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Section Eight

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  1. Game Meats • Characteristics • Animals work hard to sustain themselves, so they develop tough lean muscles, with very little fat • Wild animals eat a varied diet, giving their meat a gamy or strong flavor • Farm-raised meats also taste earthy and complex © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  2. How Fat Affects Game Animals • The absence of fat can be overcome by: • Addition of fat during preparation • Use of rich marinades • Larding and barding during cooking • Use of aromatics such as herbs, spices, wines, and spirits • Perfect sauces rendered from the bones © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  3. Preparation of Wild Game Meats • Rules to follow: • Wear plastic gloves at all times • Clean your knife continually, especially when you are working inside the carcass • Try to keep the carcass clean by getting it off the ground as quickly as possible • Always use clean equipment during dressing • Remove the intestines, lungs, liver, and heart as soon after the kill as possible © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  4. Preparation of Wild Game Meats • Rules to follow: • Carefully remove any musk glands, which exude a powerful acid that quickly ruins the game • Protect the cavity from insect invasion • Take care to ensure that these organs are not pierced and that the animal’s hair is kept free of exposed flesh at all times • Cool the carcass quickly and keep it cool during processing and transportation © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Preparation of Wild Game Meats • At this time, it is advisable to hang the animal to drain and dry out • Wipe out any excess blood in gutted cavity with paper towels and fresh water, making sure to remove any loose hairs • Dry the cavity well and try to prop it open until the cavity is very dry • To prevent severe spoilage, hang the meat at the proper temperature © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  6. Aging Large Game Meat • Flavor improves as it begins to tenderize • It becomes easier to cook • The carcass or large cuts should be held between 34ºF and 37ºF for 7 to 14 days, and even as long as 30 days • Aging allows the enzymes in the meat to break down some of the complex proteins in the carcass © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  7. Aging Large Game Meat • Rules: • Do not age any game carcass if it was shot during warm weather and not chilled rapidly enough • Do not age animals that were severely stressed before being killed • If the wounds are too extensive over the body, aging is not recommended © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  8. Aging Large Game Meat • Rules: • The animal should be at least 1 year of age before aging will make a difference • Aging is not recommended for carcasses with little or no fat covering • There is a time limit when tenderization slows down and bacterial slime begins to develop © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Tenderizing Game Meats • Methods • Mechanical • Cutting • Pounding • Grinding • Plant (protein-digesting enzymes) • Papaya leaves (papain) • Fig • Pineapple • Some fungi © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  10. Tenderizing Game Meats • Methods • Marinades • Considerations • The marinade will tenderize the muscle fibers of certain meats • The marinade is intended to improve the flavor of the meat by penetration the meat fiber • The marinade does preserve the meat for a small period of time • There are two basic types of marinade: • A cooked marinade stays on the meat for a long period of time, up to 4 to 5 days • An uncooked marinade is on the meat for a shorter period of time—2 to 8 hours © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  11. Tenderizing Game Meats • Methods • Marinade • Considerations • The marinade generally contains some kind of oil that helps protect the meat during marinating • The ingredients used should be compatible with the type of meat being used • The ingredients can include herbs, spices, acid liquids, salts, fruits, alcohol and wines, flavored oils, and pungent vegetables • The meat needs to be turned regularly in the marinade © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  12. Tenderizing Game Meats • Methods • Marinade • Considerations • Any alcohol, including wine, used in a marinade should first be brought to the boil and chilled before use, because the raw alcohol tends to burn the surface of the meat • The marinade can be used as part of the cooking of the dish that it was used to marinate • The acids in a marinade that contains vinegar, citric juices, or other acidic liquids act to break down protein chains in meats, making them more tender © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  13. Adding Fat to Game Meats • Barding and Larding • Stuffing • Basting • Tumbling © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Furred Game • Venison • Meat of the red, fallow, or roe deer • Cud-chewing, even-toed, hoofed animals • Shed antlers annually • Elk • Mild, pleasant-tasting meat • Can be substituted for venison in most recipes © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Furred Game • Bison • Largest terrestrial animal in North America • Commonly referred to as buffalo • Meat has unforgettable flavor, with a very sweet, rich texture • Can be cooked similar to beef • Less fatty than beef © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Pawed Game • Rabbit • Used for eating as far back as 1500 BC • Meat is white with it own distinctive flavor, comparing favorably to the flavor of veal • Low in calories and fat, and has less cholesterol than chicken, beef, lamb, or pork © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  17. Rabbit • Removing the Skin • Slice through the skin, up toward the inside of one of the legs, cutting around the paws and pulling the leg out of the skin • Remove the tail and, using the tip of the knife to loosen the tissue between skin and flesh, draw the skin down towards the head • Now cut around the front paws and continue to draw the skin over the head • Cut off the ears and trim the skin off the head; now the skin should be completely removed and you can start to remove the gut © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Rabbit • Removing the Skin • Make an incision from vent to ribs, along the middle of the belly, and through the rib cage, making sure not to go so deep that you perforate the intestines • Break through the skin of the diaphragm, separating the belly from the organs; lift out the lungs, liver, heart, and intestines and separate those you wish to use • Wash the rabbit well, taking particular care with the cavity, and pat dry © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  19. Rabbit • Removing the Rack • Remove the hind and fore legs and reserve for further use • Remove the saddle from the carcass, leaving the rib cage intact • Chine the rack with poultry shears, splitting into two racks • Break the rib bones halfway to their ends with a sharp blow of a heavy knife © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Rabbit • Removing the Rack • Pull the excess ribs over the ones attached to the flesh, removing the connective tissue and flesh from between the bones to create the French look • Cut the excess off at the eye of the meat, leaving the rack © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  21. Hare • Looks like a rabbit but has very different characteristics • Larger in size • Very dark, rich, gamy flesh • Judged good for eating if they have very tender ears when torn, short claws that are easily broken, and an undeveloped harelip • Best at age 7 to 8 months and weighing 2½ to 5 pounds © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  22. How to Prepare a Baron of Hare • Remove the hind legs and loins from the body • Remove the bones from the loins, and the aitchbone from the legs • Remove the sinew and silver skin from the back of the baron • Stuff with a sausage and fruit dressing, and wrap the baron with back fat • Tie securely with butcher’s twine © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  23. Webbed • Frog • Species used for cooking: • Green • Leopard • Pickerel • Bullfrog • Giant frog • Jumbo frog © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  24. Stuffed Frog Legs • Procedure • Remove the meat from the foot end of the leg, peeling it back without breaking it and leaving it still attached to the bone • Beat lightly to form a flattened piece of meat • Fill with stuffing and roll around the thigh • Wrap in caul fat and cook as desired © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.

  25. Cooking Game • USDA Guidelines • Whole birds to 180ºF, measuring temperature in the thigh with a thermometer • Breast meat to 170ºF • Ground meats and other cuts should reach 160ºF © 2007 Thomson Delmar Learning. All Rights Reserved.