Health & Wellness

Wild game - the ultimate grass-fed meat

Janet Moje

We all seem to be quite educated when it comes to the difference between wild caught fish and farmed fish. How they’re raised, what they eat, and their ability to move in their environment are all important considerations.

Pricing certainly reflects that wild caught fish is superior in quality; and we accept it, often opting to buy the more expensive choice for the added benefit.

The same can be said for meats, eggs, milk, butter and cheese. Farm fresh eggs are definitely the better choice, as is grass-fed beef. But we also need to consider that these food choices are still farmed and therefore subject to what each individual farmer is feeding them.

Enter wild game - the ultimate grass-fed meat!

Hunting season is upon us and you may have noticed deer or moose hanging in yards while the hunters sharpen their knives close by. When you think about it, hunting is not just a sport or a way to get some cheap meat. Hunting provides a superior quality of meat, where the animal is raised in its natural environment, physically active, and eating its natural diet.

Overall, the meat is leaner, partly because the animal is more active, and also because it doesn’t eat much in the way of grains or corn. Its main diet is grass, which means a higher omega-3 fatty acid content, and lower inflammation-causing omega-6.

For the most part it is higher in protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B12 than farmed meat. You don’t have to worry about hormones or antibiotics or other additives. Plus if you do the hunting yourself, just think of all the added exercise!

That being said, preparing wild game is a bit different. Because it is so lean, it requires less cooking time so the meat won’t dry out. Or you may want to add more oil or other fat or sauces while cooking.

Wild game may have a stronger taste than domesticated animals, but it is well worth getting use to. Here are some optional methods people use when preparing wild game:

  • Aging meat:  hang in a cooler for a week to a month, to tenderize and enhance flavours
  • Brining: Create a brine of 1 Tablespoon salt per 2 cups of water and soak the cut of meat overnight in the fridge to help keep meat moist while cooking, it will also draw out the blood
  • Soaking meat in milk will tenderize and smooth out the flavour, and draw out the blood
  • Overcooking will cause meat to turn grey and dry out. Dark meat birds and red meat game such as venison is best cooked rare to medium rare.
  • Cook with bacon to mask some of the more gamey meats such as moose
  • White meats such as pheasant or rabbit should be cooked well but not overcooked as it will dry out quickly. Try sealing it in a plastic bag and cooking in heated water to retain optimal moisture.
  • Search specific game meat recipes online, there are tons of them!