A couple of months after moving to Geneva, just when I thought I’d become accustomed to the town’s grocery stores, I was confronted by something I’d never seen before: a grand display of la chasse meats. Wild boar, hare, venison and rabbit – all meats I definitely was not used to seeing at the market. Little did I know, la chasse season had begun.
La chasse translates to “the hunt.” Every autumn, grocery stores, butchers, and food halls stock their shelves with wild game; restaurants throughout the area also feature game meats on their menus. La chasse season typically lasts from late September to mid-November.
Types of meat available during la chasse include:
- Venison (chevreuil)
- Deer (cerf)
- Quail (caille)
- Pheasant (faisan)
- Goose (oie)
- Rabbit (lapin)
- Hare (lièvre)
- Wild boar (sanglier)
If you see the word gibier, that is a general term for game meats. For example, many restaurants and markets will offer a terrine de gibier, which is a dish that incorporates several different la chasse meats.
Generally, la chasse meats tend to be lean. Classic preparation methods include braising, stewing, and roasting, all of which will help keep the meat moist during cooking.
If you decide to cook la chasse meats yourself this season, here are a few recipes you might enjoy:
- Boar ragu with pappardelle
- Roast venison with red wine and onion
- Rabbit with prunes in wine sauce
- Game Meats recipe index on Allrecipes.com
- Game Recipes from BBC Food
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