Feelin' Scrappy

After you trim the prime cuts off your animal this hunting season, you’re going to have a lot of scraps. In fact, after bagging an elk, you can end up with over 50 pounds destined for the grind pile. What’s the best way to enjoy all this meat? If you’re tired of the same old boring burger patties, try this recipe, one of the most versatile in my kitchen.

It’ll work great for any big game you’ve got: elk, deer, moose, or antelope. I love how adaptable this recipe is—I’ve used it for meatballs, stroganoff, meatloaf, burgers, and more. Best of all, you can use this for any ground meat in your favorite dish, to add a healthy, flavorful kick. As always, feel free to experiment with new and different ingredients until you’ve got it just right.

2 pounds of wild game, ground
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced carrots

1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup parsley
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbsp Italian herbs
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp garlic
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt

2 eggs
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

First, lightly sauté the veggies. Then, in a big mixing bowl, combine the meat, spices, binders, and veggies and mix by hand. Once the ingredients are blended evenly, it’s time to get creative: roll it into balls and simmer in red sauce, form it into patties and grill, or bake with barbeque sauce for a zesty meatloaf.

Ty Hill is the head chef at John Bozeman’s Bistro in downtown Bozeman (johnbozemansbistro.com).