Saturday I deliberately skipped lunch in anticipation of the annual Wild Game Dinner at St. Bernard Catholic Church and it was a good thing, too. I managed to eat my way through the entire buffet – except for the salad and most of the dessert, that is. But talk about incredible dishes, they had it all. Appetizers consisted of cheese and crackers, elk salami and jerky. I’ve had my share of both but I don’t know when I’ve had better jerky. The salami was right up there with it.
My first plate consisted of Dutch oven Pheasant stew, sweet and sour Elk, and Buffalo roast with gravy. The stew surprised me – it was sweet with mandarin oranges – absolutely delicious. The Buffalo had a different flavor, somewhere in the neighborhood of pungent and smoky, a real contrast to the Elk and Pheasant.
Second plate was deer ribs, bear pepper steak, pulled pork (not really a wild game, but very good nonetheless), and corn soufflé. The ribs didn’t seem to have any spice but they packed some heat nonetheless. I wasn’t sure about the bear dish since I’ve never heard anything good about bear, but apparently it’s all in knowing how to cook it; the pepper steak was very good and the bear was unlike any other wild game I’ve tasted. Not the greasy flavor everyone talks about. The corn soufflé was simply terrific.
My final plate consisted of elk chili, deer enchilada, and Dutch oven potatoes with bacon. The chili had a delayed heat that crept up on you, but also a hint of sweetness that almost reminded me of Cincinnati Chile. And no beans – I’m told that true chili has no beans.
I finished my dinner with coffee and a dessert of chocolate cake and chocolate cream pie, then walked away with one of the door prizes – a hunting cap and vest. Kinda gets me looking forward to next year’s dinner.