Plain and simple, I love to turkey hunt. It’s the time of year when I get my first taste of spring, and waking up an hour before the sunrise is also something I look forward to. The temperatures are finally rising, ramps are exploding all around, and there’s generally lots of action when it comes to turkeys.
Before this trip, I’d already struck out on my first turkey tag of the season, and had another one planned, but when father/son combo Joe and Tom Ertl invited me up to their cabin for the weekend in between tags to make some calls and sit in the woods, I jumped at the chance. Both guys have a lot of insight into turkey hunting and calling—and are not shy with sharing brandy—so I was in no position to decline.
It was the third week into the season, which meant some turkeys were still emboldened by the heat of mating rituals, but others were starting to get a little leary of decoys. While out, we had a ton of sightings and even more turkeys responding to our calls, but it was challenging to bring them in closer than 70 yards. One group of gobblers came within 80 yards of us, at which point the dominant tom stayed put and sent two jakes in to scout out the situation. The jakes took one look at the decoy spread and swerved to our north with the tom in tow. That turned out to be a pretty common thread for me for the weekend, so I was happy to see a text from Joe with a picture of a downed bird. He had called it from atop a ridge, and as soon as the bird crested 10 yards in front of him, Joe blasted it. The success gave Joe the opportunity to exercise his patent saying, “If you see red, it’s dead” throughout the remainder of my stay.
With the bird in hand, we turned to Tom for some butchering advice. As his never-ending repertoire of turkey stories suggests—and necklace of turkey spurs that he struts around with confirms—Tom has done this a few times. He made quick work of the turkey, swiftly removing the breasts and legs before handing them over to me to cook.
Wild turkey has a bad rap for being mediocre game to eat. Admittedly, wild turkey can be exceedingly dry and the legs can be a challenge to work with. But I like a good challenge, and had a plan to combat those two hurdles. The legs were going to hit the grinder with some pork shoulder to make breakfast sausage; the breasts were destined for schnitzel, the recipe for which is featured below.
Lightly pounding and breading the breasts in preparation for a quick fry lets the protein cook without turning bone dry. We are also going to pair it with some wild ramps foraged on the hunt, and a warm spinach-and-bacon salad.
Wild Turkey Schnitzel
4 turkey portions, lightly pounded
Bowl of all-purpose flour
Bowl of 5 eggs, whipped
Bowl of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
First, you’ll want to take some thin slices of turkey off the breasts, against the grain. To pound the turkey, place the turkey in between two sheets of plastic wrap and, on a sturdy work surface, begin to gently pound the meat. A meat mallet works best, but a rolling pin works in a pinch. Try your best to get achieve an even thickness of around ¼ inch to ensure an evenly cooked end result.
Once you have your meat to your desired thickness, set your bowls next to each other in the order of flour, eggs, and panko. Salt your turkey, and then place it in the flour bowl to coat. Shake off any extra flour and dip the turkey into the egg wash and finally into the panko, making sure it’s fully covered with breadcrumbs. Repeat the process with all of the portions, stack them on a plate, and set aside.
To fry, preheat a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Add about an eighth-inch of grapeseed oil, bringing it to just smoking, and fry the breaded turkey quickly on either side until it’s lightly browned. Pat dry with a paper towel, and it’s ready to serve.
Warm Spinach and Bacon Salad
4 strips of smoky bacon cut into lardons
4 large handfuls baby spinach
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
This is a fun salad to make. The vinaigrette is made by the rendered bacon fat, so depending on if it’s an especially fatty belly or an especially lean belly you may need to add more acidity or oil to the salad. Sample it as you go to see if it needs more acidity or oil to taste balanced.
In a small sauté pan, cook your bacon until it’s almost crispy and add the shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent. Remove from the burner, but keep the pan in a warm.
Separately, in a metal mixing bowl, place the vinegar, Dijon, salt, and spinach together. Get your pan with the bacon, shallots, and bacon fat hot again and pour the contents over the spinach. Toss it to gently wilt the spinach. You can place to pan over the bowl to help trap some of the steam if needed.
10 cleaned ramps
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Separate the ramp tops and bottoms. Thinly slice the ramp bottoms and pour the juice of two lemons over them in a bowl and set aside. Place the tops into a food processor with the pine nuts, salt, and grapeseed oil. Blend them until all the big chunks are gone; add enough grapeseed oil to make it look like a traditional pesto consistency.
Immediately before serving, combine the ramp bottoms with the tops and taste for salt and acidity. It might help to add the lemon juice a little at a time until you get the flavor you’re looking for.
Driving north through Wisconsin, my mind kept wandering through what the next couple of days would bring. Coming into this trip, I was hoping to stomp through the woods in search of grouse and woodcock, but with the forecast leaning towards overcast and rainy, I knew my friend Ben Michlig was interested in going for ducks. My intuition was right. When I arrived at the cabin, Ben and his brother Matt had just returned from a duck hunt, and they were both excited to get back out in the morning. So ducks it was.
After scouting out the spot for our blind the night before, we were up pre-bright-and-early and on our way to a small creek that runs into a lake. It was a brutal morning to be rowing upstream, but we finally reached our destination with a half-inch of rain in the boat that wasn’t there when we started. After the half-mile boat trip at 5am, rowing through darkness, wild rice reeds, and fat lily pads in Ben’s small, flat-bottomed jon boat, I was soaked with sweat on the inside of my waders. We dropped Matt off at shore to get the blind cleaned out while Ben and I headed out on the water to set up decoys. It wasn’t long before we were back on land, tucked away in our blind with loaded shotguns, waiting for first light.
At this point, I was visibly shaking from the cold. The mercury was playing tag with 30°F in the northwoods of Wisconsin and Mother Nature was dumping something between rain and snow on us. I was awkwardly squeezed next to Matt into a small duck blind constructed of twigs woven around a frame of 2x4s on a mud floor. The rising sun slowly started to paint the opposing bank of the lake with the colors of fall and I relaxed, knowing this was as good as it gets. Until of course, the birds that brought us out there in the first place start to fly into our decoys.
After a few sightings of high-flying ducks, a small flock of mallards made a pass directly over our heads. They continued flying downstream, and just when I thought they were uninterested in our decoys, they made a hard left turn and start circling back towards us. To my left I heard Ben whisper some of his first words of the morning, “Get ready, don’t move.” I watched the ducks from under the bill of my hat, head down, trying not to spook them. As they flew closer, their wings went from flapping to gliding, then to cupping the wind in preparation to land. Ben yelled, “Shoot!” and in unison, we stood. All movement seemed like slow motion. The moment we moved, the ducks knew what was happening. They seemingly started to fly backwards, suspending themselves momentarily as steel shot littered the air. As fast as the moment came, it passed, and the loud splash of two birds hitting the water snapped us back to real-time.
As soon as we retrieved the ducks from the lake, I started thinking about what to cook. I knew I wanted something that wouldn’t overpower the duck and something that wasn’t too heavy. With seasonality in mind, I opted to go with a skewered and grilled duck breast with a horseradish-herb sauce served alongside a room-temperature farro, Brussels sprout, apple, and pistachio
6 duck breasts, sliced to ½ inch thick
on the bias
16 bamboo skewers, soaked in water 30 min.
Drizzle of grapeseed oil
Salt to taste
1 anchovy, cleaned of bones
3 cloves of garlic
½ inch of microplaned horseradish
2 small lemons, juiced
¾ bunch of minced flat-leaf parsley
½ cup of olive oil
Salt to taste
Skewer the sliced duck, leaving enough room on the bottom of the skewer for handling. Give the duck a sprinkling of salt and a drizzle of grapeseed oil. Turn them over to coat evenly. When the grill is hot, carefully lay down your skewers, flipping them only once while cooking the duck to medium—about 1–2 minutes each side. If overcooked, the duck will come out dry and undesirable. Before serving, let the skewers rest for about 3 minutes, before brushing them with the horseradish sauce.
For the horseradish-herb sauce, put the anchovy, garlic, horseradish into a mortar. With a pestle, mash the ingredients to a pulp. (This step can be done in a food processor). Cover with lemon juice. Separately, cover the finely minced flat-leaf parsley with the olive oil. Keep the two separate until you are ready to brush the grilled duck. When the duck is ready, mix the contents of the mortar with the herbed olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and brush onto the duck.
Farro, Brussels Sprout, Apple, and Pistachio
3 cups cooked farro (see recipe below)
15 Brussels sprouts, peeled of their loose
petals, blanched in salty water (3 Tbsp in
6 cups of water) for 1 minute and shocked
1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
½ cup toasted pistachios
Red wine vinaigrette (see recipe at right) to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
To cook the farro, combine water and farro (2:1 ratio) in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 30 minutes.
Red Wine Vinaigrette
1 shallot, finely minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
For the salad, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Add red wine vinaigrette until you have a sharp but not oily flavor. Add salt and pepper until desired seasoning levels are reached.
Driving through the silo-dotted Wisconsin landscape in the fall and early winter months is incredible. Fresh falling snow coats the roofs of the barns and blankets the harvested fields with a layer of pristine white, untouched by human activity.
My destination is central Wisconsin to meet my friend Ben Michlig, who has been scouting spots for us to hunker down with our bows. His reports seem optimistic and his trail cams prove that a handful of bucks are still cruising through the area in search of does during the final stages of the rut. For me, this is the pinnacle of what the North has to offer. Escaping the city to sit in a tree and watch each and every sunrise and sunset for a few days is unbeatable. Being present while the forest awakens, surrounded by flocks of chickadees, the chatter of obnoxious red squirrels, and deer moving to feed is only bested by watching the forest close down for the day at sunset.
As I’m pulling into town around dusk, I get a text from Ben with two simple but expected words: “Buck down.” A short time later I get the call from Ben with the details of the hunt and we make plans with our friend Nick Schiefelbein to spend the following day butchering the deer near where Ben had downed the buck.
There were a couple of challenges butchering this particular deer including temperatures below 10°F and no proper stand to skin a deer. Trying to be as resourceful as possible, Nick rigged up a tree with a pool cue and some rope to hang the deer. We took alternating turns skinning the deer and thawing our hands next to a modest propane heater. Once the animal was skinned, we butchered it into six manageable pieces—hindquarters, ribs/belly, and fore quarters—before moving the meat inside to start the finer work of breaking it down into edible steaks and other cuts of meat.
As we worked, my thought process automatically went to what I was going to cook with it. Venison is such a lean protein it can benefit from being served with something fatty. Which led me to the idea of adding something acidic like pickles to cut through the fat. I also wanted to tie in some traditional venison pairings I’ve enjoyed in the past. These criteria inspired me to create a porcini encrusted grilled venison loin dish with mushroom duxelle and winter pickles.
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1½ lbs cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, diced
¼ cup minced shallots
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 cup red wine
½ cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely minced
Salt and black pepper
You’ll want to start the duxelle first. It takes about 45 minutes of cooking time, which will give you time to prepare the rest of the meal. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is hot, add the shallots and garlic. Cook until translucent, and then add your mushrooms. Cook them until all their water has evaporated, about 35 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce until it’s a glaze. Next, add the cream and bring it to a simmer. Add the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup daikon radish, diced
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 cup fennel, diced
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 star anise
2 juniper berries
Pinch of salt and sugar
These pickles are pretty quick to make, most of the time spent on them should be used to make uniformly shaped and sized vegetables. This will add a refined look to the plate and also make the pickles evenly pickled. This step can be done up to two weeks in advance. To make the pickles bring the vinegar, water, spices, salt and sugar to a boil in a high-walled saucepan. Add the minced vegetables and bring to a boil once again. Once it comes to a boil, pull it off the heat and let the pickled vegetables cool in the pickling liquid for at least 25 minutes or they can be stored in the fridge in the pickling liquid.
Porcini encrusted Venison Loin
10 dried slices of porcini mushrooms finely ground
1 cleaned venison loin split into four steaks
To make porcini powder, take one or two handfuls of dried porcini mushrooms and run them through a spice grinder. Set aside. Generously season the venison steaks with salt and then coat them with porcini powder. Place a cast iron pan on high heat on the stovetop. When it’s smoking hot, add enough grape seed oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Carefully place the venison steaks in the pan making sure to get a good sear on all sides, cooking until its around 125°F in the center. Pull off the heat and let rest for six minutes before slicing. Serve atop a portion of duxelle.
Walleyes and campfires are a big part of living in the Midwest. Just like lobsters come to mind when I think of Maine, and images of mountains pop into my head when I think of Montana, walleyes and campfires are two things that define Midwest living for me.
Walleyes are plentiful, fun to catch, and, most importantly, they taste great. Because walleyes are often relegated to a heavy batter and the deep fryer, I wanted to try a traditional cooking technique that would bring out the best qualities of Minnesota’s prized fish, while being simple enough to do over a campfire.
Over the July 4th weekend, I had the opportunity to go slay some walleyes with Ben and Matty Michlig in the north woods of Wisconsin. Jigging night crawlers in 12–14 foot water, the dusk bite was going well until some unanticipated lightning pushed us out. Semi-reluctantly, we sped with a full livewell back to the cabin to enjoy the rest of the evening and discuss salt-domed baked walleye.
Baking walleye in a salt dome is such a simple and effective technique I’m surprised that I haven’t done it more often. With a couple walleye, salt, egg whites, water, and a fire, you can make one of the tastiest and most impressive walleye presentations possible. What’s more, the technique really respects the integrity of the walleye and brings out the subtle flavors that are often missed when it’s deep-fried.
By fully covering it in salt, the fish ends up steaming itself in its own liquids, leaving the flavors and moisture completely in the fillet. Cooking time can be a little tricky with this technique, but there’s a little leeway in the sense that you’re most likely not going to dry it out. I cooked mine over wood embers in a wood-burning stove for approximately 20 minutes, which seemed to be just about right. Over an open fire pit, it might have to sit an extra five or ten minutes.
The other beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can apply the same technique to other fish you may catch as well as any vegetables you may have on hand. Potatoes, rutabaga, or beets cooked under a salt dome can be an extremely satisfying pairing for this meal. Just make sure to bring along some extra lemons and olive oil to garnish everything with before eating.
2 medium sized walleyes
6 pounds kosher salt
4 egg whites
½ cup of water
Sliced lemons and dill (optional)
The first thing that you will want to do is to get a fire going to the point where the flames have died down but the embers are still glowing.
Next, prepare the walleyes by gutting, de-finning, and scaling them. Scalers can be found at most fishmongers or can be crafted out of empty beer bottle caps in a pinch.Season the fish by stuffing lemon slices and your preferred herbs in the cavity
Combine the salt, egg whites, and water in a mixing bowl. Mix the ingredients by hand until you achieve a texture that is fairly sticky and can form structures on its own. On either a clay surface or a baking sheet, lay one layer of the salt mixture down.Place your walleyes on top of the first layer and then cover them with the remaining salt mixture to form two separate domes.
Place the sheet directly on top of the embers and let the fish cook. Plan for about 25 minutes, but rather than keeping an eye on the clock, keep an eye on the color of the salt. The exterior darkening will give you an indication of the internal temperature of the salt dome, which in turn will give you a feel for how long it needs to be on the embers. When the dome turns dark brown with some black spots, the fish will most likely be cooked
When you think the fish is done, pull the baking sheet off the embers and let it cool for a few minutes before handling. At this point, you will have noticed that the egg whites have hardened the salt mixture, enabling you to pull off large chunks of the salt. Pull off as much salt as you can, exposing the fish. Also peel off the exposed walleye skin to help remove a little of the saltiness and provide easy access to the meat.
To plate: Drizzle the fish with lemon juice and olive oil, and carefully pull the meat off the bones. With this technique, you’re going to end up with a few bones mixed in with the fish, but if you’re aware of that going into eating it shouldn’t be an issue—and, in my opinion, it’s more than worth the trade off. Enjoy!
My father’s side of my family has a long tradition of hunting. When my uncle Mark suggested having a game dinner at the cabin with animals he’d harvested in Alaska, I was in. After all, a family who slays together, stays together.
This was a rare culinary opportunity for me. I had the chance to cook large amounts of moose, halibut, rockfish, cod, and salmon, all wild-caught or harvested by Mark in Alaska. With that in mind, and also the fact that this was going to be served family-style, I starting thinking of ideas to make this feast feel both homey and wild.
I’ve grown increasingly fond of cooking in ashes or directly on top of burning logs, so I decided to go that route for the majority of this meal. The traces of burnt ash on vegetables adds a nice depth of flavor, while the high temperatures are well-suited for searing proteins. We had the grill running, too, but everything besides the salmon would be coming off the campfire.
All it takes to build a campfire suitable for cooking is a fire pit large enough to spread smoldering logs over a four-foot area. I like to separate the fire into two sections, one with lots of hot ashes to cook vegetables and the other with relatively even rows of logs on which to cook meats in cast-iron pans. Lastly, I needed one sauce that would be able to support all the food. An herb vinaigrette, which can be made up to an hour ahead of time, fit the bill.
The vegetables take the longest to cook, so once your fire is ready you’ll want to get them in first. Find areas of the campfire that still have glowing embers and place your whole veggies directly on them. I used rutabaga, spaghetti squash, and Yukon gold potatoes, but any vegetable that you can easily peel or cut open to serve works. Root vegetables are especially good for this technique. The squash and large potatoes took roughly 40 minutes to cook through; the rutabaga took a little longer, around 50 minutes.
You’ll want to get the meats going when the vegetables have about 10 minutes left to cook. Peel the veggies while the meats are resting and everything will be ready at the same time. And don’t be shy with the herb vinaigrette—it lifts everything at the table!
• 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
• 1 bunch thyme
• 1 bunch basil
• ½ bunch dill
• ½ bunch oregano
• 1½ cups grapeseed oil
• 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced (don’t sub out pre-chopped garlic)
• 6 lemons, juiced
• Salt to taste
First, combine the garlic and the lemon juice and let them sit for at least an hour to cut down the intensity of the garlic. Ten minutes before serving, finely mince all the herbs and combine them with the oil and salt. Mix in the lemon and garlic. Serves 12.
• 3 spaghetti squashes
• 6 rutabagas
• 10 medium-large Yukon gold potatoes
Let the vegetables sit on the ash of some glowing embers, and flip them over once they start to blacken. Continue until they are all knife tender. Let them sit until they are cool enough to handle and peel away the ash layer with a pairing knife. Serves 12.
• 4–8 moose steaks (or substitute venison)
• 4 pounds halibut
• 4 pounds salmon
• 2 pounds rockfish
• 2 pounds ling cod
• Plenty of salt and pepper
• Grapeseed oil
Place cast-iron pans on the smoldering logs. Let them get wicked hot and pour a little grapeseed oil into them (avoid splashing any in the fire, it’ll flare up). Season the meats and carefully lay them in the pans, cooking separate proteins in different pans. Flip and cook to desired temperatures and set aside to rest.
As a professional cook who spent his 20s in kitchens from coast to coast, I’ve grown very fond of the nuances of regional cooking traditions. There are the obvious iconic dishes like gumbo in Louisiana, barbecue in Kansas City, and bagels in NYC. But regional favorites can be as simple as ultra-local cheeses, cured meats, and wines, for example. And some of the best are less refined (but no less satisfying) dishes like the Juicy Lucy in Minneapolis or the strange affinity Taylor County, Wisconsin, has with pickled eggs.
What I’m getting at is this: The recipes and cooking methods developed in these places never would have existed without a history of trial and error by people who cared about the quality of what they feed their friends and families. That said, if you’re about to tackle one of these regional dishes and expect it to have any level of authenticity, find someone from the area and ask for their help.
To make a successful crab boil (which is actually more of a crab steam), two people helped guide me through the process. First: Steve Vilinit, the director of marketing and business development for J.J. McDonnell—a Maryland-based seafood wholesaler—and former director of marketing for the Maryland DNR; second, Bill Brooks of J.M. Clayton Seafood Company, who was my point person for obtaining beautiful Maryland blue crabs.
I thought I understood the basic idea of a crab boil, but these guys set me on a path to enlightenment. I took all their advice and tweaked it ever so slightly to fit my needs—mostly so I could use Kramarczuk’s kielbasa. Here are the basics for feeding six hungry people. If you’re looking for crab hammers or other crab supplies, check out Harford Metal Products.
48 pre-steamed Maryland blue crabs
6 ears of corn, shucked, cobs cut in half (substitute small, parboiled potatoes when it’s no longer corn season)
3 pounds Kramarczuk’s kielbasa, cut in two-inch lengths
2 40-ounce bottles of Budweiser
Old Bay seasoning to taste
15-gallon pot with a steamer insert
Wooden crab hammers
A lot of paper towels
Large sheets of butcher paper to line the table
Once all the components are in place, the cooking is a breeze. Put the steamer insert into the large crab pot. Fill the pot with beer until the liquid rises just above the bottom of the insert. Drink the rest. Put the pot over the largest flame on your stove and crank it to high, using two burners if it makes sense to do so.
Evenly mix the crab, corn (or potatoes), and kielbasa together. When the beer is boiling, drop the mix into the pot. Put a lid on the pot and let everything steam for about 15 minutes, or until the crabs on top are hot to the touch.
Line your table with butcher paper and sprinkle Old Bay all over it. Carefully, with towels, remove the insert from the pot and pour the crabs onto the table. Sprinkle with more Old Bay. Sit down with your crew and enjoy.
It’s that time of year again where hunters and fishermen alike find themselves in a lull. Fishing shacks are gone from the quickly receding sheets of ice on the lakes and rivers, and deer stands are abandoned until the next season opener. I, myself, am anxiously waiting for the upcoming turkey season and getting to pick ramps out of the warming ground. However, this lull in seasons does provide a chance to start using game reserves from the freezer. For this Slay to Gourmet I’m going to look at a few dishes you can prepare with game you might already have in your larders.
The heritage outerwear company Filson recently invited me into their Minneapolis store to provide food for the launch of the Filson line of watches. It was a great opportunity to bring the Slay to Gourmet concept to life. The dishes I decided to serve were rabbit terrine sliders with giardiniera and mustard, skewered bison sirloin with a compound butter, and lastly, cured corvine on root vegetable chips with crème fraîche and cilantro. There were also oysters being shucked on the spot to round out the menu.
Terrines are basically a glorified meatloaf that take a delicate hand to master. If done right, they can be one of the greatest ways to prepare meats. They’re also flexible, allowing you to use many different kinds of game. The following terrine recipe works well with rabbit, but could be done with duck, woodcock, grouse or pretty much anything that you have on hand. Likewise, the bison recipe transfers well to venison, and the cured corvina recipe works well with steelhead trout or salmon.
Cilantro and Jalapeño Cured Corvina
3 pounds deboned corvina
¾ cup sugar
1 cup kosher salt
2 bunches cilantro, roughly chopped
6 jalapeños, seeded and grated
Mix all ingredients other than the fish.
In a glass container large enough to hold the fish comfortably, sprinkle 1/3 of the salt mixture on the bottom of the container. Place half of the corvina filets skin-side down on the bed of salt mixture. Sprinkle the flesh side with the same amount of the mixture. Place the other half of the corvina skin-side up directly on top of the first half. Sprinkle the remaining salt mixture over the top of the corvina filets. Cover directly with plastic wrap and weigh down with a six-pack of beer. Flip and drain the filets every 12 hours for 48 hours.
Wipe off any excess salt and jalapeño mixture from the filets. Remove the skin and thinly slice the corvina before serving.
Serve with toast or root vegetable chips and garnish with crème fraîche, a spritz of lime juice, and some freshly picked cilantro.
Rabbit and Pork Belly Terrine Sliders
1 pound diced rabbit
1 pound diced uncured pork belly
8 ounces rabbit or chicken liver
¼ cup white or yellow onion, chopped
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, minced
1½ tablespoon garlic, minced
1 ounce salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon brandy
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Freeze all the grinding equipment for 45 minutes.
Mix all the ingredients except the rabbit and run them through your meat grinder with the small die attached. Swap the small die for a medium die and run the rabbit through. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.
Line a terrine or bread pan with plastic wrap. Pour in the meat mixture and fold the excess plastic wrap over the top of the terrine. Place in a larger baking dish that comfortably fits the terrine and pour hot water around the terrine until it comes about halfway up the side of the terrine pan. Carefully place into the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the terrine hits 155°F, about one hour.
Remove from the oven and place a 2–3 pound weight on the terrine and let cool to room temperature. Keep the weight on and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Serve in slices with pickles and mustard.
Grilled Bison Skewers with Shallot and Herb Butter
2 pounds bison, loin or sirloin work well
Salt and pepper
1 pound unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
Salt to taste
Soak the bamboo skewers in cold water for 30 minutes. While they are soaking, trim chunks of fat and connective tissue from the bison. Cut them into either a large dice or slices thick enough to run a skewer through.
Mix the shallot, garlic, and red wine vinegar in a bowl and let sit for one hour. Next, mix the butter ingredients in a food processor until well incorporated. Keep the butter at room temperature.
Have your grill pre-heated to a high temperature. Season the bison skewers with a little grapeseed oil, salt, and pepper. Place on the grill until they achieve some colors and are cooked medium rare, about a minute on either side.
Once they are cooked and still hot, brush some of the room temperature butter over them and let it melt onto the meat. Add an extra squeeze of lemon if needed.