Author Jesse Griffiths debuts with a beautiful hardcover book entitled Afield: A Chef’s Guide to Preparing and Cooking Wild Game and Fish. A native Texan and professional chef, Griffiths grew up fishing yet recently delved into the world of hunting. His love of fishing, hunting, and the outdoors shines through as he aims to entice readers to experience food at the most basic level.
Afield is at once a how-to manual on hunting, dressing, and preparing game and fish and a literal and visual inspiration for the hunter and the passionate cook. Photographer Jody Horton beautifully captures moments in the field and provides step-by-step pictures of butchering methods, fish care, and mouth-watering recipes such as simple grilled doves and smothered boar chops. The recipes focus on fresh, quality ingredients that highlight the specific game or fish.
I prepared the Venison Osso Bucco, a Milanese specialty usually made with veal shanks but here with venison, vegetables, white wine, and broth and garnished with a gremolata of minced garlic, parsley, and lemon zest. I served this dish with a mushroom risotto, adapted from a recipe Griffiths calls “Bad-Day Dove Risotto.” The recipes, by the very nature of the game and fish harvested, beg for the hunter/fisherman/cook to treat the entire process with the utmost respect.
If you wish to slow down just a bit, become part of the process of the food that you eat, and understand food at this most basic level, Afield is a great place to turn to. I am certain that after taking the time to harvest (or procure from others!) your own game and fish, preparing a meal using quality ingredients and methods, and sitting down at the table with family or friends, you will have experienced something wonderful that cannot be found in a drive-thru or the frozen food section of your grocery store. You will recall the hunt, you will taste the goodness, and you will embody and share the respect that comes with the hunt.
Or buy it here at Amazon:
Welcome Books, ISBN 1599621142, Hardcover $40.00