
- Roe deer heart
- Roe deer saddle
- Roe venison fillet
- Roe venison joint
- Roe venison mince
- Roe venison prime rib
- Roe venison shoulder
- Venison fillet
- Venison joint
- Venison mince
- Venison prime rib
- Venison saddle
- Venison sautéed
- Venison shoulder