Is wild as wild

Buying and preparing game: tips and recipes

Status: 04.12.2020 1:38 p.m.

Game tastes particularly aromatic, but is rarely served here. The meat from roe deer, stag and Co. is considered very healthy. Consumers can also eat wild boar with confidence.

Whether deer, roe deer, wild boar, rabbit, hare or pheasant: only a small proportion of the total meat consumption in Germany is accounted for by the various game species. Game is considered to be particularly healthy: the meat is low in fat, rich in protein and iron and largely unpolluted, as wild animals feed themselves naturally. This means that foreign substances such as hormones or medication - which are the order of the day in animals from factory farming - cannot even get into the meat.

Wild aroma: from mild to strong

The taste of the meat of the wild animals differs greatly. Rabbit and pheasant, for example, are mild, venison fillet has a light, aromatic taste, and wild boar has a pronounced wild note. If you want to buy fresh game but are unsure about the choice, you can also get advice from a specialist butcher.

Buy game and Recognize freshness

Fresh game depends on the season. However, it is available all year round as a frozen product.

A rather dark color is typical for game meat. On the one hand, this is due to the higher content of muscle pigments. On the other hand, game is not slaughtered and therefore bleeds less. When buying game meat should be dark red. A brownish or blackish sheen indicates that the meat is already dry and not fresh. Another quality criterion is strength. The meat shouldn't feel too soft. If it can be pressed in strongly, it is too old, tastes bland and not very aromatic.

Fresh goods can also be recognized by their smell. Deer and venison should smell slightly nutty, wild boar and wild rabbits have a more neutral odor. Under no circumstances should the meat smell sweet.

In contrast to, for example, beef and pork, the origin of game does not have to be stated on the packaging. Some providers indicate it voluntarily. The same applies to meat preparations, such as canned game goulash. What you often don't find out as a customer is that game is often imported from abroad, for example deer from New Zealand, deer from Poland and Hungary and wild boar from Texas.

Recognize the good quality of game goulash

Typical pieces of meat for goulash are the neck, shoulder, leg and calf. Good game goulash consists of neatly pared pieces of meat, preferably without superficial tendons and silver skins. Tendons lying in the meat, on the other hand, are typical depending on the processed part of the animal and become soft over time during braising and keep the meat juicy.

Many goulash products are called "noble goulash". There is no uniform, binding definition for this. According to the game dealer Stefan Runge, noble goulash is particularly neatly pared and cut into larger pieces compared to normal goulash.

Despite swine fever: wild boar harmless

In the past few weeks, cases in Germany became known for the first time in which wild boars died of the dreaded African swine fever. There is no danger to humans: wild boars can presumably transmit the virus to domestic pigs, but not to humans. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, even meat that comes from infected animals is harmless to health.

Fresh goods only during the hunting season

Game meat from German territories mainly comes from hunting, only a small part comes from cage husbandry. Addresses where consumers can get whole animals as well as ready-to-cook pieces can be obtained from the German Hunting Association. Ready-to-cook game meat is also available from game dealers and butchers. Supermarkets tend to offer meat from cages or from overseas.

Fresh game from Germany is only available depending on the season:

  • Mid-May to January: venison
  • August to January: red deer and fallow deer
  • September to January: wild duck
  • October to January: game birds, pheasant, hare
  • June to January: wild boar (young animals all year round)

VIDEO: Good to know: how sustainable is game meat? (6 min)

Prepare game properly

Before preparation, first cut off the sinewy outer skin, silver hides and tendons with a sharp knife. They become firm and tough when fried. It is better to remove a little more than too little. To keep the meat juicy, it can be placed overnight in a lightly salted broth made from wild bones and kept in a cool place. The upper cell layers soak up the liquid and release it first when frying. Most of the meat juice remains inside.

Strong spices such as juniper berries give game a special touch.

Wrapping the meat with bacon, on the other hand, does not protect against drying out - contrary to what is often claimed. It even prevents the roast from browning. If you still want to prepare game meat with slices of bacon because of the taste, you should remove them about 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time. This gives the meat a nice crust. In addition to pepper, lovage, marjoram, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, allspice, cloves and juniper berries are particularly good for seasoning.

Alternatives from the freezer

Consumers can buy frozen game all year round. The date of freezing must be indicated on the packaging. In individual cases this can be up to two years or more ago. This is legal, but the meat will become dry and fibrous over time.

Disadvantage: Thawed goods are less firm because the skins and tendons are no longer under tension. Fresh game is therefore easier to process.

The frozen goods on offer are mostly cuts of hare, roe deer, stag, wild boar, pheasant and wild duck. Game lovers have to spend more on their backs and legs than they do on their neck, chest or stomach. If you buy game from the freezer, you should make sure that the best-before date is still in the future. After thawing, prepare the meat immediately and rinse it briefly with clear water beforehand and pat dry with kitchen paper.

Recognize the cooking point in game

Game should always cook well, as the risk of pathogens in the meat of wild animals can never be completely ruled out. Inside, it must have reached a temperature of 80 degrees for at least a few minutes. If you don't have a roasting thermometer, you can prick the meat with a needle: If the juice is still pink, the meat is not done yet. It is also possible to test it with your finger: if you can still push deep into the meat, it is still very raw. If it doesn't give in any more, it's cooked through.

Wild: healthy enjoyment

From a nutritional point of view, game is particularly valuable because, in addition to numerous B vitamins, it contains many important trace elements - in addition to iron, zinc and selenium, among others. In addition, wild animals predominantly have lean meat, which is digestible and easy to digest. Like fish, game contains unsaturated fatty acids. These have a preventive effect against heart attacks and vascular diseases.

Wildlife Fund: Recognize good quality

Game stocks are a good base for soups and sauces. Important: The broths should get their flavor naturally from wild bones and meat trimmings. Often, however, beef, beef extract and flavorings are also used. There is no binding definition of what game fund may consist of.

Recipes with game

With the right recipes, you can easily prepare delicious dishes from roe deer, wild boar and the like. more

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Market | 07.12.2020 | 8:15 pm