‘Braising the Wild’ tackles the universal topic of teaching kids to eat wild food

“Braising the Wild” does Teach Kids to Learn to Love Wild Game: Keep it Easy, Keep it Cheesy.

SHARE ‘Braising the Wild’ tackles the universal topic of teaching kids to eat wild food
Resized/Sun-Times

Jack Hennessy’s daughter shows the impact of teaching kids to eat wild food.

Jack Hennessy

Jack Hennessy touches a favorite topic for me, how to introduce kids to eating wild game and fish. I think there are very practical suggestions here and the overall topic is an important one for the a continuing interest in the outdoors in my opinion from younger people.

Here is the recipe and tips:

TEACH KIDS TO LEARN TO LOVE WILD GAME: KEEP IT EASY, KEEP IT CHEESY If I had my way the definition of aversion would be revised to reflect that a strong feeling of dislike or opposition is a learned sentiment. No one is born with an aversion to wild game—it’s acquired from one bite of improperly prepared wild game, or by believing the rumors of those who have experienced such. One of the proudest moments as a dad was when I heard my 2-year-old daughter say to me, More duck please, Dada. I had fire-roasted a mallard from last season, medium-rare, and she was gobbling up. Nothing special, just a brine ahead of time, but she couldn’t get enough. DO NOTE: For the kiddos, make certain to hand-shred very carefully and inspect for shot, as kids won’t fully understand the concept chew slowly. The night before this featured recipe I grilled backstrap medium-rare and diced up for her. She ate, zero issue, and enjoyed it. When I made this mac-n-cheese, it was different than her usual from-the-box powdered-cheese Mama makes. I had messed with her routine, and she let me know that was less than ideal. But it got me thinking: Routine for kids is the key to acceptance and, eventually, appreciation. The same applies for wild game. Sure, 10 years from now, we could tell her she ate duck when she was 2 and loved it, but what good would that do her. But if we keep consistently putting these items on her plate, it becomes just beloved as that powdered-cheese mac-n-cheese. But perhaps most importantly, when it comes to wild game, we train our taste buds to appreciate it the more we eat it. Believe it or not, we weren’t meant to enjoy the flavors that come from refrigerated domesticated beef and chicken, much of which is treated with growth hormones (and who knows what else). So this is my best advice for any parent hoping to get their little ones to love wild game: Start them off slow, small bites. Incorporate it into dishes they already love. These dishes likely include a lot of cheese: a quesadilla, a cheeseburger, mac-n-cheese. Good luck! Ingredients (two servings): 4 ounces diced backstrap 6 ounces macaroni or celentani pasta 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar 1 tablespoon milk 1 tablespoon salted butter Dusting of kosher salt and ground black pepper Cook pasta in boiling water until done (approximately 9 minutes) then cool under cold water in a colander. Heat a medium pot on medium-low and add 1 tablespoon each of butter and milk plus cooked pasta. Stir in cheese. Add more cheese if not cheesy enough. If too cheesy, add more milk to thin out. While warm, add diced backstrap. I used leftover backstrap. For tips on how to properly cook venison backstrap, check out last week’s Backstrap with Champagne Raspberry Sauce recipe online. Serve but make sure the pasta and cheese isn’t too hot.

Resized/Sun-Times

Keeping it cheesy helps with kids learning to enjoy wild eating.

Jack Hennessy

The Latest
White Sox showing signs of life after so-so start
Tony Ragucci also agreed Monday to cooperate with federal investigators. A prosecutor told the judge he did not expect Ragucci’s cooperation to end “any time soon.”
For nearly a month, Planned Parenthood of Illinois has offered Mifepristone to patients both in and out of state through telehealth counseling and mail services.
Christian Orlando made his first steelhead memorable.
Chicago seems to have fallen badly behind in lane marking, making it difficult for drivers to maintain proper positions. The city also makes no effort to maintain some of its traffic signage and needs to fix potholes.