Hunting is a long standing tradition for many people. However, harvesting the animal is only part of the battle. Processing and cooking your harvest is just as important as the hunting itself. After all, the animal isn’t going to magically appear on your dinner plate. One of the major complaints I have heard about wild game is its taste. The Wild Gourmet cookbook aims to change people’s opinions of wild game with outstanding recipes.

I recently received this book as a gift and I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it sooner. This book will benefit the seasoned sportsmen, (hunter or fisher) or someone just starting out. There are fifteen gourmet chefs that have contributed recipes. Wild Gourmet is broken down into four major categories:  wild game, fish, fowl, and processing.

The wild game section supplies recipes for: antelope, bear, caribou, elk, rabbit, squirrel, venison, and wild boar.

The fish section supplies recipes for: abalone, arctic char, blue crab, clams, halibut, salmon, sturgeon, trout, walleye, and white fish.

The fowl section supplies recipes for: chukar, dove, duck, goose, grouse, pheasant, quail, and turkey.

Each recipe is laid out with an ingredient list, step-by-step instructions, cook times, and serving instructions. All recipes also have a suggested wine varietals list included. I am by no means skilled in the kitchen, however I was able to easily follow the instructions and make quite the meal.

Wild Gourmet Cookbook
Sample of recipe layout (Image Courtesy: Wild Gourmet Cookbook)

For me, one of the more useful sections of the Wild Gourmet cookbook was the processing section. If you take your animal to a butcher you could end up paying hundreds of dollars, depending on your desired cuts. This section covers all facets of processing your wild game. The animals covered in this section are: rabbit, squirrel, elk, duck, turkey, and salmon. Typically this will give you the knowledge for similar animals as well (ex. elk and deer are similar).

Wild Gourmet Cookbook
Detailed instructions on processing game. (Image Courtesy: Wild Gourmet Cookbook)

The appendix provides recommended cooking techniques, internal temperatures, and macronutrient information. As a bonus there is a 24” x 36” foldout poster of meat cuts and quick-guide for skinning. The Wild Gourmet cookbook comes in at $34.95 but is available on Amazon for a better price.