Wild About Game: A weekend of meat, booze and high jinks

It's so serious we have knives engraved!

It’s so serious we have knives engraved!

We have a saying about WAG: What happens on the mountain, stays on the mountain. So I can’t show you any of the truly ridiculous pictures from last Sunday but I can show you lots of fancy food porn and I know that’s really what you’re here for.

First though, we must start at the beginning:

Welcome to the Mountain!

The view from Timberline Lodge is incredible in the summer. I hate snow, ice and the cold so I can’t speak to what it looks like in the winter, but seriously, in the summer, it’s breathtaking — even when you’re up way too early after not enough sleep!

View from Timberline Lodge

View from Timberline Lodge

Meet the Meat:

Next up is the food. At Wild About Game, the focus is on game meats. So there is everything from elk and quail to Oregon-raised water buffalo and rabbit available for sampling. We also include lots of bonus meats: locally made charcuterie, Kobe beef, hazelnut-fed pork and non-meats: cheeses, pickled quail eggs, Oregon sea salt.  And it’s all there for the eating…even the ice cream made with cherries and bone marrow!

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Little Bunny Foo-Foo…makes for a delicious meal!

Disclaimer: I have never been one of those people to shy away from eating animals just because they’re cute. And while bunnies may be adorable, fryer rabbits are not. They are mean little suckers who are not fluffy and cuddly. But, as I learned at a fairly young age, they do make for some good eating!

DB and I needed a project and since we were having a hard time coming up with something new, we decided to recreate a dish we hadn’t had in years: Braised Rabbit with Spaetzle, Créme Fraiche and Dill. I first had this dish at a restaurant in Portland called 23 Hoyt, back when my husband was the sous chef there. I instantly fell in love and forced many of my friends to join me at the restaurant to share a plate of it.

One of those friends was, of course, DB and we both became equally obsessed with it. Long after my husband (and the original executive chef) left the restaurant and the dish was no long on the menu, we would reminisce about how good it was. The spaetzle was firm yet tender, browned in butter, and the sauce was creamy but balanced. The braised rabbit added a little something different while the fried shallots on top were just an added bonus. It really was a dish to  crave, especially in this cold rainy weather.

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