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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’


A strong wind from the east was blowing in toward west and then spiraling around through the copses of trees behind me. It was a perfect day at the farm and the temperature was sitting at about twenty-one degrees Celsius; it wasn’t warm but I was quite comfortable and very excited about my half day hunt at the farm.

As I walked through the tall grass and lifted one leg after the other to pass over the electrical fence heading south down toward the three barns, five rock doves circled round and landed on the first barn on the ridge of the roof.

They could see me but they did not move, some where facing south others north, but they were well aware of my presence. It wasn’t until I took a few more steps forward that they flew off toward the second barn and landed on the far side of its roof, closest to the edge of the forest.

The farmer had told me earlier during our conversation that there were five rock doves playing around but he did not know their whereabouts, however I know they seem to like the barns and that this was a likely place to start looking for them. The first barn was abandoned and broken, making it an ideal place to have a nest and to provide shelter, not just for the doves but also woodchucks and rabbits.

I took a few more steps, stopped and then looked around; I wanted to make sure I knew where all the young bulls were before I crossed the field in an attempt to harvest the rock doves at the second barn. The cattle were scattered all over the field and I always make sure I have a clear path to safety in case one the bulls comes running.

Once I had everyone in place exactly where I wanted them, I got down really low ran across the field and came up to the second barn from an angle using its gable roof as cover, the rock doves never even saw me sprinting across the open ground and by the time I caught my breath I was just beneath them.

I loaded a shell into the chamber of my Remington 870 and clicked it into safety, and shouldered my shotgun into a good firing position. I stepped away from the barn taking two steps backward and this movement sent the rock dove into the air, I focused on the one to my right, followed through and released my shot.

I was leaning right back and aiming directly straight up into the sky above me, the pigeon spun around in an incredible aerobatics display and flipped twice more and fell to the ground below only four meters to my right. It was a great harvest and a great start to an afternoon.

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The other night we had just finished supper and we were in the middle of cleaning up the kitchen, when the door bell rang out. It was my neighbor; she had walked over from her place with a large plastic grocery bag, and a lovely smile. We answered the door and starting chatting for a few minutes and she mentioned the word moose in her first few lines, she did not even have to finish her sentence and I called out from the kitchen and said “Yes”. We all began to laugh really loud, I knew it was an offering and boy was I happy. Her brother had harvested a moose this season and she gave us the heart, it was big.

We were extremely appreciative and thanked her several times and then off she went. I felt bad, I could not let her go back empty-handed, so I went through my freezer and grabbed one of the jars of Canada Goose rilliettes we had made. Within minutes, I was on her door step and this time it was my turn to ring her door bell. When the door opened, she smiled and said “I knew it was you” and I gave her the jar and told her what it was.

It is an incredibly good feeling to give and seeing the other persons reaction, in addition when it is wild game you have harvested it makes it that much more special and I am sure this relationship will allow us both to eat well and appreciate natures gift.

Now let us try to find a recipe!

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Snow Goose Rillettes

Snow Goose Rillettes

Snow Goose Rillettes Recipe

Ingredients:
Snow goose legs & Breasts (2 birds)
1 can of duck fat
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons of sea Salt
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of Ground Allspice

Steps:

Sprinkle small amounts of sea salt and place 2 crushed bay leaves into a zip lock bag. Remove the skin from the snow goose breasts and legs and then place the pieces also into the bag. Then add 1 tablespoon of allspice into the bag and shake it once it is sealed. Put it in the fridge for 6 hours. Rinse the meat and tap dry. Preheat the oven to 110°C the pan.

Warm up the duck fat and put the goose meat in the fat. Cook uncovered for 3 hours.

Remove the goose legs from the fat. Let it cool. Strip the meat from the bone using a fork. Add about a cup and a half of duck fat to moisten the meat. Add additional salt if needed after a taste test and then put it in a jar.   Seal the jar tightly and put it in the fridge.

Great References:
The Cooking Book “Sauvage” Savourer la nature by Louis-Francois Marcotte, Pg: 54, ISBN: 978-2-89077-380-6

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The triumph of a hunt is not only measured in having successfully harvested a game bird or waterfowl as a trophy. We should also remember the time spent out in nature, actively practicing the sport we love; additionally there is also the possibility that you could bring home a bird and have a wonderful meal with friends or family.

But before this can be done there are several steps that need to be completed. Ultimately, your decision on how to proceed with the processing of your harvest is the main factor of the final outcome. For example if you staying at a hunting camp and you know that you will be there for several days, then you might not even freeze the meat, once the bird has been field dressed. It could be cooked at the camp within the first few hours following the harvest. This way you can enjoy a nice meal during the hunting trip or decide to bring some home as well. Some hunters just remove the breast meat rather than use the whole bird, which could include the legs and some of the internal organs or even the tongue.

This is done by removing all the feathers on the belly portion of the bird, then slicing through the breast skin, peeling it back and then with a sharp knife, placing the blade point at the top of the breast bone and cutting down each side. Moving from top to bottom. You could end up with two great strips of duck meat.

If you wish to do both, field dress but also keep the feathers and parts of the bird, so that a taxidermist may mount it, then I recommend you conduct the necessary research and see what is needed in order to obtain a great trophy.

If you are out hunting waterfowl and it involves some travelling then it is your obligation to keep at least one wing fully feathered and attached to the bird. This way if you are stopped by a game warden, the wing will enable them to properly identify the species.  For more information or questions, you can consult the following Environment Canada web link concerning transportation of migratory birds.

Field dressing is described as the process of removing the internal organs of a bird or mammal which has been harvested during a hunt. These steps better prepare the meat for cooking, but also facilitate the transportation of the game and decrease your chances of spoiling the meat or getting sick.

I am continuously trying to find ways to improve my skills and one of the methods I use is finding great books to read. My most recent find is the “Grzimek’s Animal Encyclopedia Volume 7 Birds. It is an incredible book full of knowledge about birds, and the part that interested me the most for this particular blog post is bird anatomy.

It is not necessary to be a surgeon in order to field dress game but it is important to be able to identify the main organs, so that you may conduct a proper field dressing process in a safe manner and prepare the game correctly for transporting and ultimately cooking.

My field dressing kit consists of a very sharp knife with a short but extremely sharp blade, and it does not exceed three inches and has a hooked blade tip for cutting the windpipe and this also allows me to be able to detach certain organs from internal tissue. I have several cheese cloth bags to keep the insects and dirt off the game but plastic bags from the grocery store will work just fine too. I have a box of latex gloves, this way I avoid direct contact with the blood or skin. A cooler filled with two ice packs to keep the meat cool during my transportation. A box of large size Ziploc bags can be quite handy.

During the field dressing of a game bird or waterfowl the first thing I do, is inspect the bird for any abnormalities, checking if the bird is sick or very small. This could help in identifying for spots or even removing flees, and seeing if there are there patches of feathers missing. Then I proceed with removing the feathers from the bird except for one wing. I always complete this process outside avoiding unnecessary mess in the kitchen. The tailgate of the truck or even a cutting board at the hunting camp makes for great work surfaces, having water in a bottle or tap close by is also really great to help clean the bird as well as your hands.

I then place the bird on its back and cut down the center of the breast bone breaking the rib cage and then pushing down on both sides thus flattening and opening the bird as illustrated in my painting.* Be careful as the breast bone is very sharp and thin which can cut your fingers or a broken rib and small bones can poke your hands or fingers and cause you to bleed. This makes it easier to identify the organs. When working with the digestive system, I am also very careful not to sever the intestines, so that its content, excrement or urine does not touch the meat. The heart or gizzard can also be removed for cooking, however, I would do research on the birds’ environment and identify whether or not is recommended to eat. (May contain high levels of lead)

I hope you have great season and wonderful meals too.

Rock Dove Anatomy

Rock Dove Anatomy

*1. Trachea, 2. Crop, 3. Flight Muscles, 4. Heart, 5. Liver, 6 .Gizzard, 7. Lungs, 8. Small intestines, 9. Pancreas, 10. Cloacal opening

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Ingredients: (Serves 2)

3 tbsp of Canola oil in a frying pan
¼ tsp pepper and pinch of salt/Oriental Spice
1 whole pigeon or dove (Remove the entrails)
1 finger pinch of Rosemary
4 tbsp of Bud Light Lime

 Method:
1. Pour the Canola oil into a frying pan and place the cleaned pigeon or dove into the oil. Cook until browned, add all the ingredients separately throughout the cooking process. 
2. Then lastly pour the beer onto the bird and once it has been all cooked up and the bird meat is dark enough remove it from the pan and place it on a plate.
3. Serve with small Parisienne Potatoes.

Recipe by CSGH

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Snowshoe Hare Stew

Ingredients: (Serves 6)
1 Snowshoe Hare cut in pieces (Marinated in a coarse red wine overnight)
6 Carrots cut into pieces
6 Medium sized potatoes peeled and cut in pieces
5 Slices of bacon
15 Sliced Mushrooms
1 Minced onion
3 Cloves of garlic
3 Bay leaves
3 Cloves

Method:
1. Pre-heat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit
2. Cook onion in canola oil until translucent then add the pieces of hare to sear until brown.
3. Put the hare pieces in a cast iron roasting pot with the garlic and onions.
4. Add carrots and potatoes to the cast iron roasting pot.
5. Brown bacon with mushroom slices, and then add them to the pot.
6. Add Bay leaves and cloves to the pot also and mix everything together.
7. Add two cups of the same wine used to marinate the meat.
8. Cook in the oven for two and half hours.

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Ingredients: (Serves 4)
3 tbsp soy sauce
¼ tsp Chinese five-spice powder
¼ tsp pepper and pinch of salt
4 duck legs or breasts cut into pieces
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp finely chopped ginger root
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
4 scallions, white part thinly sliced, green part shredded
2 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3 whole start anise
2 tsp black peppercorns
16-20 fl oz/450-600ml/2-2 ½ cups chicken stock or water
6 dried shiitake mushrooms soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
8 oz/225g canned water chestnuts, drained
2 tbsp cornstarch

Method:
1. Combine 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, the five-spice powder, pepper, and salt and rub over the duck pieces. Place 2 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a flameproof casserole, add the duck pieces and cook until browned, then transfer to a plate and set aside.
2. Drain the fat from the casserole and wipe out. Add the sesame oil and remaining vegetable oil and heat. Add the ginger root and garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the sliced white scallions and cook for a few more seconds. Return the duck to the casserole.
Add the rice wine, oyster sauce, start anise, peppercorns, and remaining soy sauce. Pour in enough stock to just cover the duck. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer gently for 1 11/2 hours, adding more stock if necessary.
3. Drain the mushrooms and squeeze dry. Slice the caps; add to the duck with the water chestnuts, and let simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
4. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid to form a paste. Add to the remaining liquid, stirring, until thickened. To serve, garnish with green scallion shreds.

Reference:
Designed by Terry Jeavons & Company. Perfect Chinese.Parragon Books Ltd 2007.
Page 84 –Main dishes

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