Cathi Litzenberger: A trip on the wild side

wild game recipes

This past weekend, a squirrel decided to play chicken with my moving car; of course the squirrel lost.

These incidents, whether with animals or birds, always cause the most sickening feeling to run through my whole body. There is no positive in these situations because even if the animal is salvageable, it is illegal in Canada to pick up road kill. Not so in many states in the U.S. They even have Road Kill Cafes with slogans like “You kill it, We grill it” and menu items like Flat Cat, Thumper on the Bumper, Swirl of Squirrel, Big Bagged Stag, Highway Hash, Chunk of Skunk (now there’s something that surely can’t be a big seller) and Shake ‘n Bake Snake,

In Canada it’s estimated that there are some 10,000 collisions of wild animals and vehicles per year on our highways. This number doesn’t include collisions on secondary and other smaller roads in this country. Millions of dollars are incurred in damages but the saddest losses of all are the human injuries and deaths resulting from these collisions. Today’s recipes use wildlife which have the benefit of no chemicals or added hormones to affect our health. You can substitute chicken for the rabbit and beef for the deer if you want to.

Sweet and Sour Rabbit

2-1/2 lbs. ready to cook rabbit

Flour, salt and pepper

2 tbsp. fat or oil

1 cup pineapple juice

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup pineapple pieces

1 medium green pepper, thin half slices

1-1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

Cut rabbit into serving size pieces. Dredge with flour, salt and pepper mixture. Heat oil in a heavy pan; brown rabbit pieces on all sides over medium heat.

Add pineapple juice, vinegar and salt. Cover pan; cook over low heat 40 minutes or until meat is tender. Add pineapple pieces and green pepper; cook a few minutes longer. Mix cornstarch, sugar and water and gradually stir mixture into pan, stirring all the while. Cook 5 minutes until thickened and cooked. Serve over your favourite rice.

Venison Meatloaf

2 lbs. ground venison

1/4 lb. ground pork sausage meat

1/2 cup chili sauce

1 cup tomato juice

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

2 tbsp. butter

1 cup bread crumbs

1/2 tsp. thyme

1 medium onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 eggs.

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in a large mixing bowl. Transfer to a buttered loaf pan. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour and 40 minutes and until the juices run clear. Serve hot.

Cathi Litzenberger is longtime food columnist for The Morning Star.