Hunting for Wolves is legal in Mongolia, although licenses have to be obtained. Out in the Steppes, where food can be sparse, anything that can be caught is eaten, although for most of the world, eating an animal that is 100% carnivorous is not a typical occurance. However, through my contacts I was offered some Wolf Meat. Having said “Yes” – the next question to deal with was how on earth to prepare and cook it?
Quite simply, there is nothing online. A few comments from some grizzled hunters in Alaska, and an old German recipe with a marinade, but that’s about it. So I was going to have to deal with this all on my own. Doing so requires some thought about the animal. A wolf is going to be all muscle, and as a carnivore, have a very strong aroma. This is lean meat, with very little fat, tough, and with a extremely strong flavor. The question then is one of preparation to make it palatable – and even delicious. I was fortunate in the piece I acquired was the tenderloin – so although possibly tough, it would be the least tough part of the animal.
The old German recipe was actually for dog, and didn’t say much, but did suggest a marinade. That did as the starting point. Quantity enough to cover the meat, on the bone:
- Beer & Red Wine Marinade
- Liquid: Half Dark Beer, half strong red wine (Cabernet or Shiraz)
- Ground black pepper
- Decent slug of rock salt
- Small Handful of juniper berries
- Bay leaves
I left the wolf in this for one week. The aroma of the meat however was still very strong, and I needed to do something about it. Then – brainwave: a whisky marinade. Keeping the beer/wine marinade to one side (to reduce and use later as a sauce), I created the following marinade to finish the tenderizing, again enough to cover the meat:
Liquid: Half regular malt or blended whisky, half vodka, plus
Half cup of a big smoky whisky such as Laphroaig or Lagavullan
This was left for 24 hours. Upon smelling it again at this time, the powerful gaminess had been reduced and partially replaced with a strong smoked smell (which is why the half cup is important) that complimented the aroma of the meat.
I decided to serve the wolf with Mashed Potatoes, Carrots and Fresh Mushrooms, with a sauce. The Potatoes and Carrots need no introduction, but this is how I did the mushrooms:
Dry scrub the mushrooms clean, then place in the whisky marinade for 20 minutes. They will soak up the juice. Pan fry in butter and chopped garlic, and be sure to get most of the alcohol evaporated so the taste remains but not too much liquor. Serve immediately along with the potatoes when the meat and sauce are also ready.
Dark Beer & Red Wine Sauce
Take the original marinade and reduce. It probably won’t need much seasoning, but adjust as required. The flavors become more subtle and integrated, not stronger, as it reduces. Thicken with sour cream or brown flour, mixing the flour in with milk first beforehand and folding into the marinade slowly to prevent the sauce becoming lumpy. Taste and then serve.
While all this is going on, you need to prepare and cook the meat. This was boned, and then sliced into medallions. These were then quickly pan fried, for about ten minutes, not too long or it becomes tough. Serve on a plate with the side dishes and sauce and enjoy. Accompany with chilled vodka shots (“Toktoy!” is Mongolian for Cheers) and a strong red wine, preferably a Hungarian or Bulgarian red if you can get them. It was extraordinary. Delicious, to gourmet standards and I may have just written the best and only recipe for preparing and cooking wolf. Enjoy!