Veers Away From the Mush of Valentine’s
By Chef Dino Datu
Our February issue veers away from the mush of Valentine’s and gets right into the “game”. With the success of our Offal issue in October of last year, we decided to feature another set of ingredients that somehow elicits a love-hate relationship with the general dining public. Game meats, strictly speaking are those which come from hunted and wild animals. Due to these animals’ diets, their meat develops an earthier, more pungent aroma and flavor than similar farmed species. These characteristics, also present in lamb, goat, duck, pigeon and the like even when farmed, are what people consider gamey. For those who love gamey meats, myself included, there is no need to hide and mask this unique flavor. It is the main reason why we’d choose duck or pigeon over chicken, lamb over beef. But for those who aren’t too enamored by the sometimes overpowering earthiness, there are a number of ways to lessen the offending tastes and smells. Spices, aromatics and marinades can help mask unwanted smells and tastes without ruining the dish.
A few recipes we feature in this issue are Chef Day’s Rabbit Stew with orange, Chef Edith’s lamb dishes mixed with mint, lemons, garlic and mustard, and my goat adobo. On the cover is my take on duck, filled with the fresh smell and tartness of tamarind pods and leaves. These flavors are very familiar to us, typically used for sinigang, but this time stuffed, rubbed and used as a roasting bed. Using gamey meats isn’t a necessity of course, but it brings variety and new adventures to the table. A quick search in your local market should produce local game, whether it be duck, goose, pigeon or goat. A short trek out of town could yield an even nicer catch as wild boar, carabao, snipes or even monitor lizard and snakes are sometimes hunted and sold by enterprising folk. We hope that our Game issue sparks a sense of kitchen and dining adventure in you. Start simple, with easily available meats like lamb, and move on to the stronger, more exotic stuff. Take a break from the usual and get your “game” on!
Source: Page 5 of Cook Magazine February 2015 issue