Title: Wild Game Chilies, Soups and Stews
Author: Rick Black
232 pages; Soft cover PhotographyNone
Publisher: Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA 2008
Reviewed by, Chef John V. Fall 2008

The review---

Rick Black, the author of many game cookbooks, has been busy again! His new book Wild Game Chilies, Soups and Stews is ripe for the Fall season. What better than a hearty rabbit chili on a cold and snowy Fall day? Rick's book was out earlier this year but waited for some Fall weather to review it. My grandfather and father and other family members hunted for necessity and to free the farm of vermin. I wasn't part of the culture but remember eating wild rabbit, deer, woodchuck and squirrels along with a pheasant or two. I was just six or seven when I bit into my first piece of buckshot. Later I hunted too, more for sport and to be part of the upstate NY community I grew up in, but today it is a lost adventure for me. Still in hundreds of communities across our country people still hunt and more now out of necessity than ever before.

Rick's book and others he has written are helpful to the game eater. Where else would you find recipes for wild boar, venison, squirrel, rabbit or even muskrat? If you were lucky your grandmother or grandfather might still have a copy of Herter's Bull Cook Cook Book or an old recipe from Outdoor Life. In this book are suggestions to make the processing of the game easier, a section on food safety and some cooking tips. The big tip of all when working with raw wild gamewash your hands!

I tried a few unadventurous recipes as I had enough squirrel and weird things as a kid to last me forever! Okay, Sullivan Sloth Goose Meat Chili, I can handle that??? Forget the beans here, this is goose breast with real chilies, garlic and beer. It was darn good stuff, really! Now I'm really brave so it was Casper Capp's Wild Boar and White Bean Soup. Northern white beans and smoked wild boar shanks, onions, celery carrots and some herbs. Call it Boar or ham shanks, this tasted like the famous white bean soup served in the United States Senate, all it need was a few crispy croutons! There are 232 pages in the book along with over 150 recipes and no pictures. I'm amused with its content and my own "I'm not going to eat that" attitude, but Rick does have a good book here. I have to buy a copy for my uncle!

Recipes tested---
Sullivan Slough Goose Meat Chili

2 cups chopped onions
3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3 fresh Anaheims, chopped
2 fresh red bell peppers, chopped
6 carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
16 ounces dark beer
1 teaspoon ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 ounces dried anchos, stems and seeds removed
2 ounces dried pasillas, stems and seeds removed
4 dried japones, stems and seeds removed
1 fresh habanero, stems removed
6 cups spicy vegetable juice
3 pounds diced goose breast meat
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon dill

Place the onion, tomatoes, Anaheims, bell peppers, and carrots in a large soup pot with a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until tender. Pour the beer into a blender and blend in the ginger and garlic. Add the hot peppers and vegetable juice. Add the goose meat to the pot and brown with the vegetables. Add the blended beer mixture along with the remaining ingredients to the pot and simmer for 4 hours, stirring often. Check the soup for seasoning and serve.

Casper Capp's Wild Boar and White Bean Soup

1 pound Northern white beans
3 pounds smoked wild boar shanks (each shank cut into 3 sections)
2 quarts chicken stock
1 cup diced onions
1 cup chopped celery
2/3 cup chopped carrots
2 diced garlic cloves
Tabasco sauce
Garlic salt and pepper
Herbes de Provence
Fresh parsley

Soak the beans in at least 2 quarts of cold water for about 4 hours. Drain the water. Put the wild boar shanks pieces in a large pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring to a simmer for about 60 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables and beans. Cook for another 60 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the boar meat easily pulls away from the bone. Add several drops of Tabasco and the garlic salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of herbes de Provence. Serve hot with a pinch of chopped fresh parsley.