Wild Game Recipes
January and February are the "freezer months." Hunting season is over and the freezer is full of fish and game.
We are all guilty of wasting fish and game when we let freezer burn take over, so let's make a conscious effort to empty that freezer steadily throughout the next many months.
Freezer burn occurs when food is improperly packaged and dry air is trapped in the wrap or container and circulates over the exposed surfaces of the meat. This removes moisture from the food and causes a dry, rough surface on the meat.
Be certain that all packages are double-wrapped and free of trapped air. Some folks double wrap with butcher paper, others with a double layer of tin foil, but I have found the only way to successfully stop or slow freezer burn is to first wrap in clear plastic wrap, and then in wax-lined butcher paper.
Another technique is to place filets of small birds, and especially fish in milk cartons (with carton tops pulled wide open, then taped shut) filled with water. You will be surprised how long your fish and game stay remarkably fresh-as-new when frozen in water! It's the only way to keep fish! No, the water does not make the meat soggy. Bigger birds can also be frozen in water if you can find containers large enough so that the meat is completely covered with fluid.
In my experience, fish and birds lasts a couple years, and longer, in water. When double-wrapped (plastic, then paper) venison also stays fresh for a couple years. After two years, when double-wrapped, I sometimes find some freezer burn on venison which I cut off completely before cooking. Freezer burn meat is not really spoiled, but it has an off-taste which will spoil your appetite.
The sooner you use your stored fish and game, though, the better will be the quality of the meat. And, if you do not double wrap adequately, or freeze fish and birds in water, you have only a few months of storage time.
I pass along a favorite recipe for SOUR CREAM MALLARD:
1 mallard duck, cut into serving pieces
1/2 cup of seasoned flour mixed with 2 Tablespoons of onion soup mix
1/2 cup of onion
1/2 cup of broth
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 cup of white wine
Dredge the duck in seasoned flour. Saute onions in oil until translucent. Brown the duck over medium heat. When brown, add broth and sour cream. Do not boil. Simmer for one hour. Add wine and simmer for five minutes more. Serve over wild rice. Serves four