SUZANNE HALL HAS BEEN WRITING ABOU T CHEFS, RES TAURAN TS, FOOD AND WINE FROM HER HOME IN SODD Y-DAIS Y, TENNESSEE, FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS.
Wild boar is leaner than pork, but can be treated like any
other piece of pork. In the fall, Huntzinger likes it with apples,
apple cider or cranberries. Another preparation puts wild boar
over sweet potato, bacon and red beet hash.
“Venison and antelope (a type of venison) are the most
popular game meats. I expect that to continue,” Hughes says. At
Broken Arrow Ranch, he sells five different species, each with a
slightly different flavor profile. “Our products are mild in flavor.
An example is our South Texas antelope, which can be menued
as a salad in spring and summer. He believes that venison osso
buco “is the greatest thing ever.”
Broken Arrow Ranch fabricates its game into a variety of
cuts. It also sells whole or half carcasses, saddles and legs. The
product line includes wild boar, Dorper lamb, which is pasture-
raised for its meat, and occasionally, elk. “Quail continues to
increase in popularity,” Hughes notes. He raises quail on a
When he can get it, Saltalamachia is ready to put any and all game on the Unity College game
dinner menu. Among the game items the Unity dinner has featured are beaver, squirrel, bear,
many fish varieties and grouse. The school might seem an unusual location for such an event, but
students and staff have held the dinner as a fundraiser for 14 years.
“I cook, some students cook and we bring in a guest chef,” Saltalamachia says. The recipes
are his and from the guest chefs, as well as derived from student research. Ingredients come from
hunters, fisherman and ranchers all over the country. When alligator was on the menu, it was
served deep-fried as fingers or popcorn alligator. It came from an alumnus who brought it back
from Florida. Sometimes, a local hunter will share a moose for a game dinner.
Venison meatloaf is a popular item at the Unity dinners, and it’s easy to prepare for a crowd,
Saltalamachia says. A venison cheddar pie is a good make-ahead dish. Ground venison also can
be turned into burgers and sliders. Curried beaver and moose tongue pâté are some of the unusual
dishes he and the students prepare.
“Variety is important when planning a game dinner,” Corriveau says. He uses only wild free-range game. “I treat it with respect,” he says. “Game was organic before organic was cool. It should
be cooked with ingredients as pure as you can get.” That includes using specialty spices, brines,
salts, oils, vinegars and other seasonings.
Corriveau says there isn’t a game variety he hasn’t eaten. He has cooked most or all of them, as well.
When cooking game, he suggests looking at how many directions you can go. For example, he turns
venison and other game meats into pastrami for sandwiches or carnitas. He grills quail for salads using
field greens, cherries and different goat cheeses, or with corn off the cob and an orange vinaigrette.
The Wild Cheff website, www.wildcheff.com, has a wide variety of recipes to put wild game
on the menu throughout the meal and in many ethnic variations. Broken Arrow Ranch’s website,
www.brokenarrowranch.com, also has recipes using game. They are organized by cuts and degree
of tenderness. The site also has servers guides and information, and serving ideas.
“Game is a one-of-a-kind flavor experience,” Corriveau says. “Chefs can really make game shine.”