Cutting and Processing Meats
The term game refers to meat and poultry that are generally found in the wild. It has always filled an important role on the plates of hunters, but it is becoming more popular in the food service industry, especially the loin and leg portions. Any game meat offered for sale must be inspected, just as domesticated meats are. Wild game that can be hunted legally cannot be sold.
Game meats processed for consumers are farm raised, much the same as domestic animals:
- Deer, often referred to as venison, is the most common game meat. It is processed at less than two years of age, ensuring a mild flavour and tender meat. It is often processed very similar to lamb, as it is a smaller game animal.
- Other large game, such as buffalo (or bison), elk, moose, and caribou, are processed much the same way as beef.
- Boar, or wild pig, is processed the same way as traditional pork. It can be more difficult to cook as it is leaner and less tender than traditional pork. The loin should be prepared using dry heat, but the rest of the animal is best prepared using moist heat.
Game meats are lower in internal fat content, so cooking them requires care. During processing, the majority of the external fat cover is removed from game meats. The strong flavour often associated with game meats is predominantly found in the fat.
The bone structure for game meats is identical to that of domestic animals. Most other cuts are generally processed into ground meats for burger patties and sausage.