Maturing, a procedure that tenderizes the meat of large, tough game, is the simple secret for ensuring the ideal cooking conditions. However, it should be noted that most fowl do not require lengthy maturing. The period of time required for maturing generally depends on the season and surrounding temperature. The most suitable length for maturing is 5-6 months in summer, and 10-12 months in winter. It is important to know that game meat is more susceptible to spoiling than any other type of meat. Preparation for maturing is different for every type of game.
Marinade for large game: The purpose of marinating is to speed up maturing process of the meat of large game, as well as to ensure a pleasant aroma and taste for potential dishes. Marinades vary depending on the type of game and on personal preferences. For example, in the following recipe for a typical marinade, pieces of orange peel may also be added. Let’s look at how a typical marinade is prepared.
1 ½ litres of white, non-resinated wine
250ml of vinegar
200ml of oil
150g of carrots
150g of onions
2 cloves of garlic
thyme, parsley, bay leaf, a little pepper, clove
Brown the finely chopped vegetables and herbs and spices in the oil. Add the wine and the vinegar, and simmer slowly for half an hour.
A few more tips:
- Marinade must be cold before it is used.
- Marinades should be boiled every two days in summer and every four days in winter, in order to keep.
- If the meat is to kept in the marinade for quite a number of days, add 5g of boric acid for every kilogram of marinade.
Preparation: Wild duck, which is considered to be one of the tastiest game birds, must be painstakingly plucked. Use a flame to remove the smallest feathers that remain. Unlike other water fowl, wild duck must never be skinned because its unique flavor is found in the skin.
Wild duck does not require maturing, as other game does, and can therefore be cooked immediately. Clean out the intestines as soon as possible after catching and wash the belly well with plenty of water.
All water fowl, wild duck included, have to be removed of their smell. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Place 2-3 hot coals in the belly of the bird and sew it up. Leave for 2-3 hours. You can also put an apple and some celery in the belly, sew it up and remove them after cooking. The easiest method is to light some cotton wool soaked in methylated spirit and to keep it in the belly until it goes out; repeat this often.