A Few Random Things On Cooking Game

Scott Leysath |

What are the chances that you can cover a pan with foil, check it after an hour or two in the oven and replace the foil back over the pan without tearing it? About 500 to 1. Buy heavy-duty foil.

3. Many game recipes list of ingredients specify the weight, not the volume, of the meat. For example, a chili recipe calls for “2 pounds of ground venison.” Since our venison is not sold by the pound at the grocery store, most of us don’t need a kitchen scale. Now, you could hop on the bathroom scale, get your weight, grab a package of deer meat, hop back on the scale and note the difference, but that’s stupid and probably not all that accurate. 1 pound of moderately packed chopped, cubed or ground meat is approximately 2 cups. For the vast majority of recipes, that’s close enough.

4. Chopped garlic out of a jar might be convenient, but it doesn’t taste like freshly minced garlic cloves. If you must, use about twice as much as a recipe indicates.

5. Venison steaks should be trimmed of most visible sinew, gristle, silver skin, bone and anything else that’s not muscle. Freezing the meat for an hour or two will make it easier to remove the junk with a sharp, thin-bladed knife.

6. Contrary to what you hear on TV, searing meat on the outside doesn’t “seal in the juices.” It does, however, make it taste better. Charred meat has better flavor and texture than that which has been cooked slowly at a lower temperature, but the seared outside does not create an impenetrable coating.

7. Slice meat, especially tougher cuts, across the “grain” before serving. Cutting across the grain, or muscle fibers, will make the meat tenderer to the tooth. Try it yourself. Cut a piece of cooked venison both across and with the grain. Try pulling the meat apart with moderate pressure. The meat cut across the grain will be much more tender. If your sliced venison has lines running through it, it’s been cut with the grain and will be chewier.

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