Chris Pedone and Steve Mayer
Lifelong outdoorsmen with a passion for hunting, fishing and appreciation of nature and all things right with the world when you get out in it.
We are hunter-gatherers, and we like to Eat. (Never trust a skinny cook).
Smoked Game Meat
There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than to add smoked game meats to the holiday table, or to an appetizer tray for a party. The delectable flavor of smoked meats is a sure winner at the table! The smoking process is not complicated and the results are well worth the effort. This brine is formulated for Game birds and waterfowl, but also worked well for a venison back-strap. This is “a suggested brine” that can be adapted to any style your spice cabinet and imagination allows.
- 1 quart apple juice or cider
- 1 quart orange juice
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ½ cup of red wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons ginger
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 5 bay leaves
Combine all the ingredients in a large plastic container (We used a 5 gallon bucket). Mix well, to be sure all sugar and spices are dissolved. Add whatever game you wish to smoke (Goose breasts come out especially well). Make sure that everything in the bucket is fully immersed (force down with a weighted plate if necessary) and refrigerate overnight. Remove the meat from the brine and let air-dry on a rack for about a half hour to let the pellicle (a light glaze) to form. You can now season the meat with salt and pepper if desired.
There is a wide variety of wood chips available for smoking, but we prefer apple wood. Soak your wood chips in water for at least a half hour. If you are using a charcoal smoker, prepare the coals. If you have an electric model, plug it in and get it up to heat. A water pan is highly recommended for this, we suggest filling it with apple juice instead of water. Place your game meat on the racks of your smoker, add some chips to the coals or pan and cover. Adjust the vents to about ½ open to keep the temperature constant and the smoke flowing. Try to keep the temperature at about 150 to 200 degrees F. Add more chips if the smoke slows. The meats will be done, depending on thickness, in 1-3 hours. The internal temperature should be at least 150 degrees F. Let the meat rest at least a half hour before serving. The meat can be served cold, or heated in the oven just prior to serving. To serve slice the meat on a diagonal. Dipping sauces are great with smoked meats. Try some ranch dressing or a cranberry/wine sauce to kick it up.
Cranberry Red Wine Sauce
- 1 cup Cabernet (wildgamewine.com)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 12 ounce package fresh cranberries
Combine wine, sugar, orange juice, and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the cranberries, reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
The smoked meats pair up extremely well with a Santa Barbara Winery Dry Orange Muscat, available at wildgamewine.com. Our advice is to “smoke it”. Happy Holidays! from Steve & Chris at Cookingitwild.com. Game On!