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Meat Goals: Cooking Exotic Meats

Posted by Man Crates on

Any adventurous man knows that living life to its fullest requires a bit of exploration, experimentation and discovery. To walk into the unknown, to break free from expectations and limitations, to live boldly—these are the things that separate man from MAN and bring him closer to living a truly fulfilled life. While not as dramatic as discovering new lands or flying across the Atlantic, adventurous eating can certainly lead to a more exciting life. At the very least it will garner some street cred among pals when you have them over for gator tacos. Man Crates has rounded up some exotic meat recipes to satisfy your hunger for adventure and just your plain old hunger. Read on and eat up!

If it moves, eat it
Meat consumption around the world is rising—we’re no dummies, we know what’s good—and it shows no signs of slowing down. But all that extra eating means that we have to adjust how we deal with meat and where we get it. Ostrich, elk, bison and other exotic meats are delicious alternatives to the traditional livestock of beef, pork and chicken, and eating a variety of meats can help with environmental concerns. Plus many of these non-traditional items are healthier options with lower fat and higher protein. So trying exotic meat recipes is actually good for the globe. Saving the world never tasted so good.

It does NOT taste like chicken

Nor does it cook like chicken. So don’t handle it like chicken. Unless it’s chicken, that is. While some exotic meats can be treated the same as the more traditional beasts when preparing and cooking, many have special rules to follow to get the most flavor out of them. So don’t waste that wallaby and stick to any specific preparation instructions when cooking exotic meat.

Exotic meat recipes: A delicious sampling

Wild Boar
A lean meat, wild boar should be cooked at lower temperatures—think slow and low—and definitely not overcooked. Prepare it properly and it will be full of flavor and very tender. Never put wild boar in a microwave, as that will make it tough and dry. Wild boar makes for excellent barbecue, sausage and, yes, bacon. Those ready to go whole hog and make the wild boar bacon commitment can look to the Baconology Kit for an assist.

Grilled Wild Boar Ribs


Two full racks of wild boar ribs
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
Barbecue sauce

Trim extra fat off ribs; cut rack in half if it’s long; place ribs into a pot filled with enough water to cover the ribs; bring the pot to a slow boil, turn the heat down to simmer and cook ribs until they are tender; remove the ribs from the pot and allow them to cool; season ribs with salt and pepper or a rub* before basting in barbecue sauce; grill ribs over medium heat and cook through, basting and turning at least once while cooking. Check with an instant-read thermometer—it should read at least 160° F.

*For rub: Mix the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, ground red pepper, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.

Bison is nutritious, tender and easy to work with. It is low in fat, which means the meat will cook faster, so it’s particularly important to not overcook—use lower heat and some moisture-retaining methods, like searing on both sides to help seal in natural juices. When making burgers, why have a basic burger when you can have a bison burger? Expect the meat to be ready a bit faster than beef.

Soy and Horseradish Bison Burgers

1 pound of organic extra-lean ground bison
2 small green chili peppers minced
½ cup of onion minced
1 tsp. garlic minced
1 tbsp. parsley chopped
1 tsp. horseradish
3 tbsp. soy sauce

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and form into patties; cook on a grill until desired wellness; assemble burgers on toasted buns with sliced, grilled onion and whatever other topics you like.

This lean, firm meat is very versatile and can be used in many recipes. It plays well with seasonings and can be fried, grilled or even stir-fried.

Gator Tacos

1 lb. gator meat cut into small pieces

Salsa ingredients

1 medium chopped onion
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of three limes
1 tbsp. Tabasco
1 tbsp. sugar

Guacamole ingredients

1 medium onion finely chopped
3 mashed avocados mashed
Juice from two limes
1 tbsp. Tabasco
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. powdered garlic

Alligator breading ingredients
1 tbsp. hickory smoked salt
1 tbsp. raw sugar
¼ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ cup cornstarch
1/8 cup semolina flour
Zest from a lemon

For breading, mix all ingredients except cornstarch and semolina flour in a spice mixer and grind into fine powder; mix with cornstarch and semolina flour and set aside; dredge gator pieces in the breading.

To deep-fry the gator bits, use a small deep fryer or a small sauce pan filled halfway with oil (typically 3 cups is good) and bring up to 350°; drop gator bits in and fry until golden brown; remove from oil and set on plate with paper towels to soak up excess oil before plating.

Spoon alligator and salsa into heated tortillas and top with guacamole and lime.

Ostrich is very low in fat content and lean so it’s important to not overcook it. Don’t cook to more than medium—it should be red in the center when cut into. It’s best to brown both sides on high heat and then continue cooking over lower heat. Flightless but not flavorless, ostrich grills like a lean steak and is like beef in taste and texture.

Ostrich Steak

3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. finely chopped shallot
1 cup white wine
1 cup beef stock
½ cup crème-fraiche
4 tsp. dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 ostrich steaks

Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a sauce pan over medium heat; add the shallot and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes; add the white wine; simmer over medium heat until wine reduces by three-quarters; add beef stock; strain sauce and return to saucepan; add crème-fraiche and simmer for about 5 minutes; reduce heat to keep warm; add mustard, salt and pepper.

In a skillet, heat oil and 1 tbsp. of butter over medium-high heat; season steaks with salt and pepper; when butter foams, cook steaks for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for rare, a little more for medium; remove from the heat and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes; top the steaks with the sauce or serve the sauce on the side.


Elk is naturally low in fat and cholesterol and high in protein and has a delicious, clean flavor. Retaining moisture is key to keeping elk tender and preserving its flavor, which is similar enough to beef that it can be substituted in many beef recipes, making cows worldwide rejoice. When cooking elk, think either hot and fast (tender cuts) or slow and low (stewing and slow cooking for tougher cuts).

Elk Stew


2 lb. elk stew meat
3 tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. oil
2½ cups water
1 large white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ tsp. paprika
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped potatoes
¾ cup fresh peas

Cover meat with flour and salt; brown meat in a large oiled and preheated pot; add boiling water, onion, garlic, paprika, lemon juice, honey, Worcestershire sauce and tomato, then simmer for 2 hours; add more water if needed and add vegetables, then cook until tender; thicken with flour and water if needed; add peas 5-10 minutes before serving.

No Cooking? No Problem

Some days you just don’t want to go out and wrestle an alligator into submission for dinner. Luckily we’ve cornered the market on exotic meat gifts for men. The Exotic Meats Crate and Exotic Meats Jerkygram are both brimming with sweet, sweet jerky so no one has to chase down any critters for a wild game fix.