Many believe that gamey meat is so addictive that it will have individuals running back to it right after the first try.
This addiction is what gets people to ask, “What does gamey taste like?” One way to describe its flavor is “intense, strong, and earthy”.
The reason for its unique flavor & taste profile is attributed to the diet regime of wild animals.
Since most of these animals consume wild food & grass, it brings out a completely different taste structure in their meat.
Please continue reading to find out more about its nutritional value and more as we explore the taste of gamey meat in-depth.
What is Gamey Meat?
Gamey, or game meat at its core, refers to meat with a different taste than standard farmed meats.
As a result, gamey meat is considered meat from land/wild animals typically hunted by hunters for food.
Gamey meat contains a very distinct taste profile, and in most cases, many people even consume the meat for this very reason.
As categorized in the wild meat section, let’s just say gamey meat has a very “wild” taste.
Since gamey meat is typically obtained through hunting in and around the animals’ natural habitat, it’s bound to contain this “earthy taste”.
Of course, not all gamey tastes the same.
The overall taste will depend on the animal itself, its diet, and its environment.
The only thing is that all the meats share the common trait of having a wild and earthy essence.
Some of the most common gamey meat include bison, goose, pheasant, wild duck, elk meat, rabbit, moose meat, etc.
What Does Gamey Meat Taste Like?
Gamey meat is composed of a more intense and higher flavor of meatiness as compared to standard meats.
This makes the taste of gamey meat very much comparable to rotting meat or meat that has started to rot.
Hence, aged meat often resembles gamey the best and is technically considered gamey.
Gamey meat also carries similarities to organ meat of farm/domestic animals.
Most consider the unique blend of flavor and smell produced by gamey meat as its main attraction.
However, to the uninitiated, it can create a whole new experience, which can either be exciting or overwhelming, or both.
It carries a very strong flavor and smell that closely resembles wild elements such as the forest and mushrooms accompanied by a mixture of campfire and nuts.
Surprisingly enough, this earthy taste makes gamey so addictive to many people, especially hunters.
Due to its “wild” nature, gamey meat contains higher nutritional values than any farm animal.
This is attributed to a combination of factors such as diet, environment, and also the absence of hormones & antibiotics found in domesticated animals.
Wild gamey meat is generally classified under “lean” meat, which means it is composed of low fat, low-calorie, and high protein ratio.
In short, it is healthier.
Also, as wild animals follow a more natural and grassy diet, their meat contains less saturated fat and increased omega-3 fatty acids.
The key to this “wild” health benefit is the all-natural vegetation diet, which is similar to free-range, organic farm animals.
How to Cook Gamey Meat?
Since there are different types of animals that fall under gamey meat, preparation for gamey meat generally depends on the animal as well to some extent.
That said, gamey meat typically contains lesser fat.
It is prone to drying out, so it’s preferable to cook it in moist heat.
External fats of gamey meats also carry a strong and tallow taste, so remove the fatty substance before cooking.
One way of preparing the meat is to tenderize the tough cuts by marinating them in a beef marinade or oil and wine mixture.
For large gamey meats like bear, it’s highly suggested that the meat be cooked thoroughly, like pork, as bears may contain trichinosis.
Avoid overcooking large meats or defrosting in a microwaving as it can dry out very quickly and toughen the meat as well.
Another caution while cooking gamey meat is following a cooking time.
Instead, a thermometer will be a safer bet as some meats cook differently.
Gamey meats tend to be quite versatile, so it’s good to select a familiar recipe and substitute the usual choice of meat with gamey meat.
For instance, try pheasant instead of poultry, bison instead of beef, wild boar instead of pork, etc.
Remember to start small if it’s your first hand at cooking gamey meat.
Although gamey may not be a fan favorite, it can open up and expand culinary expectations and experience to the highest potential.
Not only does it provide a unique tasting experience, but it is also a healthier alternative to store-bought meats.
Since gamey meat does not relate to a specific animal but rather to a variety of wild animals, gamey meat consumers are able to go through a vast selection of gamey meat – with each providing a cooking experience as unique as its taste profile.
It’s exciting to maintain a flexible recipe collection, and with gamey, that’s precisely what you can get.