GAME MEAT: FOOD VALUE AND STORAGE

GAME MEAT
/Courtesy

Game is the given to certain wild birds and animals that are eaten; there are two kinds of game:
  • feathered
  • furred
Food Value
As it is less fatty than poultry or meat, game is more easily digested, with the exception of waterfowl, which has oily flesh. Game is useful for building and repairing body tissues, and for energy.

Storage
Hanging is essential for all game. It drains the flesh of blood and begins the process of disintegration that is vital to make the flesh soft and edible, and also to develop flavor. The hanging time is determined by the type, condition, and age of the game, and the storage temperature. Old birds need to hang for a longer time than young birds. Game birds are not plucked or drawn before hanging. Venison and hare are hung with the skin on. Game must be hung in a well-ventilated, dry, cold storeroom; this need not be refrigerated. Game birds should be hung by the neck with the feet down.

Game birds
The beak should break easily. The breast plumage should be soft. The breast should be plump. Quill feathers should be pointed, not rounded. The legs should be smooth.

Pheasant: This is one of the most common game birds. Average weight is 1.5-2 kg. Young birds have a pliable breastbone and soft pliable feet. They should be hung for five to eight days and can be used for roasting, braising or pot roasting.
Partridge: The most common varieties are the grey-legged and the red-legged partridge. Average weight is 200-400 g. Hang for three to five days. Use for roasting or braising.
Grouse: Average weight is 300 g. Young birds have pointed wings and rounded soft spurs. Hang for five to seven days. Use for roasting.
Snipe: Weight is about 100`g. Hang for three to four days. The heads and neck are skinned, the eyes removed; birds are then trussed with their own beaks. When drawing the birds, only the gizzard, gallbladder and intestines are removed. The birds are then roasted with the liver and heart left inside.
Woodcock: These are small birds with long, thin beaks. Average weight is 200-300 g. Prepare as for snipe. Usually roasted.
Quail: These are small birds weighing 50-75 g. produced on farms and usually packed in boxes of 12. Quails are not hung. They are usually served roasted, grilled, spatchcock or braised.
Wild duck: Wild duck include mallard and widgeon. Average weight is 1-1.5 kg. Hang for one or two days. Usually roasted or braised.
Teal: The smallest duck, weighing 400-600 g. Hang for one to two days. Usually roasted or braised. Young birds have small pinkish legs and soft down under the wings. Teal and wild duck must be eaten in a season otherwise the flesh is coarse and has a fishy flavor. Usually roasted or braised.
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