Know Your Game

A welcome alternative to farm-raised livestock, game meats add distinctly wild flavor to your menu, making them a great choice for holiday entertaining.

In addition to the meats featured in our wild game recipes, here are a few to try for your next special meal.

Roast Leg of Boar

Photo by Fred + Elliott


With a mild poultry taste similar to turkey, pheasant makes a nice game bird for entertaining a smaller crowd. Roast brined pheasant as you would a chicken, over a bed of vegetables and aromatics, basted with plenty of butter.


High in protein and low in cholesterol, elk is a healthy red meat from the deer family. Grill elk steaks to no more than medium rare to enjoy this tender, lean, grassy-sweet meat.


You can get away with treating squab much as you would duck—a high sear to render the thick layer of fat with sauces loaded with bold flavors to stand up to the bird’s naturally earthy, savory flavor. Unlike duck, however, squab are prized more for their legs than their breast meat, which is smaller. 


The meat of this towering, flightless bird is more akin to filet mignon than poultry. A quick sear at a high temp or a raw preparation like tartare allow the naturally lean, slightly tangy meat to shine brightest.


Online retailers include D’artagnan (, Marx Foods (, and American Ostrich Farms (

Local butcher shops can usually source more obscure requests in about a week. Try Rendezvous Farms in Linden (, The Organic Butcher of McLean (, Belmont Butchery in Richmond (, Central Meats in Chesapeake (, or Olde Towne Butcher in Fredericksburg (

This article originally appeared in our December 2018 issue.

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