Tips & Tactics

Wild Game Buttermilk Bath

Wild Game Buttermilk Bath

By Rod Robert

Venison isn’t the only meat that sometimes has a gamey flavor, and that seems to be a recurring theme among people who eat wild game.

For example, where I’m from, we have sharp-tailed grouse. They are practically inedible unless you do something to help them out.

I have a simple trick that helps improve my wild game cooking, and it works for a variety of animals.

Whether you are cooking wild turkey, deer, gator tail, pheasants, rabbits, waterfowl, squirrels, wild hogs or doves, a good soak in buttermilk does wonders to tenderize, flavorize and remove gaminess.

I like to put my game steaks, birds or other meats in a sealed container or big ziplock bag, along with some buttermilk, and soak them in the refrigerator overnight. Regular milk or powdered milk will work, but buttermilk is best.

Twelve hours seems to be the right amount of time for the buttermilk to work its magic, so try to remember to get the thawing and marinade process going the day before you plan to cook.

Simply rinse and drain the meat, dry and cook.

The meat will be tenderized, and you will notice the gamey taste is nearly gone or has been completely eliminated.

– Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin

Buttermilk is a secret weapon of many restaurant chefs. They pre-soak chicken, fish and other meats overnight before cooking to give it a hint of tanginess.

The good bacteria in buttermilk also speed up the breakdown process; hence it’s perfect as a meat tenderizer.

Buttermilk is also my trick for removing the bassiness from largemouth bass fillets, and the gatoriness from gator tail.

Here are three of my favorite Country@Heart recipes using buttermilk:

Cajun Bass
Gator Tail Jambalaya
Chicken & Buttermilk Dunklins

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