Cookbook Review: After the Hunt

Keep reading to see what I thought about After the Hunt-Louisiana’s Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery, a wild game cookbook by Chef John Folse.

Eating wild game is one of the most popular reasons that people give for hunting. However, many people, especially non-hunters, are often reluctant to eat wild game. While there are many potential reasons for reluctance, misconceptions about the taste of wild game are among the most common reasons given. Fortunately, wild game can be delicious, not to mention healthy, table fare if properly prepared. Thankfully, I received a great cookbook for Christmas that made this task much easier for me: After the Hunt-Louisiana’s Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery.

While I’ve eaten and enjoyed a wide variety of wild game since I was a kid, I’m always on the lookout for a new way to cook game. Like many people, I am a reasonably good cook, but I’m not terribly imaginative. Consequently, I do my best work when I have a good recipe to work with. Knowing how much I enjoy hunting, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a wonderful wild game cook book as a Christmas present: After the Hunt-Louisiana’s Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery.

The cookbook was written by Chef John Folse, a renowned chef from Louisiana, and contains over 500 recipes covering an incredible variety of mammals, fowl, and fish. The book contains recipes for the usual animals like deer, wild hog, rabbit, duck, goose, quail and pheasant. After the Hunt also provides recipes for a number of animals that most people wouldn’t normally consider eating, such as armadillo, nutria, opossum, and raccoon, just to name a few. In addition to the interesting (and delicious) recipes that are the focal point of the book, After the Hunt also provides several chapters of extremely interesting background information describing the history of hunting. From biblical times, through Medieval Europe, to modern day hunting in Louisiana and the United States, Chef Folse does an outstanding job of bringing the tastes of cooking the fruits of a successful hunt to life using his vivid descriptions as well as the outstanding photographs present in the book.

After receiving the book for Christmas, I was very excited to try out some of the recipes. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful during deer season this year and was unable to cook any  of the venison recipes. Luckily, my wife and I went on our pheasant hunt shortly after receiving the book and we got the chance to test several of the many pheasant recipes in the book. Out of all the recipes we tried, our favorite was for pheasant pot roast.

After the Hunt-Louisiana's Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery review

To prepare the pheasant pot roast, we cooked the pheasant breast with olive oil, chicken broth, onions, carrots, rutabaga, potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and bacon in a Dutch Oven. After the pheasant was fully cooked, we moved the bird and all of the vegetables to a separate platter. Then, we mixed red wine with the pan juices and scraped scraped the browned bits from bottom of pan. We then added butter and flour to make a delicious sauce. When that was complete, we served the pheasant with vegetables and lavishly covered it all with the sauce. The result was a tender, delectable combination-the perfect way to cap off a successful hunt.

After the Hunt-Louisiana's Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery review
Pheasant with bacon and vegetables prior to cooking
After the Hunt-Louisiana's Authoritative Collection of Wild Game & Game Fish Cookery review
Cooked pheasant with the prepared sauce

If you’re intrigued by the pot roast recipe above and would like to test out some of the other recipes found in the cookbook, you can order a copy of After the Hunt for yourself here. Unfortunately, the book is not cheap. However, I think that this is another area where you really do get what you pay for, which is why I personally think After the Hunt is one of the best hunting books ever written. Many hunters spend considerable sums of money on the sport. It may well be worth it to spending a little extra money on an excellent resource for cooking the fruits of the hunt.

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