If you were to purchase Wild Gourmet published by the Boone and Crockett Club, you might think you were just getting a cookbook, but you are getting much more than that. Of the 262 pages, nearly half is devoted to detailed information on processing and cleaning all kinds of game from quail to elk. It also includes a 24-inch by 36-inch poster loaded with game processing information.
The quality of this book is excellent. It is hardbound with excellent color photography throughout. The term “gourmet” is not used lightly; this book is not about how to fry a venison steak. Each recipe details seasonings, cooking methods, and options that will have you creating mouth-watering meals that will make you the envy of your friends. It’s high-end cooking, and each recipe even has a wine recommendation included.
Fully half the book is dedicated to well-illustrated sections on processing wild game, from fowl to fish to big game species. This section alone is worth the cost of the book.
Each recipe included allows you to take the species of game to a high level of delicacy. From Venison Quesadillas to French Style Rabbit to Rack of Squirrel A La Forestiere, the game section will have you dying to try everything in the book. Then you will move on to the fowl section and discover Hoisin Glazed Quail, Roasted Dove with Polenta and Gremolata, and Sweet & Spicy Goose Summer Sausage. You get the idea. The fish section is just as intriguing.
The only knock I can find on this book is that the recipes are not in any well-organized manner in each section. In the Game section for example, a recipe for rabbit is followed by a wild boar recipe, then elk, then venison, then another rabbit, then antelope. I suppose it would be fine to just sit down and read them all, but searching for a recipe for a specific species is a bit of a challenge. The index in the back helps, but I suspect most people would sit down with this book and just enjoy it from cover to cover.
I consider this book a value at $35 because of its unique nature and the impressive amount of information contained in it. I have never seen a collection of detailed instructions on game care that compares to this one. Add in the Wine Glossary, the section on recommended cooking techniques and temperatures, and the nutritional benefits of wild game, and you have a book that is a resource in more ways than just a list of great-tasting recipes.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in taking their wild game meals to a higher level. If you are willing to try some new things and experiment, you too can be a Wild Game Gourmet with the help of this book.