{Devil Gourmet FoodStyle Feature} Game Meats

South African Springbok at Aubergine in Cape Town.

South African Springbok at Aubergine in Cape Town.

“It tastes gamey” doesn’t have to be synonymous with “it tastes bad.” Game meats offer a wider flavor profile than your run of the mill beef and chicken, and can prove a welcome change from your usual cooking and grilling routine this summer. Recently while in South Africa, I couldn’t help but notice all the different meat options at every restaurant we visited. Not only the more upscale restaurants, but the local burger stands and farmers markets too. While we have slightly more of a stigma against game meats here in America, and definitely fewer options to choose from, discerning chefs and home cooks can still embrace cooking with game meat and enjoy the benefits.

South African Ostrich Carpaccio at Neethlingshof Wine Estate, Stellenbosch.

South African Ostrich Carpaccio at Neethlingshof Wine Estate, Stellenbosch.

Usually the product of an active lifestyle, game meats provide lean, high quality protein that’s lower in fat, calories, and cholesterol than beef, and also boasts more protein and iron. Game meats also tend to have more omega-3 fatty acids than domestic varieties, making them a heart healthy choice. From a culinary standpoint, game meat tends to taste like the best, most flavorful steak you’ve ever had. If its prepared well, a reindeer tenderloin will not taste gamey or tough, but will melt with tenderness and bold, meaty flavor. All the usual beef flavors are kicked up a notch, in a good way.

South African Kudu at Aubergine in Cape Town.

South African Kudu at Aubergine in Cape Town.

From a consciousness standpoint, game meats usually come from more local, sustainable, organic, and free-range farms. Because of this however, procuring game meets can prove challenging. Two of the best online resources for game meats are D’Artagnan and Ultimate Foods. Both offer responsibly sourced, hormone and antibiotic free game meats that can be delivered right to your door.

The best burgers in Cape Town, at the Old Biscuit Mill food market.

The best burgers in Cape Town, at the Old Biscuit Mill food market.

Bison Burgers

Switch up your usual BBQ fare this summer and grill up these delicious Bison Burgers. Your guests will be thrilled.

Serves 4

  • 1.5 lbs. ground bison
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • hamburger buns, toasted
  • Sriracha mayo (mix 1 tablespoon Sriracha with 3/4 cup mayo for a delicious spicy burger topping)

Mix together the ground bison, garlic, onion, and a liberal amount of salt and pepper. Form into four patties, and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Press a groove into the top of each burger, and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, and serve with the toasted buns and spicy mayo, and whatever other burger toppings you like.

For my full article, including do’s and dont’s of cooking game meats and more recipes, visit Devil Gourmet. 

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