Wild game is a popular item at many of the Park City, UT restaurants and for very good reasons. Visitors love trying something new especially if it is an ingredient not found on their hometown restaurant menus.
And let's face it, how often do you find buffalo, elk, venison, or wild bore at your neighborhood eatery. I have tried and enjoyed all these "wild game" meats during my six years as a resident of Park City.
Are they better than beef? Are the worth the higher price?
I guess that depends on your personal tastes. As much as I enjoy a venison steak while here in the mountains, I wouldn't pick it over a choice or prime cut New York strip steak.
Zane's Wild Game Chile
One recipe I would like to try at home, if I can find the ingredients, is Zane Holmquist's Wild Game Chili. Zane is the executive chef at the world class Stein Eriken Lodge in Deer Valley just up the road from downtown Park City.
I'm not sure Zane remembers who I am but we met many times when I lived there and even went to a Fourth of July barbecue at his house years ago.
Zane said this about cooking wild game meats in the Park City Magazine where I found this recipe,
We're in the West; it's part of our heritage. It's also nice to broaden our horizons and use meat with unique textures and flavors.
He also says in the article,
seasonings like garlic, verdant herbs, and earthy mushrooms help to balance the robust flavors of wild game before cooking the meat to a medium-rare to medium doneness.
Wild Game Chili
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or corn oil
- ½ pound buffalo meat diced in ¾ inch cubes
- ½ pound elk or venison, diced in ¾ inch cubes
- ½ pound wild boar or pork, diced in ¾ inch cubes
- 1 onion medium diced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pasilla chile powder
- 2 tablespoons New Mexican chili powder
- ½ cup coffee brewed
- 1 bay leaf
- 9 ounces tomato juice
- 18 ounces diced tomatoes canned
- 1½ cups beef stock or one 12-ounce can of beer
- 4 cups water
- sour cream for garnish
- gGreen onions for garnish
- Mix all the dry spices together and use half the mixture to season the meat.
- Heat the oil in large stock or soup pot until hot but not smoking and brown the meat for 10 - 15 minutes in the pan.
- Add the onions and garlic and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the coffee, tomato juice, bay leaves, diced tomatoes, stock, water and the remaining spice mixture. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the meat is tender. You can adjust the consistency with more stock and check the seasonings.
- Garnish with sour cream and green onions before serving.