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Marinades/Brines/Rubs/Sauces For Wild Game

Capt. Clark
October 21st Monday 1805

One of our party J. Collins presented us with Some Steelhead
verry good beer made of the Pashi-co-quar mash bread, which bread is the remains of what was laid in as Stores of Provisions, at the first flat heads or Cho-punnish Nation at the head of the Kosskoske river which by being frequently wet molded & Sowered &c.

Wild game, which has little fat, is leaner and drier than domestic meats.  What little fat that is on wild meat should be removed to improve the flavor.  The meat can be cooked just like domestic meat but often, marinades, rubs and sauces are used to tenderize and improve the flavor of the meat.

Marinades will improve the flavor if herbs and spices are added.   With the addition of vegetable oils, marinades will improve the moisture content of the meat and make it juicier.   If acidic liquids are used in the marinade the meat will become more tender.  The meat should be marinated in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F in a covered container.  The length of time specified by recipes varied from 4 to 24 hours; however, the meat can become mushy and in some cases tough if it is left in the marinade too long.  Its best to marinade the meat for about 6 hours or at most over night.    Never reuse a marinade.

Rubs are used to flavor meats and keep it moist while cooking.  Since they do not tenderize the meat they only need to be applied a short time (one to two hours) before cooking.   A good rub will be retained on the surface of the meat and during cooking it will continue to penetrate the meat.  Rubs can be dry or wet and the only difference is that wet rubs include a liquid such as oil.

There is a large variety of sauces that can be used with meat and you can make your own or buy commercially prepared sauces.  The ingredients may include wine, vinegar, citrus fruits, tomato pastes, spices, sugar, and herbs.  Sauces can be put on the meat near the end of the cooking time or after the meat is cooked.

The purpose of the marinades, rubs and sauces  are to improve the meat and not to cover up poor quality meat that was improperly handled after the harvest.

The best marinade, rub, or sauce to use for wild game will depend on personal taste.  A number of recipes have been included and they can be used or modified to meet your tastes.

When preparing your meal, it is essential to following safe food handling practices.  For more information click here to go to the section on Food Safety.