Wild Game

Barnyard to Prairie

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Wild Game | 1 comment












Admittedly, I have a crush on turkey burgers; and boy, have they evolved over the 80’s combo of ground meat, breadcrumbs, catsup and an egg white.  Years go by.  Recently, I read that my much-loved ground turkey had a similar profile to ground bison. With the availability of grass-fed designer buffalo on the rise, it is a non-gamey way to drift into wild game territory. Not only that but, it is a quick and satisfying way to please and nourish a hungry horde.











First prepare an olive oil, Dijon, and garlic booster to add to the meat.











Separately, stir together the spices.









Break meat up with a large fork; then plop in the Dijon mixture and toss it into the meat recalling not—to—over—work-- it.









Sprinkle the spices over the meat to mix.









Divide the mixture into four, approximately 5-ounce portions. Chill the patties for 30 minutes or cover and refrigerate overnight.  Brush the burgers with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt; Grill about 4-5 minutes per side slapping a slice of cheese on during the last minute.  The internal temperature should be 140 degrees for medium-rare up to 160 for a second death.









Or, heat up a cast iron pan and griddle the burgers.









Cast Iron rules!

Create a lavish display of condiments and toppings for a weekend “Burger Bar”.  Caramelized onions, ripe avocado, fresh lumps of Burrata, thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, fleshy lettuces, zesty homemade pickles, grilled shishito peppers, and (take a breath) creamy spicy cole slaw come to mind.


Piles of Spicy Spiralized Sweet Potato Fries nearby--

Bun or no bun--not too shabby, baby.

Spicy Bison Burgers


  • 1 ¼ pound ground bison
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Combine the mustard, oil, and garlic in a small cup. Then, in another cup stir together the spice mix. Break meat up with a large fork. Add the mustard mixture without overworking the burger. Sprinkle the spices over the meat and mix until combined. Shape into four 5-ounce patties. Chill at least 30 minutes before brushing with oil and grilling 4-5 minutes per side or until internal temperatures reach 140 for medium rare and up to 160 for well done.
  2. © Copyright 2015 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  3. All Rights Reserved
  4. http://cococooks.net/

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Forecast, Rain

Posted by on May 15, 2015 in Wild Game | 0 comments

Rain—yesterday it rained -- an answer to prayer for parched ground.  So to applaud our good gift, handcrafted Bison Burgers morphed into Bison, and Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash.

I drifted backward into my archives for a recipe, using what I had on hand.








At dinnertime, I scooped chunks of velvety dark caramelized morsels over slightly spicy sautéed rainbow chard and topped the whole lot with avocado and radish slices.  Polenta Triangles became a first-rate pal.




We nearly swooned because we are too old for kitchen cartwheels; it was that splendid!

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13


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Jake Merriam

Posted by on Nov 23, 2012 in Thanksgiving, Wild Game | 0 comments

Jake Merriam

--part two








After 16 hours MP retrieved the wild turkey breasts from their suspended state in brine land.

Competition rules were not clearly stated.

MP selected the prettiest breast for himself--then he proceeded to cheat.

MP called home.

He texted our friend and Italian chef, Alessandro Pirozzi.







Proscuitto, yellow sweet pepper, smoked mozzarella, and Marsala were the items MP gleaned from the conversation.

I reminded him he doesn't like Marsala.








The breast was butterflied, pounded flat,



and lined with thin slices of proscuitto.





I suggested he saute the pepper with fresh garlic; cooling them before topping it with the







smoked mozzarella and fresh sage.








Rock, roll, and tie the breast.  Brown the turkey in olive oil and butter.








Deglaze the pan with stock or Marsala.  Cover and bake at 375 degrees  until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.








While Jake Merriam rested, I made gravy and finished up his ugly brother--








Surgery saved the wounded twin--



which I prepared with a light citrus and thyme sauce.



The precious wild turkey was lean and tender profiting from a foraging diet of native grasses and bush seeds.








Wild Turkey Braciole with Proscuitto, Sweet Pepper, Smoked Mozzarella and White Wine Sauce.

Our dueling turkeys are the talk of the town!

Glazed Orange Turkey Roast


  • 1 fresh turkey breast (about 2- 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Peel of one medium orange, cut into strips
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cold water


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet. Salt and pepper the turkey breast and place skin side down in the oil. Cook until the skin is golden brown and turn the breast over.
  3. Pour the orange juice over the turkey; add thyme and orange peel.
  4. Cover and bake, basting occasionally until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. (30-35 minutes).
  5. In a small cup, combine cornstarch with cold water.
  6. Remove the turkey from the oven and place on a cutting board.
  7. Remove thyme sprigs and orange peel from marinarde.and discard.
  8. Stir brown sugar into marinade remaining in skillet. Bring to a simmer and stir in cornstarch mixture. Stir until slightly thickened.
  9. Slice roast into thin slices. Place on a heated platter and top with orange glaze
  10. Serves 4


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To Mexico, No Rush. Guest blogger

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Wild Game | 5 comments

To Mexico, No Rush.  Guest blogger

MP is a morning person.  I am not.

“Dracula is a morning person compared to me.”
― Kim Dallmeier

The pleasure received is the pure quiet that begins his day.  Reading the newspaper inside out has always been a genetic passion.  One thing I did not know is that it includes the –LIFEFOOD section.








On Saturday morning he cajoled me to going to the early market.

It was








Too, too























Sunday has become his day to cook...

Mr. Hunter Gatherer wrote to the Food Editor.


After reading your article “To Mexico, No Rush”, I was inspired to make the Chile Verde Pork in Green Chili Salsa.

Last year I took one of your favorite chefs, Alessandro Pirozzi wild boar hunting in Paso Robles.



The picture of Alessandro shows the 300 pound “mega sow” I harvested on the hunt near Paso Robles on a large cattle ranch. One big shoulder roast produced the meat for the recipe.



My wife, Peggy and I went to the Saturday morning farmers’ market at UCI and purchased all the peppers for the recipe.








On Sunday afternoon I prepared the recipe and left it simmering in a seven quart Le Creuset Dutch oven on our vintage Wolf range.








We left for church at 3:15 and returned home at 5:30 to a house with an amazing south of the border aroma.

The Wild Boar Chile Verde was tender, fragrant, and delicious with a depth of flavor only fresh peppers and tomatillos could impart.








Thanks Deborah! Thanks Cathy!

I’m going to try this recipe with some alfalfa fed venison and will let you know how it turns out.





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The Hunter Cooks

Posted by on Mar 19, 2012 in Wild Game | 2 comments

MP cooked for me on St. Patrick's Day.  I create the recipes for the bounty of his harvest and he enjoys the cooking component.











Our friend, Steve called just before dinner.

Steve has perfect timing.








We picked fresh lettuce from the garden still soaked and fleshy from the rainstorm.








Roasted Carrots from our Tanaka Farms produce.









Estouffade of Wild Boar








with Pepperadelle.

Old World lean, tender, sweet and succulent.

You could make it tonight!











Irish Coffee Cupcake with Whiskey Cream Frosting


Estouffade of Wild Boar


  • 4 pounds wild boar roast
  • or blade cut steaks
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups good red wine


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Season the roast or steaks with salt, pepper and cumin on both sides.
  3. Place a Cassolet or Dutch style oven over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and brown meat on both sides. Remove roast or steaks from the pan onto a plate.
  4. Reduce the heat and add another small amount of oil to pan. Sauté onion and garlic until softened. Stir in tomatoes with liquid, the wine and vinegar. Place the meat back into the pan. Spoon some of the tomato liquid on top and cover the pan. Bake for 1½-2 hours or until meat forks easily. Remove from oven and allow the roast to rest covered. Slice the meat or pull apart with a fork. Serve with sauce over pepperadelle or egg noodles.
  5. Serves 4-6
  6. An estouffade is a type of braised stew where the ingredients are slowly simmered. In this recipe it is done in the oven.
  7. © Copyright 2012 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  8. All Rights Reserved
  9. http://cococooks.net/


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