Are you a hunter that desperately needs to clean out the deep freeze? Are you a NASCAR fan that needs some weekend recipes for your drinking buddies? Well, you my friend are in luck because wild game is a wonderful source of flavor, protein and the recipes on the internet seem endless.
Michigan offers up rabbit, venison, squirrel and being surrounded by the Great Lakes, the menu also includes salmon, walleye and lake-perch. Those wonderful freezers accumulate these soon-to-be meals in vacuum sealed bags and these freezers need a good cleaning out each spring. After all, the barbecue grills and smokers will be in full force here in the next few weeks as our weather hopefully begins to break a bit. Furthermore, those Pit Passes for upcoming races at MIS will force those same grills to be hauled to Brooklyn, Michigan soon enough. So, why not kill two birds with one stone and empty the freezer and prep the grill this weekend? Oh, and speaking of birds, Michigan has pheasants and quail too!
The basic concept of getting that energy hog cleaned out is to see what you got, create a menu and then begin the thawing process. Pick your meat and allow it to thaw to room temperature, whether in the sink or overnight in the fridge. Either way, a room temp will allow your marinating flavors to penetrate the meat and help reduce the gaminess of the animal. Figure out the fat content of the flesh and adjust accordingly using things like bacon, butter or a type of reserved fat. Most animals are very lean and they need the fat to keep the meat from drying out during cooking.
Once the meat has thawed, choose a great marinade or dry rub to increase the flavor of the meal. Dry rubs consist mostly of salt, sugar and numerous spices. Marinades have an acidic component that help break down the tissues to create a tender cut of meat and that tantalize your taste buds. Now remember, your taste buds and your buddy’s taste buds may differ, but he can clean his freezer and cook however he wants when that time comes. For now, let’s get your freezer cleaned out and make a great meal for the race this weekend. “Boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go grillin’ boys…”
Here are some wonderful wild game recipes from some good ole’ Michigan boys:
All of these recipes are from Michigan based hunters and probably mostly family recipes. These are hunters who respect the sport and the wilderness of Michigan to the highest degree.
“When he was a young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle both mean you better be responsible.”
Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.