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Do you like game meat? Also general pasty and meat suggestions


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My youngest son is obsessed with the Great British Baking show, and really wants to make raised game pie for Christmas dinner.  I haven't really eaten game meat before. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raised_game_pie_90104

So, the question is do we make this pie for Christmas assuming everyone will like it?    Does this pie look tasty to people who have eaten game meat?  We'll have some sort of fish option too for our pescatarian. 

If you think this is not a good idea, what do you think of these two options:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/beef_wellington_with_35577

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hand-raised_chicken_and_12433

Or should we just do a regular roast?

Or does someone have another yummy recipe involving meat and pastry?

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If you want everyone to eat it, use a regular roast.  Game meat is lean and has a very specific "gamey" taste.  I would make this as an adventure after hunting the meat, but I would not make this for a special occasion or guests. And maybe have the number for a pizza place on call.

Beef wellington is delicious.

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I’d make a mini version as a sampler. As is that recipe looks like it would be very game tasting, though the bacon and pork belly would add a lot of flavor. 
 

I like venison only after it's been well soaked in a marinade (like an Italian dressing). Duck, I braise with apples and sweet potatoes to counter the wild taste. I prefer to mild out the gaminess as much as possible. If you want something wild for your holiday table, I’d definitely recommend starting with unusual but domesticated meats first - duck, ostrich, bison. Baby steps, iykwim. 

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I will say that I disagree with Katy on this one about the flavor of game meat.  Yes some game meat has a very distinct taste but not all. We live in Alaska now and I love moose meat. Not at all 'gamey' to me compared to other game here like Caribou. I like both but prefer moose. When having it processed or doing it yourself, it is best cut with some fat (about 10% or so) as the meat is super lean. 

 

I think the recipe is a fine idea but not at something special like a Christmas dinner. I would wait and try it at a later time if you are wanting to use game meat. 

Edited by corbster98
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Venison can taste very similar to beef. I have made lots of venison pies and pasties. Venison goes very well in a pie as it can be dry roasted. 

But I have only ever eaten pasture raised beef. That is what grows locally. And from this forum I have got the impression that pasture raised beef has more flavour. 

Wild game birds taste... Gamey... If you are not use to the flavour it could be different. I have never had pheasants. The hanging process has turned me completely off the idea of ever trying it. 

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I love game but I don’t know that I would spring it on people for Big Family Christmas except with an alternative available.
The best game pie I have ever had was in Colonial Williamsburg, and while I did buy their cookbook, I have never tried to duplicate it.  However, if the recipe really matches that in the restaurant, as advertised, it’s probably really good.   

For Christmas we usually have leg of lamb, made traditionally.  

There is a great recipe for meat hand pies in a hobbit cookbook—An Unexpected Cookbook is the title, and we have LOVED them.  Not really a Festive Holiday Roast of Beast, but awfully good.

 

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ALSO!  Regarding Beef Wellington, it is really important to cook the meat to about where you want to serve it in doneness in the pre-roast, because the final roast mostly cooks the dough crust.  The one time I attempted it, we ended up with pretty raw meat because I was trying to leave some roasting room for the final roast, and it was really a bummer after all that work.

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7 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

ALSO!  Regarding Beef Wellington, it is really important to cook the meat to about where you want to serve it in doneness in the pre-roast, because the final roast mostly cooks the dough crust.  The one time I attempted it, we ended up with pretty raw meat because I was trying to leave some roasting room for the final roast, and it was really a bummer after all that work.

I'm thinking Sous Vide would be perfect to cook the roast evenly through all the way before baking in the crust. 

It would make the meat part foolproof.

Bill

 

 

Edited by Spy Car
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13 minutes ago, Spy Car said:

I'm thinking Sous Vide would be perfect to cook the roast evenly through all the way before baking in the crust. 

It would make the meat part foolproof.

Bill

 

 

I don’t want to cook it all the through, exactly.  I want to cook it to warm and pink in the middle, rather than cool and red.  That would have been easily accomplished with a longer pre-roast.

Edited by Carol in Cal.
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57 minutes ago, corbster98 said:

I will say that I disagree with Katy on this one about the flavor of game meat.  Yes some game meat has a very distinct taste but not all. We live in Alaska now and I love moose meat. Not at all 'gamey' to me compared to other game here like Caribou. I like both but prefer moose. When having it processed or doing it yourself, it is best cut with some fat (about 10% or so) as the meat is super lean. 

 

I think the recipe is a fine idea but not at something special like a Christmas dinner. I would wait and try it at a later time if you are wanting to use game meat. 

Moose is definitely less "gamey" than venison - moose is probably one of the least "gamey" of game meats. 🙂

Elk is another meat that is super lean and is considered "raised game" - at least here it is. 🙂  Our local elk farm is just a few kilometers away from where I live and I love elk meat.  It's SUPER lean, though, so you need to either add fat or cook it in a way that will tenderize it.  The elk farm hires a local woman to make elk pies to sell and the spice/ingredient profile looks very close to the BBC recipe you linked.  They are super tasty!

Best of luck with whatever you decide, OP!

Edited by Dicentra
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2 minutes ago, Carol in Cal. said:

I don’t want to cook it all the through, exactly.  I want to cook it to warm and pink in the middle, rather than cool and red.  That would have been easily accomplished with a longer pre-roast.

The thing about Sous Vide is that it will cook the whole roast perfectly pink (or whatever one prefers) from edge to edge with zero concerns about over or under cooking. Always perfect.

Bill

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What kind of game would you plan on using?  If you're using something from the wild- something that was hunted- it will likely have a stronger gamey taste than if you use a purchased game.  Pheasant or rabbit bought from a market is going to be tender and far less gamey tasting because they've been raised for slaughter and fed accordingly. 

I think the pork fat and bacon in the recipe will go a long way in combatting any lack of moisture in the game as well as add a great flavor to the finished product.

A week ago I attempted my first ever hot water pastry crust to make mini turkey pot pies and while the recipe I followed was extremely difficult to work with, I was pleased with the results and the pies tasted okay. I would love to make a larger version like the raised game pies on the GBBS.

I think any recipe if Paul Hollywood's is destined to be delicious, if I'm being completely honest.  And... I don't really see why you couldn't use whatever protein you prefer.  It doesn't HAVE to be game- I think a nice cut of beef,pork or lamb would work very well. From the list given in the recipe, I would use boar if I could find it.  Boar is the most delicious meat- it's kind of like pork and beef had a baby and named it boar. 

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3 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

My youngest son is obsessed with the Great British Baking show, and really wants to make raised game pie for Christmas dinner.  I haven't really eaten game meat before. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raised_game_pie_90104

So, the question is do we make this pie for Christmas assuming everyone will like it?    Does this pie look tasty to people who have eaten game meat?  We'll have some sort of fish option too for our pescatarian. 

If you think this is not a good idea, what do you think of these two options:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/beef_wellington_with_35577

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hand-raised_chicken_and_12433

Or should we just do a regular roast?

Or does someone have another yummy recipe involving meat and pastry?

I wouldn't do the game pie. As a PP said, even standard US beef is pretty mild tasting. I'd also not go for the  chicken pie - that style tends to be dry in my experience.  Beef Wellington is a crowd pleaser.

Eta we all like game meat but we also eat grass fed beef and lamb, and free range chicken and pork. So we are used to stronger tastes.  I wouldn't risk it for Christmas. 

Edited by Laura Corin
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31 minutes ago, Dicentra said:

Moose is definitely less "gamey" than venison - moose is probably one of the least "gamey" of game meats. 🙂

Elk is another meat that is super lean and is considered "raised game" - at least here it is. 🙂  Our local elk farm is just a few kilometers away from where I live and I love elk meat.  It's SUPER lean, though, so you need to either add fat or cook it in a way that will tenderize it.  The elk farm hires a local woman to make elk pies to sell and the spice/ingredient profile looks very close to the BBC recipe you linked.  They are super tasty!

Best of luck with whatever you decide, OP!

I really like elk meat too 🙂 Venison is ok but after having moose, I will take that anyday. It is so delicious!!

Edited by corbster98
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Part of my issue is that the one time I had Beef Wellington was as a child, and I definitely didn't like it.  But I think that version probably had foie gras?  Maybe I'd like a version that substitutes something else?  Or maybe it will be like asparagus or beets or other foods I hated as a child and now love. 

I also, in general really like a good sear on my meat, and so cooking a tenderloin whole is not usually my first choice.  The individual wellington recipe would solve that part of the problem.  

On the other hand, I expect that Christmas is going to be a bit rough here, and my youngest will handle that better if there's something to keep his brain and hands busy.  So, making some kind of very fussy entree with complicated instructions might be a very good way to achieve that goal. 

Edited by BaseballandHockey
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10 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

Part of my issue is that the one time I had Beef Wellington was as a child, and I definitely didn't like it.  But I think that version probably had foie gras?  Maybe I'd like a version that substitutes something else?  Or maybe it will be like asparagus or beets or other foods I hated as a child and now love. 

I also, in general really like a good sear on my meat, and so cooking a tenderloin whole is not usually my first choice.  The individual wellington recipe would solve that part of the problem.  

On the other hand, I expect that Christmas is going to be a bit rough here, and my youngest will handle that better if there's something to keep his brain and hands busy.  So, making some kind of very fussy entree with complicated instructions might be a very good way to achieve that goal. 

Personally, I would go with the fussy dessert for keeping him busy.  And have a familiar and beloved entree for the dinner.

Also, you might consider a cookbook called ‘One 4 Oz. Serving’.  It has the best chicken pie recipe in it that I have ever had, bar none, fantastically tender, unbelievably good, except that I hate peas so I sub in chopped haricots verts for them.  It also has a to die for blueberry pie recipe, and some wonderful wild mushroom blintzes with lemon sauce. 

It was poorly edited, maybe self-published?  So it’s missing some things that you have to infer, but I’ve found that easy to do.  And the recipes themselves are unique and wonderful.

Another great cookbook for complex, good recipes that is actually perfectly edited is Savory Baking.  The chicken Dijon Brown Betty has become a treasured favorite here, and it’s in that nice category of not intimidating but still a cut above that I like to serve for guests at non-special occasion dinners.  

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Buffalo is not quite game meat, but but it might give the “exotic” feeling if used in the pie without the strong taste.

Venison and elk are both common where I live, but I will only eat them as a substitute foe grown beef when used in casseroles or spicy dishes such as chili or tacos. I would not want to eat either in the meat pie recipe.

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If you bought rabbit, it might be the least game tasting (I remember liking pheasant but it’s been as super long time since I ate any) of the options named. I’ve had moose and it was really good, but I’ve never seen it commercially available?

i really think though if, that if you want a special meal that there’s a good chance everyone will enjoy, game is not the way to go with a crowd not used to game. I am a pretty adventurous eater, and I find new fruits, veggies, and baked goods/ desserts much easier to deal with than unfamiliar meat animals.

And venison - I don’t know. I’ve had some that was pretty good, and some that tasted bad no matter what my mom did with it, even cut 50/50 with beef in chili. 
 

maybe experiment with game in on a lower stakes occasion.

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3 hours ago, corbster98 said:

I will say that I disagree with Katy on this one about the flavor of game meat.  Yes some game meat has a very distinct taste but not all. We live in Alaska now and I love moose meat. Not at all 'gamey' to me compared to other game here like Caribou. I like both but prefer moose. When having it processed or doing it yourself, it is best cut with some fat (about 10% or so) as the meat is super lean. 

 

I think the recipe is a fine idea but not at something special like a Christmas dinner. I would wait and try it at a later time if you are wanting to use game meat. 

Do you get Musk Ox?

Best meat I ever ate was Musk Ox (I'm guessing it was tenderloin) at a restaurant in Vancouver about 20 years ago (or more). Never have forgotten it. Like beef but much beefier. The ultimate meat flavor bomb.

Never had moose.

Bill

 

 

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 I hate venison but like buffalo.  I also had no problem with springbok or wild boar.  But venison really has a quite different taste.  I mean buffalo really doesn't taste very much different than beef- a little but not strongly.  Wild boar and regular pigs are similar in taste.  I can't remember the taste profile of springbok but it certainly didn;t have the strong gamey taste like venison.  But I am a person who also doesn't like lamb (or sheep cheese) because of the taste.

Wild duck or goose should be very similar to domesticated too.

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This is a family favourite. We eat a lot of game meat. I would encourage a child's interest for sure, but agree that Christmas dinner is maybe putting a lot of pressure on, if your family is not used to game. What about Christmas Eve, Boxing Day or as a side dish?

Game Pie

2 lb stewing meat, coarsely diced
1 med onion, chopped
1-4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp oil
2 c. water
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 tsp each Marjoram, Thyme, Celery seed
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Bay leaf
1 lb diced potatoes
1-3 diced carrots
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 c. peas
Two-crust Pie Shell

Saute meat, onion and garlic in heated oil in large skillet or saucepan until meat is browned. Add water, herbs, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cook 20 minutes or so. Remove bay leaf, make a slurry of flour and a little water and stir in. Boil gently until mixture thickens. Add peas. 

Line dish with pie crust. (I find this recipe works better in a 9x9 with 2/3 pastry for bottom shell, 1/3 for top, but there is likely enough filling to do two pies otherwise, at least when we do it.) Cover with pie crust, flute edges, cut slits in top. Bake at 425 for 20-35 minutes until nicely browned.

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4 hours ago, Dicentra said:

Moose is definitely less "gamey" than venison - moose is probably one of the least "gamey" of game meats. 🙂

Elk is another meat that is super lean and is considered "raised game" - at least here it is. 🙂  Our local elk farm is just a few kilometers away from where I live and I love elk meat.  It's SUPER lean, though, so you need to either add fat or cook it in a way that will tenderize it.  The elk farm hires a local woman to make elk pies to sell and the spice/ingredient profile looks very close to the BBC recipe you linked.  They are super tasty!

Best of luck with whatever you decide, OP!

I think it’s a raised pie made out of game?  Rather than game that has been raised?  

The game we use will be raised since apparently it has to be for the butcher to be able to sell it, but I think that the British call these kind of pies with built up sides raised pies, as opposed to a folded over calzone kinda pie.

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5 hours ago, BaseballandHockey said:

My youngest son is obsessed with the Great British Baking show, and really wants to make raised game pie for Christmas dinner.  I haven't really eaten game meat before. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/raised_game_pie_90104

So, the question is do we make this pie for Christmas assuming everyone will like it?    Does this pie look tasty to people who have eaten game meat?  We'll have some sort of fish option too for our pescatarian. 

If you think this is not a good idea, what do you think of these two options:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/beef_wellington_with_35577

https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/hand-raised_chicken_and_12433

Or should we just do a regular roast?

Or does someone have another yummy recipe involving meat and pastry?

You can't really ask, "do you like game meat?" any more than you can ask "do you like meat?" The only answer you will get is whether the person is willing to eat game meat or meat at all, which doesn't mean they like all game or all meat. 

The willingness is an important question, though, because many people will not eat game, period. Many more people will not know if they like a certain type, because they've never had it.  Others will eat something like venison or elk, but draw their hard line at squirrels or bunny rabbits, lol.  

I would go for something more typical for the main, to the point of choosing a regular roast over something like Beef Wellington. People mostly want something tried and true for the main part of the holiday meal. There is a lot of room for experimentation with appetizers, sides, desserts. Or have two mains and plenty of leftovers. 

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Just now, katilac said:

You can't really ask, "do you like game meat?" any more than you can ask "do you like meat?" The only answer you will get is whether the person is willing to eat game meat or meat at all, which doesn't mean they like all game or all meat. 

The willingness is an important question, though, because many people will not eat game, period. Many more people will not know if they like a certain type, because they've never had it.  Others will eat something like venison or elk, but draw their hard line at squirrels or bunny rabbits, lol.  

I would go for something more typical for the main, to the point of choosing a regular roast over something like Beef Wellington. People mostly want something tried and true for the main part of the holiday meal. There is a lot of room for experimentation with appetizers, sides, desserts. Or have two mains and plenty of leftovers. 

Yeah, since we're not inviting guests, I think I probably could ask all my close family members this question, but I think most of them are like me and have never eaten it.  

I think we've decided not to do it for Christmas.  My SIL is going to buy the game, because it's crazy expensive to buy game when you don't live in an area where people hunt, and give it to my son for Christmas, and then make it with him on his half birthday in January.  

But I do think we want some kind of very distracting complicated pastry meat thing for Christmas.  I am still not sure Beef Wellington is it.  Does anyone have other suggestions?  It will be one of at least two mains, but we'd still like it to taste good. 

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1 minute ago, BaseballandHockey said:

 But I do think we want some kind of very distracting complicated pastry meat thing for Christmas.  

What about empanadas? You can make your own crust, and It's nice that they're small. If you want to add complication, do more than one filling. If you do both savory and sweet, you have the distraction of making two crusts. 

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Just now, katilac said:

What about empanadas? You can make your own crust, and It's nice that they're small. If you want to add complication, do more than one filling. If you do both savory and sweet, you have the distraction of making two crusts. 

Oooh that could be good.  

Now, I need to google empanada recipes.   Maybe they could do some kind of savory vegetarian one for the pescatarian and a savory meat one?  Anyone have good empanada recipes?  

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6 minutes ago, katilac said:

I haven't tried this one, but it has good ratings and she's in Ecuador so seems legit, lol: Sweet Empanadas

Okay, I looked for savory, and she has pages of empanada recipes and instructions, including fish/veggie: All the Empanadas

Oooh, is it just me, or does this one look really good?

https://www.laylita.com/recipes/asparagus-empanadas-with-fava-beans-peas-and-goat-cheese/

 

Edited by BaseballandHockey
I always tell myself "Check your grammar and punctuation, the Hive cares about these things", and then I don't.
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53 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

I think it’s a raised pie made out of game?  Rather than game that has been raised?  

The game we use will be raised since apparently it has to be for the butcher to be able to sell it, but I think that the British call these kind of pies with built up sides raised pies, as opposed to a folded over calzone kinda pie.

I wasn't sure of the terminology - I should probably have looked it up before posting. 😉 🙂

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1 minute ago, Dicentra said:

I wasn't sure of the terminology - I should probably have looked it up before posting. 😉 🙂

No, I only think this because the chicken and bacon pie I posted is called "raised" as well, and well I think they wouldn't bother specifying that for chicken right?  My knowledge of meat pies is 100% limited to what you can learn from being in the same room as a 10 year old obsessively watching the Great British Baking show.

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I am a huge GB show fan too and I’ve been eyeing up doing a raised meat pie.  Though I would probably just use whatever sounded good.  I love the antique molds!
 

that said I made a beef Wellington inspired by GBB for thanksgiving and it was amazing!  If you’re doing it for more than like 6 or so, I would do 2 (or 3) baked separately.  Beef tenderloin roasts only comes so big and it didn’t leave many leftovers.  Or you can do individual beef Wellingtons.  I did a couple like that for to go bags for grandparents and those bake much faster and it’s easier to get the pastry nice.  The other thing is if he wants to do his own puff pastry, that can be done well ahead.  I made my own puff pastry for the first time and it turned out great and it wasn’t as hard as I was thinking.  It just takes some patience.  You’ll have to report back, I wish I had a kid who loved gbb.  😍
 

eta sorry I read comments after.  I do think Wellington could fit the bill. I worked on it over 3 or 4 days if your crowd likes beef.  It was SO yummy.  I did spend about $100 on a 3.5 lb tenderloin.  Mine cooked to medium rare without problem.  I did sear the outside.   Individual tenderloin would give you better controls over servings.   
 

also bison can be a reasonably good crowd pleasing alternative meat.  
 

raised as in raised pie refers to the sides of the pie.  Like hand raised pies are formed without baking in a mold.  You make a stiff tall crust and it stands on it’s own.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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4 minutes ago, BaseballandHockey said:

No, I only think this because the chicken and bacon pie I posted is called "raised" as well, and well I think they wouldn't bother specifying that for chicken right?  My knowledge of meat pies is 100% limited to what you can learn from being in the same room as a 10 year old obsessively watching the Great British Baking show.

I just looked it up. 🙂  A raised pie is a free-standing one so the pastry is sturdy enough to retain its shape without being in a pie tin.  The elk pies that I buy from the elk farm aren't raised, then, so are made with typical pastry dough instead of the hot-water dough.  Still super tasty pies! 🙂

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4 minutes ago, FuzzyCatz said:

I am a huge GB show fan too and I’ve been eyeing up doing a raised meat pie.  Though I would probably just use whatever sounded good.  I love the antique molds!
 

that said I made a beef Wellington inspired by GBB for thanksgiving and it was amazing!  If you’re doing it for more than like 6 or so, I would do 2 (or 3) baked separately.  Beef tenderloin roasts only comes so big and it didn’t leave many leftovers.  Or you can do individual beef Wellingtons.  I did a couple like that for to go bags for grandparents and those bake much faster and it’s easier to get the pastry nice.  The other thing is if he wants to do his own puff pastry, that can be done well ahead.  I made my own puff pastry for the first time and it turned out great and it wasn’t as hard as I was thinking.  It just takes some patience.  You’ll have to report back, I wish I had a kid who loved gbb.  😍

Do you have a recipe for individual Wellingtons?

We're probably going to be cooking for a lot of people, we'll drop dinner off contactless for a number of people we know who aren't seeing anyone this year.  So, something that holds up to that would be good.  

I'm liking the empanada idea though.  

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3 hours ago, Spy Car said:

Do you get Musk Ox?

Best meat I ever ate was Musk Ox (I'm guessing it was tenderloin) at a restaurant in Vancouver about 20 years ago (or more). Never have forgotten it. Like beef but much beefier. The ultimate meat flavor bomb.

Never had moose.

Bill

 

 

Have not had Musk Ox yet. There is hunting for it here though. Your tenderloin you had sounds yummy!

If you get the chance to try moose, definetely do. 

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So this was the recipe I used

https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/individual-beef-wellingtons/

So we did 2 to go meals for grandparents.  I did individual ones for them.   I did cook them to medium rare and they reheated at 250 for like 20-25 minutes.  You have to reheat gently or you will get the beef too cooked but that’s how we reheated leftovers too and that worked great.   Both grandparents who got those were super happy with it and thought it seemed extra fancy.  😍    We used cookie cutters to decorate the pastry with extra pastry.  Everything else we sent to them was easy to throw together/warm in microwave  (roasted carrots, apple cranberry candied pecan salad, twice baked potatoes, chocolate cherry pie)
 

Empanadas are fun too and we love those as well.  That would be a more casual meal.

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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Addressing the game question

1lb 9oz mixed, boned, diced game meat, such as venison, rabbit, pheasant, pigeon and boar

 

Pheasant tastes very mild, like chicken. The boar will taste like a slightly stronger than usual pork/sausage. I haven't had rabbit since I was young, oh my. Venison is not as pleasant as elk. I have a freezer full of it and I don't eat it. I do have a roast of it in the instant pot cooked that the boys are going to eat tomorrow. They hunt it, so they are compelled to eat it. Think gamey flavor crossed with beef. It's red meat, but it's not beef.

So, imho, I would just go buy meatloaf mix (veal, pork, beef, whatever it is) and use that. If you have these meats lying around, feel free to use them. There are ways to make venison taste better, like letting the blood drain, adding yogurt, adding lots of spice or something to mask (like in chili). 

I would NOT use it as someone's main dish for Christmas, as it could ruin the meal. I personally wouldn't even go to a lot of expense. Well nuts, I don't know where you'd find that, kwim? And who in the world would grind pheasant?? It's very fine, delicate meat. But if you know someone with a pound of venison to throw at you (any hunter will have it) and toss in some ground pork and ground chicken (both easy to find), you'll be at about the same place. 

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