As a child, I turned up my nose upon discovering squirrel or deer on the dinner table. I admit, at the time, I thought it was disgusting. But as I matured both as a food lover and a cook, I began reveling in finding wild game on restaurant menus and exploring new and exciting ways to prepare what my hunter husband brings home.
Are you game for going wild at dinner? No need to get the shotgun and a hunting license - Missouri has a variety of ways to explore untamed eating options.
Give elk, bison and lamb burgers a try at local favorite Eagle Drive In in Joplin. Beks in Fulton's Brick District has wild game night the first Saturday of every month featuring entrees such as herb braised rabbit with beet barley risotto. Order the wild boar ravioli at Eleven Eleven Mississippi in St. Louis; you won't regret it.
Interested in mixing wild game and philanthropy? The Beast Feast at Stone Hill Winery in Hermann is an annual fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with "wild" appetizers and a wild game dinner contributed by local hunters.
Not a hunter, but want to try your own hand at preparing game? The Missouri Department of Conservation offers Field to Fork cooking classes that demonstrate wild game recipes that are approachable for home cooks yet highlight the special flavor and character of the meat. Each class is free to attend and planned to coincide with fishing and hunting seasons. You can also buy wild game meats (bison, elk, wild boar, duck, game birds and rabbit) from Sayersbrook Bison Ranch in Hermann and Weber's Meat Market in Jefferson City.
You'd be remiss if you didn't pair your next scrumptious wild game dish with the perfect Missouri wine. Check out some great options from Missouri Wine and Grape here.
Exercise your adventurous eating chops and take advantage of one of the many ways to enjoy wild game in the Show-Me State.