My father was a great cook – not because his dishes were especially gourmet or nuanced – but instead, simply because they were his: from his garden, from his cattle, from his hunts. He never had to think organic or free range, all he had to think about was how best to add that little bit of flair to make each dish even more special. This often involved a grill or fire, always his signature white apron, and the usually biggest skillet, grate, or industrial grill he could find, because cooking for him was about community – long before the days when the kitchen became the gathering place in many homes.
I’ll never be enough of a perfectionist to be gourmet – thank goodness I have friends who are. The recipes I share are about making the most of what’s been dropped on the kitchen counter after a hunt or time on the water or walks to the garden. With these recipes, if you hunt or fish or have friends that do, and if you have access to a farmers market or grow your own, all you have to do is round up that big skillet or grill, the white apron, and your family or pals, and you’re on your way to celebrating the harvest, Dad’s style. And yes, if you are one of those special people who is a gourmet chef, I’ve called in a couple of great chefs who specialize in game. I’ll be taking close notes on their tricks too!