Wisconsin Brine for Turkey and Game

This brine blends the delicious qualities of sweet maple syrup and herbal juniper to create a flavorful soak for just about any wild game.  This brine is especially good for game birds like grouse or pheasant.  We even use it on our holiday turkey.

Wisconsin Brine
Makes enough brine for one or two small game birds. Increase amounts for turkey.

4 cups water
4 cups potable ice
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3-4 whole cloves
1 tsp whole juniper berries, cracked
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
juice from half of a lemon

Stir together all ingredients, except for lemon juice, in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.

Allow mixture to sit at room temperature to cool for about 1/2 hour. Place ice into a container large enough to hold both the game and the brining liquid. Pour room temperature brine over the ice and stir until ice is melted and mixture is room temperature or cooler.

Add pheasant (or other game) to the brine, adding water if needed to cover.  Allow to brine for at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Roast as desired.  Keep in mind that the game will have absorbed flavor from the brine, so do not over-season.

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1 comment:

George Gaston said...

This sounds unbelievably delicious. I think I will give this style of cooking a try. Many thanks...