Hunt Gather Talk: Small Game Cooking

Comment

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Small game cooking podcast art

In the end, it’s all about the cooking.

After nearly two dozen species-specific episodes, Season 2 of Hunt Gather Talk is winding down. Only three episodes left! So I thought it would be a good idea to just talk about the cooking part of small game hunting, and to do so I brought together two great hunter-cooks, Lori McCarthy of Cod Sounds in Newfoundland, and Wade Truong of Elevated Wild in Virginia.

Every episode of Hunt Gather Talk digs deep into the life, habits, hunting, lore, myth and of course prepping and cooking of a particular animal. Expect episodes on pheasants, rabbits, every species of quail, every species of grouse, wild turkeys, rails, woodcock, pigeons and doves, and huns. Thanks go out to Filson and Hunt to Eat for sponsoring the show!

Both Wade and Lori are doing innovative things with fish and game, and both were lively and fun in this discussion. Hope you enjoy it!

For more information on these topics, here are some helpful links:

A Request

I am bringing back Hunt Gather Talk with the hopes that your generosity can help keep it going season after season. Think of this like public radio, only with hunting and fishing and wild food and stuff. No, this won’t be a “pay-to-play” podcast, so you don’t necessarily have to chip in. But I am asking you to consider it. Every little bit helps to pay for editing, servers, and, frankly to keep the lights on here. Thanks in advance for whatever you can contribute!

Subscribe

You can find an archive of all my episodes here, and you can subscribe to the podcast here via RSS.

Subscribe via iTunes and Stitcher here.

Transcript

As a service to those with hearing issues, or for anyone who would rather read our conversation than hear it, here is the transcript of the show. Enjoy!

Hank Shaw:

Welcome. Welcome to the Hunt Gather Talk Podcast. Lori McCarthy and Wade Truong. I don’t know if I’m pronouncing your last name right but you’re going to correct me if I’m not.

Wade Truong:

No, you got it.

Hank Shaw:

Perfect. We have a very special episode today. Unlike virtually every other episode of Hunt Gather Talk, this is all about cooking. And I brought you guys on the show because you have different perspectives from mine. You’re from different parts of the country. Wade you’re from my old stomping grounds in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Laurie you’re from up in Newfoundland, in the Maritimes of Canada which is an entirely different environment and ecosystem than probably most of you out there listening are used to. But there are lots of small game animals up there as well as in the East coast. And I think this is going to be a fun geek out session on how you treat everything smaller than a deer. Let’s start with Laurie. Tell us a little about yourself, what you do and your background in terms of being a cook and your connections to small game.

Lori McCarthy:

Thanks. Yeah. I’m from Newfoundland and born and bred here my whole life. My background in cooking started probably, I guess 15, 20 years ago and started in a restaurant. And yeah, spent some time there maybe five, six, seven years and went on to run a personal chef business. And now I run a company called Cod Sounds. And the whole purpose of it is to really introduce people to the food of here. So when travelers come here or even people from here, it’s instructional courses on rabbit butchery and snaring and wild game cookery and all that kind of stuff. It’s a real… The idea is to introduce them to the cultural foods of here. And not only where they were and where they’re going and where they are in a snapshot, in terms of how we’re preparing them and how we’re cooking them. It’s fun.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. You and I have been in touch via social media for about a couple of years right now. And you’re trying to get me out to Newfoundland and I’ve tried to get to Newfoundland but actually, I had a deal where I was going to do that but I couldn’t go and then the outfitter took all my money and then I was a little bit bummed about that. But I’ll make it out there because it’s a pretty amazing scene.

Lori McCarthy:

You’ll get out there. Yeah. It’s amazing to have people come from other places and get them out on the land here. It’s been often referred to as a pretty magical landscape and so of course I think so.

Hank Shaw:

Wade

Wade Truong:

Hi, I’m from Fredericksburg, Virginia. And I’m born and raised in Virginia. And my culinary background goes pretty far back. My parents had a restaurant when I was a 10 or 11 and ended up in various restaurants throughout college and after college and just recently left the restaurant industry in March. But up until then, I was the executive chef at a quote, fancy restaurant. And that’s basically that background. It’s always been a big part of my, I guess my upbringing and my culture. And it’s just one of those things that fascinates me so happy to be here and talk about it.

Hank Shaw:

How did you get into hunting?

Wade Truong:

Pretty selfish starting point. I wanted to try some food that I couldn’t buy. And that came from an entry from sourcing. I was dealing with a lot of farmers and producers and their food always tasted the best. And I started realizing that the food with the most stories was the best food. I got into hunting in my late 20s or mid 20s and it’s become something that’s all encompassing. It’s like my entire life centers around it right now.

Hank Shaw:

I understand how that can happen.

Wade Truong:

Yeah.

Hank Shaw:

Did you start as a kid Lori or did you start as an adult?

Lori McCarthy:

I started as an adult. Yeah. Really recently in the past five years actually. And much as the same reason that we talked about I wanted to put food on my table from here. From growing up like that, that was normal to us. And then there’s this big gap in the middle where you can’t access it unless you haunted yourself. We don’t have game farms here so we can’t buy game here. It’s legal to sell especially Upland birds. And as I found out from a nice phone call from a wildlife officer one time. It was really about wanting to explore it and it’s been fallen off our plates and off our tables. For some people it really never left the table but for us it was. And I really wanted to, as I grew up and got my own home and I wanted to really see it back on the table.

Exploring what to do with it now is been an interesting journey we’ll call it because it was always cooked so traditionally. It was in the pot gravy, onion that was it, in the oven. It hasn’t been a lot different than with it so that’s really where I’m focusing on most of the times. So we have this amazing product, how many ways can I prepare it that will be awesome? And then lots of those weights turn out not to be awesome as we all know.

Hank Shaw:

We’ll get into that, the trial and error of all of this stuff. What’s interesting is all three of us started hunting as adults. I started when I was 30 and that was 20 years ago now. All of us have spent time in professional kitchens. And all of us probably got into this because we saw that the opportunity for cooking in terms of being creative and doing something different and interesting with a protein to use the cook jargon. Like you said Lori, that you can’t buy. That’s really what got me into this. Initially back when I lived in Minnesota, my friend Chris Niskanen, who is just on this podcast in the Pheasant episode, he’s the one who started to butter me up by saying, “Hey man, you want some pheasant? You want some mallards, you want a piece of deer?” And like, “Sure.” Because I had grown up in the New York, New Jersey area and my mom and my stepdad really loved to eat good food.

And since I was the last kid and there was a gap. So it was just them plus me. And if you’ve got a little kid who likes good food, you can take that little kid to places like Le Cirque or any of the grand French restaurants of the late 70s and early 80s and I was exposed to game like that. My first… Yeah, right. It’s not as those ovens and gravy crap. It was pheasant under glass and cone feet and that sort of stuff. I grew up like, “Man game is where it’s at.” It’s the most special thing you can get.” And-

Lori McCarthy:

Hey, you started like, “Hi.”

Wade Truong:

Right?

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah. You had to really hone your skills.

Hank Shaw:

Well, what’s funny is because when I started Hunter, angler, gardener cooking in O seven, a lot of my recipes and dishes were super pinky in the air. Not necessarily tweezers but a lot of the French classics like [foreign language 00:08:14]. All of the fancy, fancy stuff. And they’re still there on the site but I’ve evolved a lot in that time. And I bet you guys have all sort of, had your evolution as well. But before we get into your approach, let’s start with what’s on the menu. And so Wade, what’s on your small game menu over the course of the year, in terms of things that you work with in the kitchen?

Wade Truong:

Well, being on the East coast we don’t have a lot of Upland, anything I’ve gone grouse hunting once or twice but it’s just not a thing, we don’t have pheasants. It’s mostly dove, squirrel, some rabbits and a lot of waterfowl. All those right up your wheelhouse. I’m sure you have the same experience with them but that’s primarily it. I wish we could do a little more white meat, Upland bird but just not really on the menu here.

Hank Shaw:

There’s some quail way in Southern Virginia. I remember people hunting them down there by like Halifax.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. The farm that I spent a lot of time at, there are some quail but they’re off limits because they’re slowly making a comeback but the landowner doesn’t want to start cutting them back quite yet.

Hank Shaw:

A little funny side note because that’s funny that you say that because I think anybody here listening to this but in the United States where quail live, that happens all the time. There are, I can’t tell you how many times I have had permission to hunt X or Y piece of ground in California, in Kansas, in the East Coast or wherever, wherever. And they’re like, “Oh, but don’t touch my quail.” You hunt anything but the quail. And it’s… There’s this dual thing going on with that particular set of species. Number one, they’re adorable, which if you don’t think a quail is adorable, there’s something dead inside you.

Number two, there is this kind of elegiac nostalgia for the era when bobwhite quail were everywhere and they’re just not anymore. And I went into that in depth in the bobwhite quail episode and it’s all farming practices and where they are returning. It is all about managing agricultural habitat. And I’m betting that Virginia, interestingly because of their farm practices, they don’t do clean farming like they do in California. You guys have a really good future for people who actually want to manage for bobwhite’s where say somebody in Iowa may not because of the nature of farming practices but that’s a weird tangent.

Wade Truong:

No, I think you’re absolutely right about that. I think it’s one of those shifting baselines that the people who used to hunt quail have seen the decline of this species. And now that they’re seeing a little bit of recovery, it’s not quite to the hay day. So they don’t feel all that comfortable, going after it the way they used to. Because the land owner would describe going goose hunting in the morning and then going and shooting a limited quail right afterwards and that was an average day hunting. And now you flush a Covey of quail and it’s a big deal. The perspective on the resource has changed quite a bit and I’m happy to oblige and just leave it alone for now.

Hank Shaw:

Yep, they’ll come back. Oh, and before I switch to Lori’s menu, you got wild turkeys too, right?

Wade Truong:

Oh, yeah. No, I forgot to mention that. I love turkey hunting that’s probably the thing I’m most obsessed with right now.

Hank Shaw:

So you don’t have turkeys in Newfoundland but you’ve got, if I’m correct, I’m going to go over what I think you have. And then you’re going to tell me where I’m wrong.

Lori McCarthy:

Okay.

Hank Shaw:

So I think you’ve got ruffed grouse, you’ve got willow ptarmigan, rock ptarmigan, snowshoe hares. I think there’s some other bunny up there too.

Lori McCarthy:

The arctic hare.

Hank Shaw:

And the arctic hare. Okay. Is that basically what you’ve got up there or are there other things I’m missing?

Lori McCarthy:

No, that would be grouse. I don’t know if you mentioned grouse, yeah, you did. But no, we have no pheasants, we don’t hunt squirrel here. The only squirrel we got are these little tiny red squirrels.

Hank Shaw:

Oh, yeah.

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah, teeny tiny. We don’t have quail, we don’t have dove, we don’t have turkey. There’s a lot of duck, black duck and aythya duck, teal ducks, geese. We just have the one, we have the Canada goose. And the ptarmigans and the grouse are probably the… Those are our only real main Upland birds.

Hank Shaw:

And you got the two different bunnies, right?

Lori McCarthy:

And the two different bunnies, yeah. And we have the saltwater ducks are a big deal here too. And the tuft and the aythya ducks, those are things-

Hank Shaw:

Turrs?

Lori McCarthy:

Turrs.

Hank Shaw:

Because you can’t shoot turr in the United States.

Lori McCarthy:

No. There’s a special law in place here where as a citizen here you’re, as a resident here you’re actually… It’s the cultural that’s been grandfathered in that tufts are still allowed to be haunted and are considered still a delicacy amongst local people.

Hank Shaw:

Puffins too, right?

Lori McCarthy:

We have puffins. We can’t eat the puffins now.

Hank Shaw:

Oh, no.

Lori McCarthy:

No, the puffins are well, they’re our bird ends up on every tourism commercial around the world. Yes, people… No can’t eat them here.

Hank Shaw:

Well, it’s funny because I went down to New Zealand some years ago and one of the express reasons why they wanted me down there, we were going down there to hunt mostly waterfall. But as soon as we got in contact with our friends in New Zealand, they’re like, ‘We need you to cook and eat some pukeko.” And if you don’t know what a pukeko is, for those of you in the Gulf, in the Florida area, you’ll recognize it as a purple gallon hole. And it’s a a giant coot basically that’s bright purple with a bright red beak and they walk around and marches and things. While these pukekos are fiendishly smart. They’re essentially little purple philosopher Raptors. And they talk to each other. It’s crazy.

You shoot one and it’s like, “Oh, I’m dead.” And then somebody else would be like, “What happened to Louie?” And they’ll all call around each other and then it’ll be devilishly hard to get another one. But this is their bird that is… Obviously they’re the kiwi because they’re called the Kiwis. But the pukeko is, they’re charismatic bird very much like the puffin. And so I went on national television to cook and eat pukekos and apparently everyone was like, “Oh my God.”

For the record they were delicious. I want to talk about terms before we get into stuff that anybody else can eat. I have not made a career out of it but I have made a note of the fact that people from Newfoundland and the Nordic countries have this habit of eating sea ducks and sea birds with the skin and fat, which-

Lori McCarthy:

I know it’s a huge thing for you.

Hank Shaw:

Yes. It is a huge thing for me. It’s one of these things where I know 1000 times, no, because it smells like farts and low tide.

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah. It smells like raw mussels. Yeah, I know. It always kills me that when we have otter ducks, the breasts on them are enormous. There’s so little else that you could do with the rest of them. Then that’s only my generation who thinks that. And be honest, the people who are my generation who are still eating it, are few and far between. But traditionally, it’s mostly like the Faroe islands and that with the puffin of theories and that it was all almost boiled or roasted. And yana was always done with the fat and with the skin on and to pluck a tuft or an otter duck is, mom would always say, “You need a bottle of rum what you’re right.” It’s quite a task and people who do it are meticulous about it. And the locals are only the old people who want them. They don’t want them any other way except puffs.

Hank Shaw:

I can’t get over the taste and smell though.

Lori McCarthy:

I know you almost got to leave the house.

Hank Shaw:

It’s all what your grew up with though. I’m sure there’s something stinky and delicious in your background Wade. Because I know that for me, it would be the really stinky but delicious thing that I don’t care would probably be French cheeses. Would be the thing that would probably put off a lot of people outside my culinary personal tradition. It’s like in the Japanese have natto, which if you’re not familiar with it’s vile. It’s rotten soybeans that’s as sticky as okra and stinky as BEO.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. Every culture has something that’s extremely odd to every other culture. But I grew up with a lot of fermented fish and a lot of paste and fermented everything in the fridge. My parents being from Vietnam. That super pungent, umami, rich overwhelming food is what it is. And it’s hard to get people to accept these things until you point out how weird their food is. I don’t know, I’ve got some menhaden fish sauce working right now and don’t get me wrong, it’s terrifying looking.

Hank Shaw:

It’s interesting because I learned how to make fish sauce as well. And the whole key with fish sauce is getting the right salt content. Because if you’re low, it’s revolting. But if you’re right, it looks horrible but once you strain it out, it’s almost not even fishy.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. It does have good branding, it’s like fish sauce and fish drippings but it’s such an original and antiquated and old condiment. It’s like one of the first condiments that was adapted by so many different cultures. And it’s very recently, like most American cuisine, it’s gone out of flavor. That’s one of my driving factors for what I do is… The American pallet is becomes so ubiquitous. It’s like five proteins and everything tastes like corn and sugar. And I don’t know, everything we’ve talked about here, like wild game is so variable and has so many different nuance flavors that it’s actually interesting versus grain finished, whatever again.

Hank Shaw:

Let’s go into that. Because it is something that is a fundamental reality when you’re dealing with wild foods. Is the way I always put it as you have to embrace chaos because every animal that you work with is not like every other animal you work with. There are some truisms like 99% of all doves are young, 99% of all snowshoe hares are young. But then there you deal with waterfowl and you’ve got a great, huge age difference, you’ve got a species difference. Everything from a black duck to an otter, to a Canada goose, to pintails, to canvasbacks and whatever, whatever. You’ve got an age difference that we all have to deal with as cooks. You’ve got a species difference, which we all have to deal with as cooks.

And you have a regional and even individual diet preference that we have to deal with as cooks. There could be, you could shoot seven mallards and five of them are nice fat and wonderful. And two of them are skinny for some reason or you could eat shoot seven mallard. And one of them happens to really like to pick dead fish off the beach. And the rest of them like crane. So you’re like, “Oh, these are amazing.” And then there’s the one that likes to eat tadpoles and you’re like [inaudible 00:21:24]. How do you guys deal with this chaos in the kitchen? Let’s start with you Lori.

Lori McCarthy:

The ducks are interesting that we don’t have greenfields here. So we don’t get that gorgeous yellow fat that you get in corn season or whatever with the ducks. Our ducks here are either water ducks that are just eaten not that all ducks are not. But they’re not eating. They don’t get fattened up on the corn fields because we don’t have them and we don’t grow grain here because where it’s a very rocky terrain here, mostly thick brush and rock and water. And so, it creates a different… I don’t know, I’ve never really seen heavy fat otter duck here. Outside again, the saltwater ducks. Ptarmigan are interesting and then we can only get them in October and November, I think it shuts down in December. But the ptarmigan are always really strong.

And when you open them up the first thing I do, I open it up to see then I can find more. But they’re usually, it’s mostly dotted juniper berries and parrotfish berries. And that creates a really strong flavor. And no matter what you do to it, you’re going to taste that on it when you cook it. Like everything, like Wade was saying about flavor and that we’ve become so accustomed to everything, chicken and white pork and white chicken. You got to go out of your way to want to enjoy this stuff. And again, there’s a lot of why I do it because people… The simple stuff that you do to it and to serve it, people have never really eaten it or tasted it like that. When I get a group of people out or I’m doing one of these eat wild dinners and seven courses of game, you have a job to sell that to some people. But once they come and eat it, it’s usually, “Wow. I never knew that it tasted like that.”

When I was growing up, it stunk in the house and it was like, [inaudible 00:23:31] . Mom would cook it, we didn’t want anything to do with it. But they’ll go out to some of the best restaurants like you grow up eating it. And so your introduction to it was that it was an absolute amazing deliciousness. They’re just strong and I approached it by going with it instead of going against it and not trying to hide it more just trying to accentuate it. If I’m doing ptarmigan, it’s often would a pet rich berry chutney. So you got that bit of tang in it and super rich of course. But it’s so lean. Again, our birds don’t have much fat on them. I just go with it I guess, and either people will go for it or they won’t.

Hank Shaw:

How about you Wade?

Wade Truong:

Very similar philosophy. It’s embrace the variability, don’t get me wrong if I have a Mallard or any other duck that should be fairly clean tasting. But like you said, it’s been eating tadpoles or dead fish. That one gets pushed to the side after we cook it. But my whole approach to wild game is to enjoy it for what it is and not try to mask it. I think hat’s one of the reasons I got into cooking lots of game. When I first started, I was reading a lot and doing research on how to cook X, Y, or Z. And every recipe is the same, was the same. Cream mushroom soup, soda marinades, et cetera, et cetera.

And it’s like everybody was trying to make these variable food more plain and more like everything else they’ve been eating. And there’s this weird juxtaposition in that like, people seek out this very bland food. But on the high-end of the culinary scene, it’s like people are seeking out that variability. You want a real cork in your $500 bottle of wine because it might fail. And you want to try things that are not grain finished. It was strange to me that people were taking this incredible resource and trying to make it taste like everything else they’ve been eating. So, like I said, my philosophy is just to embrace it and work around the protein versus trying to make it or force it into something that it’s not.

Hank Shaw:

As my friend, Joe Baya, who’s from Alabama likes to say, “Oh man, tell you what, take that deer meat, sticking it in a cooler, cover it with ice water about 17 days. Change the water every six or seven day. Oh, man, it gets all white, gets lovely. Tastes like nothing. You can chicken fry it. It’s amazing.” He knows people who do that all the time.

Lori McCarthy:

One of the things I’ve noticed, well, that has change too, is how we handle these meats and how we store them. For example, that story exactly, right? When we-

Hank Shaw:

Do they do that in Canada?

Lori McCarthy:

What’s that?

Hank Shaw:

Soak venison or other meats in ice water.

Lori McCarthy:

Never heard of it. Not say it don’t happen, now, but I never heard of it.

Hank Shaw:

Okay. It’s a Southern thing.

Lori McCarthy:

Okay. But here you take a bunch of birds, and they’re thrown in the back of the truck and it’s all about how it was taken care of, right? I mean, you’re getting just people out there now getting into all kinds of hanging the bird with the gut in and letting it cure and letting it… Whatever the process is. But lots of times here, like the cleaning of it was also about when it was done properly was about removing all that fat, right? So lots of times, I mean, it’s a total preference, right?

But for instance, like the eider ducks, right? You can skin them and take all the yellow fat off and they tastes like muscles. But lots of times if you leave it on and then they’re in the fridge for a couple of days or their froze and thawed and in the back of a truck. It’s probably, for us, the three of us who have come from kitchen backgrounds, we know how much the handling and taking care of the meet every step of the way makes all the difference.

Look, when I cook moose for people now, it’s, “My God, I never knew it could taste like that.” I’m like, yeah, because the only way you’ve ever had it, I mean, it could have been hung up at a shed for two weeks in not so cold weather and the same with the birds. There’s a lot of education now around how to handle the birds every step of the way, and I think that’s really made a difference.

Hank Shaw:

I think so, too. And look, we’re going to get into some field tips in a minute, but before we close out the variability piece, one of the things that I noticed and I have noticed over the 20 some odd years I’ve been cooking game is you become a student of any given animal, in the sense that I can look at a bunch of squirrels and like, “Okay, well, this one’s fat and this one’s not fat. This one’s older.” A fox squirrel may be significantly fatter than an eastern gray squirrel, and this duck versus that duck. You develop a mental picture of how this present is going to be once it’s unwrapped, whether it’s skinned or plucked. And you end up thinking about a specific dish for X or Y animal in the process of cleaning it, essentially.

So, if you end up with half a dozen Canada geese, well, A, some Canada geese might’ve been shot up, so that’s going to be a whole different bucket from the ones that you pluck. B, you could shoot a young one and a young one, you could do a roast goose sort of English or German style with that. And old one… My point is that you get to know, “Well, this is a young one,” or, “That is an old one,” and this is true with rabbits as well.

You can pretty successfully age snowshoe hares, and regular hares. I don’t know about Arctic hares, but I can’t see why not. By looking A, at the teeth, old teeth look like old teeth and looking at the ears too. You can tear the ears with your fingers on a young Lagomorph of any kind. So whether it’s a cotton tail or a hare. You have a hard time tearing the ears off of older individuals.

Lori McCarthy:

I never knew that. Cool.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. And you can look at the covert feathers on any given bird and every bird that I know of, now, there could be some that don’t do this, but the younger the year of any given species of waterfowl and most upland birds, you look at their shoulders. You look at the feathers on their shoulders. Younger birds have a buffy or a lighter colored band on the end of those particular feathers. So if it’s a gray bird of whatever species, and you look at the set of feathers on the shoulders and they’re gray all the way to the ends, that’s an adult bird. But if they’re gray for the most part, and there’s a little bit of kind of a… typically it’s tan or buffy, but it can be other colors. Can just be a lighter version of what that bird should be, much like when you gather spruce tips or fir tips, you know that the young ones are lighter in color.

It’s the same concept. Then that is a young of the year bird, and then that goes into a different mental bucket of how I’m probably going to cook it. So you get all of this different chaotic variables that stress people, because they’re so used to cooking farmed meats where… This is the thing where with sous vide… I mean, I’d be interested to hear you guys’ concept on sous vide, too. I have moved far, far away from it after having experimented with it about seven or eight years ago. In the sense that, because of this chaos and because of this variability, the only way to really check X, Y, or Z to make sure that it’s not overdone, because I don’t know about you, but I have had some distance gusting sous vide game that has been cooked for hours and hours and hours because people erroneously think that if you cook something at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, well, it’s not going to over cook.

This is never going to get above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Well, dude, if you put that elk backstrap in for seven hours at 140 degrees, you’re going to be able to eat it with gums. This happened in my book tour for the venison book. And so, my issue with sous vide is that it can be useful in certain circumstances, but because of the chaos that we deal with, with true wild game, the only way to truly check it is to open that bag, and no one does that.

So, I have moved away from that method. It’s also a case where I’m a good enough cook where I don’t need it anymore. There’s one exception, which I want to put out there is with black bear or black bear meat, because of the concept of trichinosis. You can pasteurize say a black bear backstrap at 140 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of hours where you can eat medium, cooked, medium bear and not get trichinosis because of that pasteurization process. That’s the only 100% I’m always going to do that, place where I’m going to use sous vide, everywhere else I’m like, “Eh, I can cook it better in a pot or in a pan,” but I’d like to hear you guys’ perspective. Because I know you use sous vide, Wade.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. Yeah. I have a lot of experience with sous vide, especially, on a commercial scale. There’s no way to beat the convenience of it, to dial in stakes and cook large batches of things. But I think it’s like most trendy tools is it gets overused. I don’t know. I’ve seen green beans in a sous vide bag, and I think it’s about the dumbest thing there is, but like any other tool, it has its strengths and weaknesses.

And I like combining as many, I guess, processes and techniques as possible and using the one that fits my application the most. Like if I’m cooking a big dinner for multiple people and there’s multiple courses, and I’m serving backstrap in there somewhere, I’ll probably sous vide the backstrap so I can chill it down, have it ready, and I can just sear it when I need it. Especially if I’m putting a crust or a coating or something on there where I just want that meat at the right temp, and all I have to do is warm up the outside.

Hank Shaw:

Let me stop you for a second because you have hit on the reason why sous vide exists. It was developed in the late 70’s in France, for big ass commercial restaurant kitchens, where we exactly have to do that. We’ve got to do backstrap for 70, not six. People out there need to understand that this is why we use sous vide in restaurants, is because we have pickup. If somebody orders it, you can’t spend like X amount of time doing it, or you got to do a bunch of them for a banquet service. So, go on.

Wade Truong:

No, I agree with that. But I think its true strength is not in cooking meats to a certain temperature, especially tender meats like backstrap and steaks and whatnot. Because, like you said, if you’re passionate about food and you know how to cook, you can do that better. Basing a steak with butter and getting it to whatever temperature you want, I think it’s a better way of cooking a tender piece of meat. But I think where it really shines is under cooking tough cuts in meat. Like you take a shank and you want it still red and you do it at say 135 for X amount of time. And it has that sticky texture, the steaky look, it’s still kind of bloody, but it’s as tender, but different than say a traditional braise. That’s something that can’t be replicated with most traditional cooking methods.

So, I don’t know, that’s my take on it. It’s a tool in the kitchen. It has some excellent uses. I use it to finish a lot of my smoked sausages and pastrami and things like that. Things I don’t want them… I don’t like manning a grill and paying attention to a thermometer. So, a lot of things I do get cold smoked, sous vide at target temperature and then dunked in ice. You never over cook any summer sausage or anything like that. So it’s a tool like everything else in the kitchen, I think a lot like an Instant Pot, people get it, and it’s the new shiny thing and they want to put everything in it. It’s not a smart way of doing things.

Hank Shaw:

How about you, Lori? Do you use sous vide at all?

Lori McCarthy:

No. When I left the restaurant industry, 15 years ago, it just never existed here. Even in the top restaurants, it wasn’t here. The restaurant that I worked in was what you’d call a high-end, fine dining restaurant, but it just never existed. I can see the utility of it after going on to do large-scale caterings and that kind of stuff. And like Wade said, it takes away that… For someone who’s a good cook, and like you’ve said, I don’t see it as having much of a practical use in the home. It’s a gadget and I try to keep away from gadgets because I have to find somewhere to put them in my kitchen.

Again, I can see the use, but no one’s coming home from supper and making a sous vide something. You know what I mean? And so when you write your cookbooks and the stuff that you’re making approachable, and I think that, the same way when I develop recipes where I’m cooking for people, it’s more about making it approachable. I don’t think it’s very approachable for the home cook. I don’t know. Again, people who have it, it just becomes something that gets stuck in the end of the cupboard and they keep hoping to take it out someday and use it, but I don’t think they do.

Hank Shaw:

I always view it as kind of like canning.

Lori McCarthy:

Yes.

Hank Shaw:

If any of you have started canning, you can 17 gallons of peaches. Six years later, you’re like, “I really only needed like a gallon of peach.”

Lori McCarthy:

Right.

Hank Shaw:

So it shrinks back to what it’s useful for. And you mentioned something, Wade, that was another piece that’s very useful. I do like sous vide-ing corn venison, because that’s a really good example of you kind of want it soft and you don’t want it to be overcooked. That’s one of those other few things where you… it’s the one gallon of peaches. It’s like, “Okay, that too.”

Wade Truong:

Yeah. I mean, I think there are specific recipes and applications where I couldn’t think of a better way of cooking the protein. But 90% of the time, I prefer to cook over some burning wood. It’s not one or the other, I think that’s one thing that people in general struggle with is like, there’s not a best way for everything. There’s multiple ways to do everything. So if you’re looking for, I don’t know how many people…

I think I’ve seen it on your website, actually. It’s like, “How do I do this recipe in a Instant Pot?” And it’s like, “Well, we don’t,” right? Because you don’t have to use your one new tool for everything. You don’t need to cook pasta in a pressure cooker.

Hank Shaw:

People do.

Wade Truong:

I think I saw that on your website, actually, somebody asking a question about it. I think your response, was pretty clever too.

Hank Shaw:

I often had like, “Huh!”

Wade Truong:

That’s the thing, you get something new, you want to use it for everything, which is understandable, but it’s not always the best way. I think the sous vide is new enough and cheap enough and readily available enough and trendy enough that people overuse it. You don’t generally get bad results, so people stick with it, but it’s just another tool. Just like everything else, it’s like an adjustable wrench… Well, it’s not like an adjustable wrench, but it’s [crosstalk 00:40:31] not the best tool for everyday.

Hank Shaw:

Let’s flip the script. Fire. So I think all three of us like to cook over open fire. And what would you offer as a couple, two, three, “You need to know this if you’re going to cook over live fire,” to the listeners out there in terms of cooking small game? So let’s start with Lori.

Lori McCarthy:

You need to know the wood you’re using, right? So you don’t want to use softwoods. You want to use hardwoods. That’s absolutely top of the list, picking your wood.

Hank Shaw:

You don’t like turpentine?

Lori McCarthy:

No, not so much. Here in Newfoundland, the woods are full of fur and spruce. So lots of times maybe when you goes into the woods hunting, that’s what you’re making a fire with. But most people who go in the woods hunting are not cooking their game over fire. They’re bringing in boiled meat or canned meat into the woods. But know what your wood is, stick to hardwoods. We don’t have a lot of hardwood here in Newfoundland, mostly birch, and the maple is all brought in and that’s pretty much our staple hardwood. And then you really got to burn it down until… You can’t cook with flame. Stop cooking meat on flame. So for me, you can have your super hot zone that’s still built up with coals, and then you got to have your slower… It’s either the sear first and the slower cook, or the slow cook and the sear at the end.

I haven’t really determined if there’s a preference, but I’ve done both, I haven’t had any terrible results. But game, it’s so lean that it really can’t take high heat for very long, because it just turns into this crust of inedible food. So I love the smoke, too, right? So I’ll often pull it back off the fire, but again, the smoke you’re looking to put on it is you hear people smoking with juniper and stuff. I mean, it’s all right for a short blast of smoke, but again, the turpentine is too much, right? So you want to stay away from those terpenes in the wood.

Hank Shaw:

I bet you have black willow up there too.

Lori McCarthy:

I wouldn’t be able to confirm that, to be honest. I don’t know. We do have willow, I don’t know think it’s black willow that we have.

Hank Shaw:

I know that the Cree in Manitoba smoke almost exclusively over black willow. And it’s about the same latitude, but of course it’s about a thousand miles to the West.

Lori McCarthy:

A lot of the smoke here is used… A lot of people in Labrador use the blackberry bush, or the crowberry bush is called. And we’ve done it here and I’ve used it on meats, it’s really nice. But it’s a low Arctic Tundra bush. It’s usually damp, and so you get the dampness that keeps it smoldering, is really nice. In the spring in the year, when you go in the woods here, it’s one of the first things that you smell, is this gorgeous sent of the blackberry bushes starting to grow, and it’s really nice.

Hank Shaw:

Very cool. Wade, tips for open fire cooking.

Wade Truong:

So most of my open fire cooking is done on a 15-year-old Weber that’s barely held together.

Hank Shaw:

There.

Wade Truong:

And I just pack it full of hardwood, usually oak or whatever else I’ve lying around. And most of the stuff I cook over fire is tender, like backstraps, goose breasts, duck breasts, doves, young rabbits, very young squirrels. Once it gets into like a tougher cut of meat, it’s more about getting those embers and maintaining a radiant heat and cooking it a little slower. But I do love just getting a rip roaring fire going and just really charring a piece of meat and just flipping it like every 15, 20 seconds and just getting a nice crust on there and letting it rest up.

Lori McCarthy:

Okay. I’ll have to try that. And what cuts of meat do you use to do that with? Would you do that with a breast?

Wade Truong:

Yeah.

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah?

Wade Truong:

Goose breasts in particular.

Hank Shaw:

It’s funny, my first thought was a Canada goose breast.

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah, me too. Because of all the fat, right?

Hank Shaw:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Wade Truong:

Yeah. I mean, all that fat starts rendering and dripping in and you get more smoke and spattering. There’s something very primal about it. It smells great, it’s interactive and it’s fast. But like I said, it works with anything tender, I think high heat applications and tender meats, that’s the way to do it. You don’t need to cook stuff that’s soft for a very long time. You’re not going to yield a better result. So high heat for tender stuff and I take a little more time and build a nice base of coal, basically with the hardwoods when I’m cooking something that’s a little tougher.

Hank Shaw:

These are all good points. The only thing I’m going to add to that right now is, if you’re cooking over true open fire, and I experienced this up in the boreal forest of Alberta. We built a fire, we had the rocks around it and everything to hold the heat in, to create a kind of a semi oven effect. Well, what I had found were several big flat rocks and I had put the flat rocks… I put one as kind of a shelf, where the fire was underneath and to the side of it. And another one in front of the fire area where it was essentially… It became kind of a weird flat top where the fire was in front of the rock. So it was radiant heat from one side, as if being in the front of a fireplace. We had several spruce grouse and ruffed grouse that I had plucked.

And we had had some just rippingly good butter, some cultured butter from down in the Southern part of the province. And I slicked up the birds, and I put them on the rock and salted them. And what was really mind blowing and amazing was you’re in the middle of the singular bush, as my friend Kevin likes to put it. He’s from Alberta, which is… Americans don’t use the term, the bush, well, at least not in the PG rated sense. But it’s an English speaking term, and then the entire rest of the English speaking world knows the wilderness or the woods or whatever, the bush.

So you don’t want to mess this thing up, because we had shot these birds and this was going to be dinner for tonight. So I bring this up because I was sort of fussing over them, I didn’t want them to over cook. But what I found was truly interesting and amazing was that because you had this radiant heat and this flat rock, that the bottom of the rock got hot and the butter was sizzling on it, and the butter was cooking on the bird itself. You could then maneuver this bird or the birds exactly the way you needed to so that every bit would get cooked correctly, which you can’t really do as easily if it’s on a grate over a fire, because you have this issue of the direct heat coming right at it, and you’ve got the greats.

The end result was, even though I had to nudge the birds here and there and turn them on one side or the other over the course of 20 minutes, they were arguably some of the greatest grouse that I had ever eaten. And it was only doable because of this flexibility of being able to move the bird. And I translated that into a pan roasting technique that works almost as well in a kitchen, in a pan, where only the differences is you spatchcock the bird. And so that you’ve got the crown of the breast with the skin on it and the drumettes, so the first digit of the wings, and then the other pieces in the pan are the leg thigh combinations.

And that kind of ability to manipulate really, really kind of took things to another level. So I think one thing that we should talk about is getting birds right. So, if you are faced with a whole plucked… Let me stop this for a second. Everybody out there, you cannot roast a whole skinned bird, period, end of story.

Lori McCarthy:

Period, end of story.

Hank Shaw:

Right? I get asked this on a weekly basis [inaudible 00:49:25] and I’m like, “Hey, I skinned my pheasant. How do I roast it?” Like, “You don’t. Sorry.” Yes, you could make a lattice of bacon over it, but then you’re eating bacon flavored whatever.

Lori McCarthy:

And this is why people get turned off from the meats, because it’s how it’s cooked. And then it’s how it’s prepared and how it’s handled, and then you end up with, people say, “I had that once and it wasn’t fit to eat.” In Newfoundland, that’s a common term, that’s not fit to eat. But what we’re trying to do is put it on the plate so that it is fit to eat, and there are just some hard rules, and that’s one of them.

Hank Shaw:

Yes. So, okay. So Lori, if you’re faced with a beautiful brace of plucked, ruffed grouse, how are you going to make them perfect?

Lori McCarthy:

I’m going to take the legs off and just do a slow roast on the legs. And usually then I’ll pull all the meat off it, and then I’ll turn it into… I mean, it could be like just a mushroom and pulled ruffed grouse pesto, or something pretty simple so that you’re not drowning it in too much flavor because I love the dark meat on the legs. And in the breast, you know what, I don’t do much with the breasts, sear it in the pan, lots of butter. I love partridgeberry in on it or anything that the bird eats, and just a bit of red wine. Again, the simplest little things impress people. I mean, you come from working in kitchens, in that time, everything was red wine, sauce and cream sauce, and it was really just flooded in it.

It’s just, sauces is to accentuate and just a little bit of it. But yeah, I just serve a medium rare and slice really thin, and everyone’s not getting like two breasts of meat. That’s the other thing too, is these game meats are so rich that you really… You’re looking at having more of everything else on your plate than the amount of meat sometimes. That’s my approach to it. So, four or six ruffed grouse legs, by the time that gets whipped up into a dish, can serve eight people with that.

Hank Shaw:

Interesting. So you do not serve whole birds, as a rule?

Lori McCarthy:

As a rule, with grouse is a bit different. Grouse I can put in the oven on 400 and do that roast with it. But it’s you’re still… you’re not cooking it till the meat’s falling off the legs, and you’re not cooking it till the breast is cooked all the way through. But you can, I guess, in a small ruffed grouse, you can throw in on 400 for 15 minutes, and yet it’s all okay.

But I’m still what you want is not the best way to eat it.

Hank Shaw:

Interesting. I actually do like birds, the size of ruffed grouse and smaller down hole. So here’s my issue with a lot of the galanatious birds even going up to the size of a turkey. When you pick a duck and you break a duck or a goose down, the nature of their breastbone is such that your boneless half of the duck breast has pretty good skin coverage, it works.

It doesn’t really work with gallinaceous birds. So none of the grouse and all the quail, none of the turkeys, because they… If you can picture in your mind’s eye, Waterfowls, keel bone, and breastplate is a T. A chicken like birds, keel bone, and breastplate is a Y. And because of that, when you break a bird down, you’re going to get a fairly substantial gap of where… Of skin coverage, where that breast met the thigh.

And there’s really almost no way to go around it unless you completely sacrificed the skin off the leg and give yourself this weird extra flap. And it’s… I’ve tried it’s super big pain in the ass to do. So typically, if you want that crispy skin on say a pheasant or a grouse or a turkey you kind of have to cook it whole.

Now that’s said, I often break my birds down and I make crispy skin tacos. Because tacos.

Lori McCarthy:

Partly because tacos.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. But so then the question is, how do you finagle something approaching perfection with that whole grouse or quail, or partridge or whatever. And I have managed to do it with this pan searing method. Again, because you can spoon hot fat in the nooks and crannies, and that will cook the various bits to… Well not to perfection, but close to it. The other way to really cheat is I have a thing called a Searzall. Which is like a blowtorch attached to a piece of metal.

So it cooks through radiant heat, but you can direct the radiant heat on anywhere on bird you want and that’s super cool. I mean, if I’m doing… If I were going to cook whole grouse for you two, I would whip out the searzall because I want to impress you. I don’t necessarily do it on a Wednesday. But so that… My other rule for roasting whole birds is the smaller, the bird, the higher the heat. To the point where I will try to roast snipe and like little alerts like snipe. And I guess what were the other real small and be, I guess quail. At a close to 600, if I can. And then the big, the bigger the bird the slower you can go. So Wade, what are your thoughts that.

Wade Truong:

Very similar to what both of you have said. Small birds, I do like roasting whole. And the bigger they get… Obviously like a dove whole, there’s almost nothing that could go wrong there. Right? A little crispy, tiny bird. But the bigger the bird, I think it becomes more of a personal preference and compromise to what you want to serve and the kind of texture you expect. I think there’s an overemphasis on tenderness in general. I personally like chewing my food.

So I prefer a lot of foods that require a little more, I guess, chewing. And that’s not for everybody. And I get that. So, anything like wood duck and smaller, I’ll do a whole if I can. And if it’s not shot up, obviously if I want to do two different applications with like the dark meat and the light needed, or the breasts in the legs, that’s a different thing. But I do pay King some bigger ducks and some smaller geese. And I do those whole… It’s like a week long process of marinating and air drying and all that, but-

Hank Shaw:

The picking duck style. Yeah.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. So, that’s an application that most people have not seen or had done well. Right? It’s like you take a six or eight pound Canada goose serve it whole, chop it up a little bit just to make it easy. But, the leg-

Hank Shaw:

You’re killing lesser Canada geese in Virginia.

Wade Truong:

We get a very big size variety. I’m not 100% sure of their lessers because-

Hank Shaw:

Well if they’re six pounds or lessers.

Wade Truong:

Really?

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. Because I mean, all greaters are 10 pounds or better.

Wade Truong:

I’m going to have to double check on that with… Well, next time I’m in the field. But I don’t think these are lessers. I think they’re just really young normal ones. Because the… Arrange is anywhere between like six and… I think the biggest one we’ve killed is probably like 12. So kind of flesh.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. There are 13 different subspecies of Canada geese. I don’t know which ones live in Virginia.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. So, I might be wrong about that… But the legs cooked whole are obviously going to be a lot tougher than if you corn feed them or you braised them or anything else along those lines.

Hank Shaw:

For sure.

Wade Truong:

But, after hanging out in the fridge for a few days or hanging whole and tenderizing itself, cross cut it’s a little chillier than what medieval would expect. But I think it’s a nice contrast in texture with the breast meat, which is going to be very tender.

Hank Shaw:

What’s a tip that you would give to a listener out there on cooking a whole birds.

Wade Truong:

If it’s a little… If it’s bigger than a wood duck, I would say definitely age it. That time for the bacteria and enzymes to break down the connective tissue is very important. I am pretty sure you’ve written about that a few times. But aging, a bird goes a long ways.

And also it depends on personal preference. Ultimately, if you don’t like chewing stuff and chewy meats and things that aren’t butter soft and it’s… Don’t do it. You’re not going to enjoy the process or the product rather.

Hank Shaw:

Let’s talk wobbly bits. Because I’m a huge evangelist for what chef Chris Cosentino likes to call the fifth quarter. Everything that is not regular meat.

So, I mean, with this conversation we’re talking about giblets. So gizzards, kidneys, hearts, and livers primarily. So what are your… What would you suggest for someone listening out there to do with them. For starters, if they’re a new a newcomer and then what are some of the things that you like to do when you have free rein to do whatever it is that you want to do. Start with Lori.

Lori McCarthy:

I’ll be honest. I don’t… Wouldn’t serve any different. So if I’m having people over for supper, they’ve likely never eaten any of that before. So you get the opportunity to serve up liver or heart. And liver has always been a very traditional common meal here.

So people are very familiar with eating liver. But definitely not rabbit liver. I know duck liver, is it back to your… It’s almost inedible. So, but rabbit liver and ptarmigan and Partridge liver, I don’t do much with it. Look, I just sometimes fried up crispy, but not over cook it because it gets grainy as you know with liver. So just kind of blushing, although I do love to make rabbit liver perfect pate, and that’s how always mixes it up for people.

So that’d be the… Probably the one thing that if I have free reigns, I’d do a liver pate. But it’s often just fried up with onions and finish with a bit of cognac or something in the pan and yeah. And nice crusty toast. I think that’s always a easy introduction to people… For people who’ve never really net stuff before. And cut chop it up really tiny so that they’re not going to texture. Like Wade was saying for us, I like to my meat. And the tender loin or the back strap on anything to me is not the most delicious part of it. But little rabbit back straps I’ll fried it up with liver is amazing. And so it’s a great introductory… Introduction to for people.

Hank Shaw:

What about gizzards?

Lori McCarthy:

Don’t do much with them. I’ll be honest. Last time we had a pile of ducks, I took them in frozen them. Vacuum packed them all and hoped I was going to do something with them, but I didn’t do it. My confession. I know, sorry. I know. Because I know you’re big on the gizzards. But actually, traditionally here the old people had bought liver.

I don’t know if you guys bought like, it was known as canning I suppose. But here we call a Ball mason jars and just wailed on the top.

Hank Shaw:

We do too.

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah. Okay. So, that stuff was often bottled. Like the… Those bits were bottled and then it was taken into woods when you went in hunting and stuff. Right? And the old people love that stuff. Right. No one needs that today. That’s the biggest problem.

And that’s why people are not paying attention to the conservation and the hunting laws and stuff. Because it really, it don’t affect us on their place. Right. And we all know how much that stuff not paying attention can affect how rules and regulations are changed. And then our ability to get to acquire these meats. So yeah, it’s too bad. It’s like you, Wade and me it’s… There’s a certain number of people who are out there pushing for it. And I think it’s up to us to present it in the best way we can so that it becomes more palatable.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah, absolutely. Wade how do you handle your wobbly bits?

Wade Truong:

Well, the hearts I treat like any other tender piece of meat. I keep it real simple. I got like direct heat on bird hearts in particular, just you guys are so small. Every year we do a dove hunt at this farm and there’s a bunch of… I guess, feral garlic, Chaz growing. And there’s usually some scapes around that time of the year.

So I skewer all the dove hearts with that and just grow that over fire. That’s one of the better meals of the year.

Hank Shaw:

That’s cool.

Wade Truong:

But livers as an intro for people that don’t eat a lot of liver or don’t particularly like liver, or have a bias against it, I like mixing it into sausages or dirty rice or somewhere where it adds a little bit of depth, but it’s not the predominant flavor. Because I mean, for me personally I like a little bit of liver, but I don’t like eating a lot of it.

I’ve never been fortunate enough to shoot a bird that has a flaw, like texture in the liver. So.

Hank Shaw:

Come to California man, we got them.

Wade Truong:

I know, I know that’s something I want to do. But if somebody says they like liver or they liked pate then I think Patty is a perfect application for bird livers and small game livers. You know, it’s like, they’re a lot milder than say your venison.

And it’s… They’re usually in a quantity that where you can make a batch of pate and not have a bunch of leftover. Two or three turkey livers is a perfect amount of pate. I will eat that throughout the week with Rachel and then we’re like, “I’m good.” That’s as much butter and liver as I want for that week or so. But gizzards are actually one of my favorite little bits.

And again, for introducing people to it, I like to braise it or corn feed and get it tender because I think a gizzard texture is a very acquired. You have to really like gizzards and chewing your food. If you don’t tend to rise it, it works well in soups, gravies, things like that.

But one of my guilty pleasures is I just slice it crosswise and bread it and fry it and make a bunch of Buffalo sauce. That’s one of my-

Hank Shaw:

Oh, that’s a cool idea.

Lori McCarthy:

That sounds awesome.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. It’s one of my favorite late season, cold as hell, meals for myself kind of thing. I’ll just make a bunch of those, make some really thick ranch dipping sauce and it just hose it.

Hank Shaw:

Why are you watching the Redskins lose. Or sorry, the Washington football team lose.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. Luckily I’m not a fan.

Hank Shaw:

Who is?

Wade Truong:

I don’t want to get into that.

Hank Shaw:

So my… I have some signatures that I do with giblets. One you mentioned, which is Cajun dirty rice. It is my opinion that there is no other giblet or offal dish that is more accessible to more people than Cajun dirty rice. No matter whether you do it with big game or small game, because what makes it dirty is you’ve really almost pureed the liver. Because you can’t really see it. It just adds that depth that you mentioned. And then you mince up the gizzards and the hearts.

And so it’s basically like, “Oh, meat. Oh, Cajun paella. Oh, rice. Oh vegetables. This is fantastic.” And I really… That is one Cajun boudin is another one. Which is basically like Cajun dirty rice stuck in… Stuff in a casing and either steamed or smoked. But the signature thing that I kind of hit upon… Oh God, it’s got to be 10 years ago now, is two corn gizzards like corn beef.

And I… And I shoot buckets of waterfowl. So I typically do this with waterfall gizzards because they’re bigger than partridges. So you have a bunch of cleaned gizzards and you corn them, as if you corn beef and then you put in a slow cooker… You can do this sous vide, this is actually a sous vide application. But typically I’ll just put it in a crackpot in duck broth or whatever, and put it on high or low, depending on your slow cooker and leave it for 24 hours. That’s the key. If you leave it for 24 hours and then you take it out, you can squash them with a fork. They’re the perfect corn beef color. And there is literally nobody on planet earth, other than a vegetarian, who would not like this.

Lori McCarthy:

Is it like a tongue texture? When you like it well like a brace tongue then, at all?

Hank Shaw:

It’s not as silky.

Lori McCarthy:

Okay. Because it’s fat. Right? There’s in…

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. Because tiny has a lot of internal fat that you can’t even see.

Wade Truong:

Right. It what makes it so delicious. Corn tongue.

Hank Shaw:

By the way, I do crispy fried duck tongues for super bowl every year. And it’s trippy. So I save all the tongues from big ducks and geese and you braise them until… Again, you can do it in a Crock-Pot if you feel like it. But you can do it in a Dutch oven as well. Until they’re tender. Right? Well, what you don’t know about duck tongues, what most people don’t know about duck tongues, you guys probably know is that there’s a bone in them and you have to remove this bone while they’re still warm.

So you take them out always tender and then you grab the bone by the… Where the tongue is based and just pulls right out. It looks really weird, but you do this and then you super chefy and this is… I’m totally admitting that this is a long walk for a cup of coffee, but it’s delicious. So you braise the tongues, you take the bone out and then you dehydrate them about 50% of the way. So that they’re leathery. The reason you do this, because if you’ve ever… Have you guys ever fried pig ears?

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah.

Wade Truong:

Yeah.

Hank Shaw:

Right? Have you ever try to fry a pig ear that was still wet?

Lori McCarthy:

No.

Hank Shaw:

Explode. And so your tongue is going to explode the same way because it’s got a lot of college in it and fat. And so it goes, “Bam.” And then there’s this 350 degree oil coated tongue flying across the room. It’s just not ideal. And so that’s where you- [crosstalk 01:09:06].

Lori McCarthy:

Sorry.

Hank Shaw:

… That’s why you dehydrate them. And so then when you fry them, they become chicharrones. So they’ll puff when you fry them after this process. And a bowl of those with insert, ranch dressing or whatever the hell you want to put next to it, you can put a patay or not. They’re amazing.

Lori McCarthy:

That sounds amazing.

Hank Shaw:

Admittedly, it’s a long walk for a cup of coffee, but it good.

Lori McCarthy:

It’s okay. That’s what we’re into.

Hank Shaw:

So tell me… I mean, along those lines you guys must have some out there dish that you do that you’re… That you just going to do it because the result is amazing. But it’s… It too is long walk, have a cup of coffee. What about you, Lori? Do you have some? Like, “Yeah, I do this because it’s amazing. And I don’t care.”

Lori McCarthy:

Well, I mean I haven’t spent much… As much time now and as in the kitchen is way out but but so there’s not a lot of that I do. But every Christmas I’ll do my wild game terrains. And it’s days of making a rabbit stock and boiling it down and getting the super rich juice from it. And then it’s boiling down the pork bones to get the college in. And then, so I have bags of collagen and bags of… It’s a process. Right. And then you get, I make sure of… I’ll usually use the dark meat on the rabbit legs and then I’ll use some grouse in there and some moose in there.

So yeah, it’s this the terrain. I love it. I love terrain. Yeah. It’s just… It’s gorgeous and it lasts long and it’s a fancy thing that you break out at Christmas, right. To show your… How impressive you can be.

Hank Shaw:

It’s funny I do the same… That I do a game terrain for Christmas every year, too. It’s just it’s I think it’s a thing.

Lori McCarthy:

It’s a thing. You’re not going to make it in July. It’s like it’s Christmas.

Hank Shaw:

Although, weirdly they are amazing in July. I made one in, I don’t know. I don’t know if it was July, but it was in the summer. And a big thick a good two fingers, thick slice of terrain stuck in your cooler when you’re out fishing on the water. Pull that out and you put on a piece of bread or a saltine and it sound good. How are you Wade?

Wade Truong:

I think the pigging duck slash goose is probably the most complicated thing I make. That’s only for special occasions. I have friends over or it’s… It has to be preplanned like a seven day process or whatever. So that’s probably the only thing I do like that. I do a lot of dry aged charcuterie. It’s not really the same because that time that you have to wait is kind of built in like I’ve got a bunch of Beaver hams hanging that are going to be about a year out. So.

Lori McCarthy:

That’s 40.

Wade Truong:

Yeah, those are I… We did taste test them and they’re, they’re looking really good.

Hank Shaw:

That’s super cool. A Beaver ham. All right. You’ve got me on that one. I’ve never done a Beaver ham.

Wade Truong:

Yeah, I know. It’s surprisingly similar to America right now. Like it is just super rich and has a lot of depth and it has that kind of like earthy, a corny just… I don’t know. It’s hard to describe. But I think if you had it you would know exactly what I’m talking about.

Hank Shaw:

Cool. All right. So that is a weird success. Tell me about a weird failure.

Wade Truong:

See, the first time I tried to make fish sauce.

Hank Shaw:

I had the same problem. I under salted it.

Wade Truong:

Yeah. I had a hard time nailing down salt percentages because everybody’s doing it a little bit different. I think there’s a hesitation to publish a recipe. I’m not sure, but just because it seems like the established recipes call for an incubator and a shorter cure time. Or fermentation time rather. So I just took a bunch of different recipes and blended them together into one. And I just… It’s still sitting on my bench in my basement. I haven’t touched it in over a year and a half. It’s just… It’s too scary.

I’m not sure what went wrong or if it’s wrong, it’s kind of dry looking. It smells okay. But looks really weird and I wasn’t a hundred percent confident going into it. So I’m probably never going to touch that. It’s probably going to get sealed up and put in a bag somewhere.

Hank Shaw:

Thrown into the Chesapeake.

Wade Truong:

Yap.

Hank Shaw:

That’s a pretty good one. Lori?

Lori McCarthy:

The failure was… Oh, I’m just going to share the other exciting thing that we recently just did. Actually, we did a salami in a de-bone duck. And we were so skeptical and it was like, this is going to fail. Because you have to make your salami and put your cure in it. And then I wasn’t sure if I should cure the whole duck first or just put it all together and hope that the cure went through it anyway. It was amazing. So that was my-

Hank Shaw:

The dry cure galantine?

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah. Yeah. We did a… It was the black duck and de-boned it and stuffed pork and moose sausage inside. It has a picture of it on my Instagram actually. It was fun. It was amazing. Oh, we were shocked because we kept weighing it. I was like, “Oh, this is… With the duck fat, this is never going to dry out to get to the proper weight.” But it did. Failure was the eider duck, breast pursuit. I mean, that was not happy experiment.

Hank Shaw:

Come on. There’s going to be some Newfies who would like that. Like, “Wow, nice and fishy.”

Lori McCarthy:

Well, no. But I dried it to the point then where I could shave it. And then it became like an interesting umami still wasn’t… I still didn’t have an application for it. But it was an interesting journey.

Hank Shaw:

I bet you… Do you still have it?

Lori McCarthy:

No, I throw it out.

Hank Shaw:

Oh, I see. What I would do is I would dry the hell out of it and use it like Dashi. Like a Benito?

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah. It was rock hard. And then we just… We’ve used it as shaped it. Tried it on fish, tried it on scallops. And the cured moose tongue too was also a disaster.

Hank Shaw:

Oh, that’s a [crosstalk 01:15:29].

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah. I know. Yeah. And I love it cured. It loves to make corn moose, but anyway.

Hank Shaw:

I think probably the most… I haven’t had a lot of really bad failures with Upland birds. I think there I’ll just …one real quick one and then I’ll tell you the real failure. The real quick one is if you’re going to cook pigeons or doves, you have to either cook them lightly, which is to say that the breast meat is still quite pink or cook the ever living crap out of them. So there’s no in-between, it’s like squid. So you either cook squid for 30 seconds or two hours. And if you really, really, really cook pigeons so that the breast meat can can collapse. Because pigeon and dove breast meat is the most dense bird breasts in my experience of any species in the world. It’s because they can fly at 95 miles an hour. So if you really, really, really, really, really have to cook it for hours and hours and hours and hours for it to be… For it to work.

If you don’t cook it medium rare, which is what I prefer. That’s number one, the real failure is again like the editor. So I hate wasting meat, as you guys do too. So I have tried and tried and tried to be able to cook, see duck legs without it being like, “Oh, that’s sort of like anchovies that have been sitting on the deck for six hours. “It’s because the internal fat, right? So even though the laser skinned, they have these little pockets of fat that you just can’t… You just can’t really get around. I mean, yes, you could cook them in like chili or something. It has amazingly strong flavor.

Maybe you could do it in paella where you had other seafood things, but that’s one I’m not… That’s blocked me. And the other one has coot legs. So coot legs… Coot if you’ve never eaten them, they’re not fishy, but they’re pondy. They’re very much like the muskrats of the air, which is to say not very good. Now coot breasts are fine, I eat them anytime I have them. The skin of course, but the legs again, with a pondy fat in the… internally in that leg. And coots, as you know, are walking birds. So they have sinews every bit as strong as a pheasant, but they’re smaller and they don’t taste as good. So that’s another one I’ve just not really been able to have something that I genuinely like out of the legs out of a coot. And other than that, I’m trying to think, is there another…? Well, muskrats in general, that would be a small game animal that I’m like, I don’t need to kill another one.

Lori McCarthy:

Right. I think that for the saltwater ducks, I don’t know. I think we need to stop thinking of it as a duck and start treating it like a piece of seafood and change our approach on it.

Hank Shaw:

Although, surf scoters. We shoot a lot of surf scoters. They’re the ones with the… They have the candy corn on their faces. They skin really easy. And when they’re skinned, their breast meat is… there’s nothing wrong with that breast meat.

Lori McCarthy:

Oh, nice.

Hank Shaw:

I have not yet killed an eider though, so they could be different.

Lori McCarthy:

Beauty of the eider is it’s so big. It’s such a gorgeous big bird and the breasts are enormous on it, but then it’s, like you say, I hate the waste it. And so I don’t take many of them because I just, yeah. I hate the wastage on them.

Wade Truong:

Yeah, I was going to say, we might have to collaborate on the seaduck conundrum here because I never shoot any seaducks, it’s not something I actively try to do. But I have cooked some that people have gifted me and I had an idea after cooking some of them, mergansers, and experimenting with how to get them not fishy and removing the skin and removing the fat and all that.

Hank Shaw:

The answer is to not shoot mergansers.

Wade Truong:

Agreed. But if you don’t apply any heat, the internal fats don’t ever oxidize, so you never get any of those off flavors. Like we tried eating some hooded mergansers just raw, just shave like sashimi, and it tastes side-by-side just like any other duck. So I’ve made jerky at low temps and you don’t get any of those off flavors either.

Lori McCarthy:

Wow.

Hank Shaw:

That’s a good tip.

Lori McCarthy:

So I think using that as a base for the answer, not applying heat, like a dry-cured salami with duck legs or coot legs or anything like that that’s going to have that internal fat, and that sinew that can be broken up with a grinder, that might be the ticket to maximizing the enjoyment out of that.

Hank Shaw:

Hmm. That’s a good tip.

Lori McCarthy:

We have work to do.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. Because all three of us shoot see ducks.

All right, how about… Hey, let’s do a question round. You guys ask a question of either the other person or me, and then we’ll go around.

I think I want to ask… I’m going to start with Wade. So your parents came from Vietnam, where in Vietnamese cuisine have you found the greatest marriage of what you do now versus that cuisine?

Wade Truong:

I would say it’s less about the cuisine and more about how my parents had adapted the cuisine to their life in the States. They wanted to cook the food they grew up with, but not all the ingredients were available. So we worked with… They worked with what was seasonally available to them in Central Virginia. So I saw that first-generation adaptation upfront. We made do with what we had. We tried to grow what we didn’t have, until international markets and whatnot became a little more popular or we made it to a bigger city to pick up on… pickup, I guess, staple ingredients of Vietnamese food. Everything was already an adaptation and I think that’s where I get so much of my inspiration for food is I’m not trying to make whatever authentic dish there is. I’m trying to use what’s readily available to me or seasonally available and make what I want.

Hank Shaw:

That’s a good call. That’s a good call. Wade, you get to ask either me or Lori something.

Wade Truong:

All right. I’ll ask you, Hank. Being in your region, what is, I guess, an ingredient or protein or something that you do not have that you wish you did have access to?

Hank Shaw:

It’s easy. I ate it just the other day; hen-of-the-woods mushrooms.

Lori McCarthy:

Mmm.

Wade Truong:

Oh yeah?

Hank Shaw:

Yep. Grifola frondosa does not live west of the Rockies to my knowledge, and it certainly does not live in California. So hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, number one. Woodcock, number two. Easy. Those are two… It’s funny because a lot of us here in the West, in California in specific, a lot of it is like that kid from the Simpsons, “Ha, ha. You don’t have it.” I do this crab salad in Christmas time that is incredibly California-centric because we eat our crab for Christmas. So it’s Dungeness crab, pomegranate seeds, persimmons, and avocado, all of which are in high season in December in California. And the whole rest of the continent’s like “Go kick rocks, you bastard.”

And so that’s a dish where we have this and we have that. And David Chang’s famous gripe about California cuisine, “You just put a fig on the plate,” to which every California chef said, “Hey, David, if you had figs as good as us, you wouldn’t dick with it either.”

So I think we get complacent in thinking that we have everything and east of the Rockies has any number of ingredients that we don’t have. For one thing, Lori, you have lingonberries, which I believe is what you’re calling Partridge berries?

Lori McCarthy:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). That’s right. Yep.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. So lingonberries are one of the world’s greatest ingredients and we don’t have them, we don’t have woodcock, and we do not have a hen-of-the-woods, would be the first three things that would just roll off the top of my head.

Wade Truong:

I’m surprised soft-shell crabs didn’t make that list.

Hank Shaw:

Ah, yeah. I mean, good point. I mean, yes, I would add that. But I think I would rather eat a dozen woodcock than I would a dozen soft-shell crabs. Now that could change in May, but I’m kind of in wild game mode right now. But yes, that’s another really good one.

Hank Shaw:

Lori, you’re up.

Lori McCarthy:

Well, I’ll put this one to both of you, what is your comfort game dish? Your comfort as in your turkey dinner and Thanksgiving, but what is your comfort game dish?

Hank Shaw:

Wade, you go first.

Wade Truong:

It’s going to have to be pho.

Lori McCarthy:

Nice.

Wade Truong:

I make it with basically any kind of bones that we have; so goose or duck or venison or beaver, anything. I always make a big batch, I can it, and anytime we’re really cold or we’re feeling rough or get back from some traveling. Like a bunch of Thai basil, cilantro, shiso, rare meat, that broth, that’s usually the fix-all.

Lori McCarthy:

The best.

Hank Shaw:

Interesting. So I have two answers to that. I’ve got the, “What do I cook when it’s Wednesday and I’m tired, and I don’t really feel like cooking?” And the answer are skin-on duck breasts in a pan. I think I have cooked maybe a hundred thousand. I don’t know, that might be an exaggeration. But many thousands of skin-on duck breasts and a pan, typically not even with any other fat, because they’re so fat to begin with, in salt, black pepper and a squeeze of the lemon from my tree in the backyard. That’s, I know my California [crosstalk 00:08:23].

Lori McCarthy:

That’s fast food.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. It’s fast food…

Lori McCarthy:

Right? Yeah.

Hank Shaw:

It’s amazing. It is a steak with a hat made of bacon.

Lori McCarthy:

Oh my God. That’s beautiful.

Hank Shaw:

Right? So that’s one answer. Second answer, though, along the line of Wade though, is red sauce.

Lori McCarthy:

Yeah.

Hank Shaw:

So I’ve written about this a couple of times and real deal, Italian, Southern Italian, New Jersey, pasta sauce with chopped meat, which is New Jersey slang for ground meat, but I grew up calling it chopped meat. So chopped meat and a lot of tomatoes, some red wine, more garlic than you think. The red sauce that you see in every single mafia movie. That’s what I grew up with. And I have made that with ground everything, and it is a thing that I can make without thought. It’s a thing that I have made for girlfriends. It’s a thing that I’ve made when I’m really, really sad. And that’s the dish that, if I’m going to be calm and introspective, and I need a culinary hug, it’s going to be my red sauce.

Lori McCarthy:

Nice.

Hank Shaw:

How about you? You answer your own question.

Lori McCarthy:

Wow. I don’t know, because now I’m just hungry thinking about having pho and spaghetti sauce for supper.

Yeah. I don’t know if it’s so much a comfort, but I do love the moose, like a osso buco. Right? So that was a cut of meat that we were never able to get here. Lots of people in Newfoundland, moose is ground. It’s just like ground in sausages and obscure steaks that no one ever does anything with. So when I started getting involved in the hunt, I wanted these particular cuts and I was butchering and so I was learning that, “Okay, this is where the cuts come from.” So it’s a moose, it must have the same cuts. So these are the cuts I want. And I started getting the legs cut into two inch rounds. Because normally that’d all be just taken off the bone and ground. And so, yeah, I would say the moose osso buco, like that rich, yeah, that rich comfort smell. Lots of red wine. More garlic than sensible. Yeah.

Hank Shaw:

Yep. Yep. I’ve done that with elk. I’ve never shot a moose yet. So I have to come to Newfoundland to shoot a moose someday.

Lori McCarthy:

Well, there you go, now the reason.

Hank Shaw:

I want to do one kind of round robin and then we can probably close. I mean, we could talk for hours and hours, but I want to be cognizant of your time and my listeners time as well. But before we kind of wrap it up, give the listeners two or three cooking tips that apply to small game. They don’t have to be specific to small game, but they have to be applicable to, say, upland birds or rabbits or squirrels or whatever. Two or three things that you need to know to be a better cook of those particular critters. Start with Wade.

Wade Truong:

Let’s see. I think a tip that works across the board for all food, and particularly proteins, but really well with small game is understanding what you’re after. If you want it tender, then you to approach it in a way where it’s like, “I’m going to make this tender.” Whether it be a sous vide or confit or traditional braise or anything along those lines, you can’t force things. Like you were talking about earlier with the whole bird. You’re not going to roast a whole Mallard and have the legs tender and the breasts medium rare at the same time. It’s just understanding what you’re after and then figuring out a way to get that. It’s more problem solving than it is, “This recipe is going to fix everything,” kind of thing.

I think, also, being able to age and or judge the texture of your small game or large game is really important. Early birds are not as fatty as late season birds around here. Once they’re in the fields and eating soy and corn for two or three weeks, they are a very different bird. And I think reading the terrain and understanding the time of year and the seasonality of the ingredient, I think goes a long ways.

And I think if you have the space and the climate for it, I think aging animals goes a long ways. It really does help. Almost all commercial meat is aged to a certain point. Maybe not chickens, but beef has to hang for a certain amount of time. Everything does better to hang and let that rigor relax and just let the enzymes and the bacteria in the meat just do its thing.

Hank Shaw:

Good deal. Lori?

Lori McCarthy:

My approach is going to be to tell people that “Go with the long and slow cuts.” If this is new to you, cooking game meat, start with the long and slow cuts because they’re harder to arse up. Right? So go with your osso buco, go with your ground meat, your rich spaghetti sauces, your long stews. And things like pho even. Go with stuff that, yeah, it’s harder to screw up, because you’re going to get a taste for the meat and you’re going to get a taste for its accessibility, and it just gives you a good introduction to it. Because once you have bad game, you’re not likely to go back and try it a different way. So making sure that your first introduction to it is, yeah, is a good one. Don’t overthink it too much.

Hank Shaw:

Yeah. Definitely. People do overthink game a lot. Anything else?

Lori McCarthy:

Nope. That’s it.

Hank Shaw:

All right. Well, I have a few. Actually, have more than a few, because I write books about this subject, but I’ll [crosstalk 01:32:48] to a few.

Lori McCarthy:

That’s right.

Hank Shaw:

Number one. And this is iron rule for all cooking of any kind, no matter what it is. Ready? You can always cook it more. You can’t uncook something. So if you’re nervous, if you think you’re going to screw it up, you can check it and then keep cooking it. This is a big deal with things that you want to make tender. “Oh, I’m cooking this duck breast.” Well, it ended up being black and blue, right? So it’s looks like it’s cooked on the outside, but it’s raw in the center. Check it. No babies will die if you cook it more after checking it.

You can’t uncook something. And if you cook, to that grayness, ducks or doves or sharp tail grouse or ptarmigan, blah. But under cook it and you can always cook it more. So that’s number one.

Number two, virtually everybody who is new to this cooks the tough parts too little and the tender parts too much. So this is sort of building off the last tip. If you are worried about a breast or a backstrap or any other tender part, like I said, you could cook it more and error on cooking it less, because you can cook it more.

This is the single biggest problem I see with things like pheasant and rabbits and anything where people are like, “Oh, well it was dry and chalky.” Well, you cooked that pheasant breast too much. Or you cooked that ruffed grouse breast too much. And “Oh, you can’t possibly eat turkey legs,” or “You can’t possibly eat the legs or wings of anything, or a jack rabbit or a hare.” Well, that’s because it’s a tough part that you did not cook enough. Virtually… In fact, nothing, nothing will stay tough forever. Everything will submit.

Sometimes it will take two hours. The world record, in my experience, was a five-year-old rooster. Like an actual chicken, not a pheasant. A five-year-old rooster that I wanted to make coq au vin with, it took seven hours. Seven hours for it to become tender, but it did. It did. So that the tough parts, you can always cook more.

The last tip that is specific to birds and this is really specific to upland birds. It does apply a little bit to waterfowl, but not really so much, because waterfowl don’t do a lot of walking. But for upland birds, specifically wild turkeys and pheasants, as you collect them and if you break them down, which I highly recommend you do, with a few exceptions, always take sheers or a knife and separate the thighs from the drumsticks so that you have a big old packet of thighs and then a big old packet of drumsticks.

And you can collect those in your freezer until you have enough to do a dish, because they cook radically differently. A thigh has exactly one bone. It’s one bone, it’s the femur. They will get tender and you can eat them very easily and they’re a joy. They are, in fact, the greatest part of any bird to eat.

When I was a teenager and in my twenties and I was dating someone, almost the first question I would ask on that first date… Wouldn’t be the first question, but it’d be that first night. Be like, “Hey, you like chicken, right?” Everyone likes chicken, so she says, “Yes.” “What part of the chicken do you like the best?” If she said thighs, she’s a keeper, or at least she’s worth a second date. Right? If she says skinless, boneless chicken breasts, I don’t know, man. I might not be able to trust you.

Drumsticks, especially with wild animals, as most people listening to this podcast know, are filled with sinews that will never break down ever, ever, ever, ever. They just won’t. So the drumsticks have to kind of be slow cooked and shredded. And there is nothing wrong with putting the thighs in with the drumsticks if your intention is to shred everything, but you don’t have to. And you can enjoy particularly special, wonderful meals with just a pack of the thighs that you would not be able to do with just drumsticks.

So those would be my three big tips. I mean, I think all of us could kind of go on and on with like, “Hey, I knew this and this is really good,” but that should get you started.

One last go round and then we’ll close it out.

Plucking. I mean, people who have listened to this podcast have heard me go on and on and on and on and on about plucking, because I invented the hashtag #giveapluck. What would be your tips to listeners on plucking upland birds?

Lori McCarthy:

Three days in the fridge. And I think I learned that from you. But it’s true, three days in the fridge. I mean, to learn to pluck seabirds is a different kettle of fish. You’re going to need some old guy next to you who knows what he’s doing, but yeah, that’s it. That’s my advice on that, because it works every time. And I think that came from a story you told about some guy was getting these birds taxidermied and he said, “No, you can’t wait three days. They have to be here right away, because in three days the feathers will come out too easy.”

Hank Shaw:

Yep. They’ll slip.

Lori McCarthy:

See. There you go.

Hank Shaw:

Wade?

Wade Truong:

Again, I don’t have a ton of experience with upland birds, but I try to pluck doves that we… doves, pigeons, those birds, while they’re fairly warm. They seem to pluck real easy. And with waterfowl and things with down, a few days in the walk-in or the fridge or hanging up in a cold shed usually makes the process a lot easier.

Hank Shaw:

Yep. It’s funny that you guys have had the same experience, because I drone on and on about the three days in the fridge thing, because so many hunters who mean well, want to pick their birds the night after the hunt or the morning after the hunt, which is the singular worst time to actually do it.:

Well, this has been pretty awesome. I guarantee you we can talk for another hour, but we should let you go.

So Wade, if somebody wants to find you on the series of tubes that we call the internet, where will they find you?

Wade Truong:

You can find me on Instagram, Elevated Wild, that’s Rachel and I’s account and our website, elevatedwild.com.

Hank Shaw:

Perfect. I will put a link to that in the show notes.

Hank Shaw:

Lori, you are Cod Sounds. Now, before you tell everybody where to find you at Cod Sounds, you have to tell people, what is a cod sound?

Lori McCarthy:

It’s an air bladder in the fish. So it sounds disgusting. But it’s the thing that… It’s the buoyancy for the fish. But, in Newfoundland, those were always the bits that were treasured. So the cheeks, the tongues, the sounds, that was always the pieces that were left here for us. And we enjoyed them as family. And then the rest of the salt cod was then sent overseas and salted for our own use. But that was the stuff that was cooked up fresh the minute it came up on the wharf. So, yeah, that’s the cod sound. And I can be found @codsounds and personally @eatitwild and codsounds.ca.

Hank Shaw:

Codsounds.ca. All right. Thank you guys for being on the show.

Lori McCarthy:

It was a pleasure.

Hank Shaw:

I will put all the links that you need so that people can find you, because you guys both do amazing work and…

Lori McCarthy:

Thanks, guys.

Hank Shaw:

…it’s just been all kinds of fun.

Lori McCarthy:

Thank you so much.

Wade Truong:

Thank you, Hank.

You May Also Like

Red Pesto with Pasta

A simple recipe for red pesto, inspired by a similar pesto from Trapani in Sicily. It’s is a sun dried tomato pesto with roasted red peppers.

Mexican Mixiotes

Mixiotes are Mexico’s version of foods cooked in parchment. It’s an ancient, versatile way to cook. Here’s a recipe and some tips and tricks to make them at home.

Venison Enchiladas

Classic venison enchiladas are easy to make, delicious and make for fantastic leftovers. What’s more, you have plenty of filling options.

Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

This is a simple garlic roasted mushroom recipe that works with any meaty mushroom, from porcini to shiitake to regular button mushrooms.

About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *