Top 10 wildest game dishes in the Twin Cities

Courtesy of the W.A. Frost Facebook page
Wild Acres pheasant with curried spaghetti squash and cranberry-hibiscus sauce.

Who got game? We do, apparently.

It used to be that bison was about the wildest thing you'd find on a menu in the Twin Cities, but as leaner alternative proteins gain popularity, our local chefs have learned to perfectly prepare everything from pig to pigeon. So now that hunting season is underway, we're taking a walk on the wild side and counting down some of our favorite Twin Cities dishes that feature game.

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E. Katie Holm
Bayou Brat with spicy kraut
10. Alligator Bayou Brat at New Bohemia
Gator isn't exactly on the radar for our local hunters, but it does make a wet and wild base for the Bayou-inspired brat at New Bohemia Bier and Wurst Haus in Northeast. The mild meat has a soft texture, a little garlicky flavor added in, and really does taste like chicken. Well, it tastes like a chicken that can swim. Nestled into a soft Saint Agnes Bakery bun, you'll want to get this one with the spicy red kraut for a totally non-Creole kick. 

Alma Guzman
9. Bison Chili Cheese Fries at the Lowbrow
The leanness of bison meat kind of goes out the window when you eat it in the form of spicy, smothered chili cheese fries. But buffalo needn't always have the halo of health surrounding it, especially when it tastes this good. If you are crazy prefer your chili sans frites, you can get it that way too, in a bowl garnished with the Lowbrow's homemade tortilla chips.

E. Katie Holm
8. Rabbit Cottage Pie at Pig & Fiddle 
Over the years American home cooks have adapted shepherd's or cottage pie to include good ol' ground beef, a more palatable and readily available alternative to the traditional lamb. But Pig & Fiddle's chef (and recent participant in our Iron Fork competition) Stephanie Kochlin knows that real homey comfort comes from slow-cooked game. She coaxes out the richest flavor by braising tender rabbit meat and adding it to a gravy-like pan sauce with celery, carrots, and onion. The rustic mini-casserole is covered with buttery shortcrust pastry and baked until flaky and golden. It's a perfect dish to have all to yourself on a cold night, especially when washed down with one of the many Belgian beers Pig & Fiddle has on tap.

kangaroo hells kitchen560.jpg
Courtesy Hell's Kitchen
7. Kangaroo Steaks at Hell's Kitchen
Some may shudder at the idea of consuming something as cute as a kangaroo, especially since the hunting or farming of the marsupials for meat is still a somewhat controversial practice. But ever the envelope-pushers, downtown Minneapolis restaurant Hell's Kitchen added kangaroo to its menu in the form of steaks earlier this year. The high protein, low fat meat is served with a light pickled vegetable salad, smoky cheddar-laced soft polenta, a maple bacon chutney, and a schmear of sweet blackberry barbecue sauce. Does that make you want to hop to it?

Courtesy W.A. Frost Facebook
6. Duck Pate at W.A. Frost
The charcuterie options change up at this St. Paul classic spot fairly regularly, but there's almost always something wild on the platter. Recently they made this incredibly rich duck pate marbled with porcini mushroom powder for added depth and woodiness. You can practically hear the leaves crunching underneath your boots as you spread this business on a crostini.

Courtesy Craftsman Facebook page

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