From Freezer To Flatbread
The Minnesota hunting season has been in full swing for about two months now. Hopefully you’ve had some success and your freezer(s) are starting to fill up. And, if that’s the case you may be staring at that full freezer wondering what kinds of wonderful delicacies you could make with all of your game. Well here are a few ideas.
Comfort With Being Uncomfortable
One of the things I always try to encourage people to do with wild game is to step outside of their comfort zone. Yes, a piece of back strap that’s properly seasoned and grilled is delicious, but it shouldn’t be the only technique you use.
I grew up in your typical wild game household where all of our venison was made into summer sausage and all of our ducks were cooked in cream of mushroom soup. There is nothing wrong with either of those methods, but it definitely lacks variety and creativity. I feel like one of the biggest problems with wild game is that too many people think there is only one way to prepare each meat when in reality the possibilities are endless.
Whenever I am out to dinner at a restaurant I’m always looking at the menu thinking “how could I incorporate wild game into this dish?”. One of the dishes I’ve been seeing on a lot of menus in recent years is flatbreads.
What Is Flatbread?
Flatbreads are kind of like a pizza…but not really. They typically don’t use sauce and if they do it isn’t a tomato-based sauce. I’ve seen some pretty interesting flatbreads out there: pear and fig with prosciutto, steak and caramelized onions with blue cheese and a balsamic reduction. When I look at them I can’t help but wonder what kinds of wild game I could substitute in the recipe.
One of the best things about making a flatbread is that you don’t have to make the bread. Most grocery stores have them pre-made and you can usually find them in packs of 2-4 pieces. All you have to do is figure out what toppings you’d like to put on them.
Venison & Duck
When I started thinking more about how to proceed I immediately thought back to the steak and blue cheese one I’d recently eaten. So, clearly venison and blue cheese was going to be one of the choices. But I felt it needed something extra, another wild ingredient to put it over the top. Instead of caramelized onions and balsamic reduction I chose a ramp marmalade that I had canned earlier in the year.
For the second option I wanted to go with duck, but I also wanted to make it a bit more different. I thought peaches and a habanero sauce would be great. It would bring a little sweet, a little hot, and go well with the smokiness from the grilled duck.
The combinations worked beautifully together and even my six year old who can be a little picky gobbled them up. So, if you’re looking for a way to change up your cooking try a wild game flatbread, and if you do let me know what combinations you come up with so I can try them out as well.
For these wild game flatbread recipes I used the same method for cooking the meats, I used the Traeger big game rub on the duck and the venison and then grilled them on the grill to give them a little smoke flavor as well. I pulled them of the grill when the internal temp was 135 and then let them chill in the fridge before I assembled the flatbreads. Note: the meat will cook even more when you bake the flatbreads.
Duck, Peach and Habanero
Wild Game Flatbread
1 flat bread
2 duck breasts, precooked and thinly sliced
1 peach, skinned and pitted and cut into wedges
¼ cup asiago cheese
Brush the Flatbread with the sauce and then arrange the cooked duck breast and the peaches on the bread, top with asiago cheese and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.
Venison, Blue cheese and Ramp Marmalade
Wild Game Flatbread
1 pound chunk of venison backstrap, grilled and sliced in ¼ inch thick pieces
4 ounces Blue Cheese
¼ cup ramp marmalade, (recipe follows)
Spread the marmalade on the on the bread and arrange the slices of venison and the blue cheese on the bread, bake in the oven at 350 for 10 minutes .
2 ½ cups chopped ramps
1/3 cup maple sugar, (or plain white sugar)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon hot sauce, use your favorite (I like Crystal Hot Sauce)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat the oil in a large pan and add the ramps and sauté until soft and tender. Add the sugar, hot sauce and Worcestershire and cook until the sugar is dissolved and bubbling. Season with salt and pepper.
I hope you enjoy these recipes for wild game flatbread. Don’t forget to let me know what types of experiments you try out the next time you get creative in the kitchen!