Things were really cooking in the Salmon Regional Fish and Game office over the weekend---literally! Twenty-eight participants joined wild game chef Vince Pernicano as he spent the day sharing his secrets for turning wild game meat into the finest of gourmet meals.
Chef Pernicano got things off to a quick start by calling for volunteers to make the meatballs required for his delicious "Mallard Meatball Soup." As the soup simmered away, a stovetop pot roast of moose was assembled. Appetites sharpened as the roast quickly added its aroma to that of the soup.
Over steaming bowls of soup, participants and instructor kept up a lively flow of conversation. When asked what was the most important thing to do to make delicious game meals, Chef Pernicano answered without hesitation, "Take care of your meat the minute you harvest it! Clean it properly and cool it without delay." Waterfowl hunters were told to clean their ducks or geese immediately to preserve flavor. Chef Pernicano also suggested not piling birds on top of one another in the blind since the down continues to do its job of insulating, keeping the meat warm instead of allowing it to cool rapidly. As the day progressed, class participants got to sample chukar in a quick sautŽ that was served over noodles. This dish did not last long nor did the Venison Burgundy. Perhaps the most unusual game meat prepared was mountain lion. This meat, as well as all the others, was donated to the class by Fish and Game employees. Chef Pernicano prepared it following his recipe for venison cutlets. Everyone was very surprised at the nice mild flavor of the cutlets.
The day ended with everyone sampling the moose pot roast, which had been slowly cooking during the entire class. This dish was declared as the favorite, but since this comment was heard after every dish was sampled, it was hard to tell which game meat won top honors! Best of all, class participants learned how easy it is to use game meat in many different types of dishes. And no one left hungry!