Wild Game and Fish Cooking

 It was great to be on the Larry Meiller show today on Wisconsin Public Radio talking about “How To Enhance The Taste Of Wild Game.”  There were so many great callers.  Thank you!  Thanks also for the follow-up emails.  I will try to get to everyone as soon as I can.  Here are the recipes I remember promising to post (below).  If I’ve forgotten anything, please email me to let me know (hemmachef@gmail.com).  I will also post the menu from my most recent GameFeeds soon.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Or better yet, sign up for one of my classes and we can chat!

Here is information on my upcoming adult classes, including these great classes at Smoky’s Club:


11/4 (Sun) –5:30-8:00 – “Bacon, Beef and Big Reds

12/2 (Sun) –5:30-8:00 – “Holiday Wine Dinner

(Full menus and details are on Hemmachef.com.)  Class size is limited.  Register soon!  To register or for questions, email Hemmachef@gmail.com.

Here is the link to my blog about Corned Goose (including my recipe)
Here is more information about and menus from my GameFeeds.


Here is information about my upcoming Wild Game presentation in Lodi:

Here’s the link to listen to my segment on Larry Meiller – in case you missed it.


And here is the link to the website I mentioned that had a list of the top 16 wild game cookbooks.

This will give you a few to choose from until I publish mine!



Basic Brine

2 quarts water
1/3 cup table salt
1/3 cup sugar

Method: Combine the water, sugar and salt in a pot or bowl. Stir until all of the sugar and salt have dissolved. Warm a bit if necessary then cool before putting it with the meat. Let the meat sit in the brine anywhere from 2-24 hours, depending upon how large the piece of meat is.  (For example, pheasant breasts – 2-4 hours; large venison roasts or whole wild turkeys – 12-24 hours.)  Drain, rinse and cook as desired. Don’t season the meat with additional salt before cooking it.

Duck, Duck, Goose and Bacon with Pickled Pearl Onions and Mulberry Jam

This can be made with all duck or all goose meat.

2 # brined waterfowl breasts, sliced into very thin strips, (about 3/8×2 inches)
½ pound bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled (save drippings)
1 jar pickled onions, drained
½ cup mulberry, raspberry or currant jelly or jam

Method:  Heat the drippings in a skillet to hot. Season the strips of meat with plenty of pepper. Cook the strips in batches until crispy. Use a little butter or oil if needed to cook the remaining strips of meat. When all the meat has been crisped,   place all the strips and the remaining ingredients in the skillet and stir well. Heat through. Serve with noodles, mashed potatoes or wild rice.

Steamed Halibut with Tomato Butter

1 stick butter
½ cup diced onion
1 cups diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 halibut or salmon filets (about a pound)
Parsley for garnish

Method:  Heat the butter, onions and tomatoes in a pan until hot and bubbling. Season with salt and pepper. Place the fish on top of the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 10-12 minutes or until the fish is just done. Garnish with parsley. Serve with noodles, mashed potatoes or my Wisconsin Cheddar Grits.

Fresh Fish Balls with Linguini and Plum Tomato Sauce

(This recipe works well with Northern, Walleye, Panfish and even Halibut.)

For the Meatballs:

1 cup dried coarse bread crumbs
½ cup cream
1 ½ pounds fish fillets, trimmed, boned and chunked
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed if desired
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Sauce and Linguini

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 bulb fennel, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, pasted
3-4 cups canned plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced oregano
2 tablespoons minced basil
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
l cup pitted olives, sliced if desired
1 pound linguini
Salted water

Method:  For the meatballs: combine the bread crumbs with the heavy cream in a large mixing bowl. Stir or squeeze to have the bread crumbs absorb the cream. Place the fish in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse briefly to grind coarsely and then add to the breadcrumbs in the bowl. Add the beaten eggs, parsley. Capers, salt and pepper. Mix well with clean hands. With moistened hands, form into about 24 balls. Cover and chill.

Meanwhile, for the sauce: cook the onions with the olive oil in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium low to medium heat until the onions have sweated (gotten soft). Add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the olives and bring the liquid to a boil again and place the meatballs on top of the bubbling liquid. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook 25-30 minutes until done.

Bring the salted pasta water on to boil. When totally boiling add the pasta, stir to separate. Cook until al dente. Drain. Serve right quick with the sauce and meatballs.

Copyright Hemmachef: Joel Olson, 2018

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