11 Wildly-Worthy Meats for Your Holiday Feast

Christmas is a season filled with two things: warm food and game hunting. So naturally it only makes sense to combine these two essential ingredients of the season together at your holiday table. This year, instead of having yet another turkey or ham at your holiday feast, bring something else to the table.

Try that goose or quail you got earlier in the season and have been storing in the freezer. Or plan an excursion simply for the thrill of hunting prey worthy to bring to the Christmas table.

Whatever game meat you choose, you’re sure to enjoy it so much more having the satisfaction of knowing that you didn’t just buy that hunk of meat in the store.

Do you need some ideas on how to change up your traditional holiday feast? Here are 11 different meats that you can try along with a perfect preparation.

1. Reindeer

Game time. #jotainmaukasta #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodie #foodstagram #feedfeed #stilllife #meat

A photo posted by Mari Moilanen (@jotainmaukasta) on

Popular in Scandinavia and incredibly festive, a roast reindeer might just be the perfect holiday-infused addition to your Christmas feast. Just maybe don’t mention it was Rudolph’s cousin to the kids.

Get a recipe here.

2. Roast Leg of Lamb

roast leg lamb christmas
Bibby’s Kitchen @ Thirty Six

Just like the sacrificial lamb in the Bible. There is nothing more seasonally appropriate to have at a Christmas feast than lamb.

Get a recipe here.

3. Venison

venison christmas roast
Reclaiming Yesterday

Similar to reindeer, but more indigenous to North America is venison. Every hunter knows that Christmas season is deer season, so what better excuse do you need to give yourself this weekend to go out hunting? After all, you’re just bringing home Christmas dinner.

Get a recipe here.

4. Duck

beer-duck christmas roast
Lady & Pups

Duck is a classic. It’s easy to find, impressive in its presentation, and wildly versatile in its preparation. Plus, if you have a big party you can prepare more than one, all in different styles. That way you’re sure to please everyone.

Get a recipe here.

5. Dove

grilled-doves-portuguese-style
Leite’s Culinaria

Dove is a classic game bird that used to be reserved for the rich and powerful. Now, however, it is accessible to the masses and can be served at your very own Christmas feast.

Get a recipe here.

6. Quail

If you live where folks hunt then you’ve probably indulged in quail. Beloved by French cuisine and hard-core hunters a like, this bird is elegant in its natural simplicity.

To really bring out its flavor, braise it and pair it with a homemade chutney. You’re sure to have a satisfied set at the dinner table. Get a recipe here.

7. Goose

roast-goose-christmas
The Woks of Life

Goose is good. Seriously. It’s a traditional Christmas dish in England. It’s a traditional St. Martin’s dish in Germany. It’s beloved in Asia year-round. And it’s made its way onto American tables as a popular celebratory roast. So jump on the bandwagon this year and try some of this delicious wild bird.

Get a recipe here.

Also how to pluck, dress, and cook a goose from scratch here.

8. Elk

elk-christmas roast
Outdoor Channel

Elk is basically really big deer, and really big deer mean really big flavor. So naturally this will be a showstopper on your Christmas table.

Get the recipe here.

9. Rabbit

roast christmas rabbit
Saveur

There is no reason you should look down on the humble rabbit as unworthy of being a main dish at Christmas. In fact, because they are so plentiful, rabbit might actually end up making a reoccurring appearance throughout the year. Just make sure to change up the sauce!

Get a recipe here.

10. Moose

If you live in the far northern reaches of the States then you may have encountered moose at the dinner table before. If you haven’t, then you should make it a priority to try it. Moose is the king of the deer family. So majestic and regal and just plain big. There are few things that could be as impressive at the table.

Get a recipe here.

11. Antelope

antelope christmas roast
Nevada Foodies

Antelope is an unusual game animal normally associated with Africa. However, these animals are also raised in America and make a delicious, meaty main that is out of this world tasty. Try it at Christmas, it may just be love at first bite.

Get a recipe here.

Read More: 5 Holiday Animals You Can Actually Eat