Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish by Jesse Griffiths


The fruit of Jesse Griffiths’ one-year labor is an exquisite and attractive book on how to clean, butcher, and cook your harvest (and what to pair it with!). Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish combines simple Southern cooking with haute French cuisine suitable for gourmet dinner parties, but which can be especially enjoyed over a backyard grill with buddies.

More than just a cook book, Griffith subtlety interjects his stories from the field and occasionally delivers a nugget of wisdom within the description of the meal you’re about to prepare. For instance, he dispelled a long-held belief of mine that catfish should be avoided in cuisine because it was a dirty bottom-feeder. The fish is, in fact, a predator as well. He also inspires us to put a unique twist on our cooking such as his recipe for roasted, bacon-wrapped snipe where the snipe’s long bill is used as the “toothpick” to hold the bacon around the bird.

Detail of page 39, roasted snipe recipe. The bill of the snipe is acting as the toothpick that holds the bacon around the roasted bird.

Among the recipes, you’ll find advice on complimentary dishes, how to make homemade mayonnaise, sausage and step-by-step instructions (with photographs) on how to clean and butcher/fillet every animal or fish mentioned within the book.

Find recipes for dove, snipe, duck, goose, turkey, venison, squirrels, rabbits, boars, javelina, catfish, bass, bluegill, sunfish, mackerel and more. Afield presents recipes for fried or grilled cutlets, soups, polentas, stews, pâtés, stocks and tacos among other American and international dishes.

The only problem you might have with this book is not getting it dirty as you get your hands into some guts and prepare them for the grill.

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