Jon Wipfli is one of the most inspiring and down-to-earth wild game chefs we know. He grew up in Wisconsin and is currently based in Minnesota. As a passionate hunter and trained chef, you'd assume he's probably pretty good with venison. But when you see his new cookbook and try some of these amazing creations, you'll see why he's become so well known as being a master of the slay to gourmet approach.
The book, aptly titled Venison, includes more than 30 venison recipes, with accompanying accoutrements and sides. Pages are laden with beautiful photography and thoughtful instructions. Jon's approach will feel familiar for fans of Hank Shaw, Jeremiah Doughty and Steve Rinella, as Venison is written in an authentic voice and goes well beyond the skillet. Jon is a steward of the lifestyle of hunting, and bears the torch of a conservationist well. For example, his guide to field dressing and butchering is thorough and assumes nothing. Jon seems to understand that the process can be intimidating to new hunters, and with that in mind, he's offering one of the best guides we've seen.
While the quality of Jon's book reminds us of those elites, Venison is not Buck, Buck, Moose 2.0. This book is wholly original and feels fresh from front to back. Unique to Venison are the fanciful displays of culinary tact, found in recipes such as Porcini-Encrusted Loin, or Whole Confit Deer Leg. Don't worry, Jon's recipes aren't all as intimidating as those sound. Dishes like Leg Sandwiches offer a restaurant-grade meal with ease.
One thing we love about Jon's approach is he sees a challenge with every animal he harvests.
“If you get a whole animal, you have to let that animal dictate what you’re going to cook,” Wipfli told The Growler. “You can’t just cook backstrap every single time you cook venison.” Because, obviously, a deer isn’t made up of just backstraps. There’s shoulder, hindquarter, shank, neck, bone for stock, even the heart."
Jon Wipfli is not here to tell you hunting and butchering your own isn't hard. But he is here to tell you it's worth it.
Jon has partnered with GoWild to giveaway several copies of Venison. For your chance to win, download the GoWild app and comment on one of the posts about this book in the Giveaways trail. Or if you want to take matters into your own hands, buy it now. It's a great Christmas gift for the hunter in your life.
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