In WITF's Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Review - Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things

Written by Chef Donna Desfor | Jan 17, 2017 3:13 PM
Buck, Buck, Moose

Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things, by Hank Shaw, Copyright © 2016.  Published by H&H Books.  Photography credits Holly A. Heyser Copyright © 2016.

Our Summary:

To suggest that everyone might like this book may seem far-fetched.  It is a book for meat-eaters, particularly the game type with antlers and horns.  That all said, Buck, Buck, Moose is more than a manual on preparing and cooking venison.  Deer and their antlered cousins exist on 6 continents and, throughout the history of each, are celebrated in the hunt and the feast.  The majesty of that all is captured by Hank Shaw.  If you cook and celebrate a gathering around a table, then Buck, Buck, Moose is worth a lingering look, if not a slow delicious read.  Take away the venison and you'll find, at its heart and soul, a well-written cookbook on a variety of cooking techniques and recipes that celebrate global cuisines.  The main ingredient just happens to be venison.

What you need to know:

Get it:  Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things, by Hank Shaw.  Published by H&H Books, September 1, 2016.  $29.95 Hardcover (Amazon $22.32)

See it:  304 pages: 40 pages (roughly) on Deer Basics, including how to field dress and butcher venison, the remainder of the book dedicated to different cuts, then styles of cooking including curing and sausage-making.  Rich, rustic and sometimes mouthwateringly lush photographs of almost every finished dish, as well as step-by-step photos in Deer Basics.

Make it:  About 110 recipes that survey global cuisine.

Our Review:

Hank Shaw opens Buck, Buck, Moose tackling all things venison, including the types (deer, elk, moose and antelope), food safety and sustainable mail-order sources.  Great news if you don't hunt or know a hunter.  For hunters, his step-by-step guide to field-dressing and butchering though direct is never off-putting.  Photographed each step of the way, if you've ever been curious about what it takes to field-dress a kill, you'll find answers here.  If you are not a hunter, and prefer to start with a recipe and ingredients, you are only some 50 pages to the good before Shaw's true genius as a cookbook author begins to shine. 

Opening his recipes quite logically with a chapter on Marinades, Stocks and Broth, Shaw gives you - in three pages - what others have dedicated entire tomes to.  He gives you seasoning options and beer and wine suggestions.  From there you literally need do little more than flip through the pages until you land on a tempting photograph, like that with Venison Tartare, Agnolotti with Tomatoes and Arugula, or Iceland Venison with Blueberry Sauce, or cross an intriguing recipe name, such as Cajun Boudin Balls, or Venison Pastrami or Jerky, or even Country-fried Venison Steak or Ethiopian Tibs, and you're on your way to deliciousness. 

Peppered with clever quotes and engaging essays, Buck, Buck, Moose gives you the sense that you know Shaw the way you know a long-time friend.  With a sense of humor and even some wistful commentary, you're engaged over, with, and around food.  Yes, you must be a meat eater and have a source of venison to cook from this book.  But, then, no!  You do not have to be a meat eater or have a source of venison to enjoy this book, and return to it again, and again.

The Recipes (Reprinted with permission from Buck, Buck, Moose: Recipes and Techniques for Cooking Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope and Other Antlered Things, by Hank Shaw, Copyright © 2016, Published by H&H Books.  Photography credits Holly A. Heyser copyright © 2016.):

Venison Pierogies

Vietnamese Shaking Venison

Venison with Cumberland Sauce

Published in Donna Marie Desfor

Tagged under , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Food Sponsor

Dutch honey Gold

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »