Wild Game Stock: Keep Those Bones

Hunting Season has officially opened in most places and it is time so start planning out what you will do with the mounds and mounds of game meat that you will harvest. Only kidding about the mounds and mounds, but it is important to consider what you will be doing with the prime cuts and the other bits. I personally try to save as much of the bones from animals and fish as I can. Why? To make the most delicious stocks, of course.

A solid stock is the quintessential ingredient to any soup, stew, rice, pasta, or even a chili dish. In its very basic form, you boil down the bones from fish or animals with some spices and vegetables. This creates a much more flavorful base for your dishes. Depending on your level of culinary skill, stocks can also be used to make sauces to put atop dishes as well.

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Roasted Tuna Head Ramen Noodle Soup

You will never have a stranger conversation than when you attempt to explain to the deckhand on a charter fishing boat why you want to keep the tuna heads from the Yellowfin you and your friends just caught. This was several months ago and I still recall the way that he craned his neck in confusion when I asked, “Hey, can you save a couple of those heads for me?” His reply was not as cordial as you would imagine. A PG version of it would be, “What are you going to do with them….Fish Head Soup?????”

My reply was equally baffling as I told him the story of watching a documentary that showed how traditional sushi chefs roast the collars and sometimes the heads to eat. In one motion, he shrugged his shoulders and slid the largest of the heads off of the cutting board and into a bag for me to cook with later.

Fast forward to several months of this head living in my freezer and my wife also questioning my sanity. I finally decided to pull it out and roast it. The meat was to be be picked off of the bone and the skull used for stock. The whole creation, in my mind, would come together flawlessly into a delicious bowl of piping hot ramen. The ramen did come out amazing…. But the whole process was not flawless. My wife still questions my sanity because I left the whole house smelling like roasted fish head for two days. So with this said, you have been warned…

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