5 Holiday Animals You Can Actually Eat

Some people like the Christmas season because it’s filled with family, presents, and holiday decorations. Others like it because it is a time to enjoy good food with your loved ones. There are others, however, who wait for it every year with bated breath because this is the one time of year when they are allowed to feast on unusual delicacies that are otherwise reserved for images on the front of Christmas cards.

Yes, ’tis the season to celebrate Rudolph; not for leading the way with his nose, but for his tender backstrap which tastes so good smothered with chipotle butter. You can also try two turtle doves or a partridge in a pear tree. There are just so many opportunities to bring new, festive flavors to the table this season!

So, to help you narrow down your choices, we’ve rounded up five of the most quintessential holiday animals (that are also delicious) and provided you with a recipe for each.

1. Rudolph (Reindeer)

Reindeer actually belongs to the venison family. They just happen to have really fancy horns and spend most of their time in Scandinavia. Therefore, we don’t see them on the menu often in the States.

However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t delicious. In fact, if you like venison, you are going to love the enhanced flavor of reindeer. It’s similar to elk and goes great on the grill.

Get a recipe here.

2. Wild Hare

Hare is not often deemed a delicacy so much as it is considered garden vermin. Despite this reputation, hare is scrumptious and has been used in traditional dishes for centuries.

This hearty meat holds up well to spices and sauces making it a perfect choice for wintertime when all you want is a little something to warm you up from the inside out.

Get a recipe here.

3. Dove

#bird #pigion #dovebird #love ❤️️

A photo posted by سلمان محمد (@_its_me_salman) on

Doves bring peace, prosperity, and really good flavor to the table. If you’ve had bacon-wrapped dove then you probably know this to be true. This season, however, let the bacon go and just focus on this beautiful holiday game.

Dress it up with herbs, grill it to perfection, and you’re sure to see your celebration get under way.

Get a recipe here.

4. Bear

Try an unfamiliar meat in a familiar dish. Try bear osso buco. Slow-cooked until it’s fall apart tender and then braised in an herby tomato sauce, this dish is sure to be a pleasing introduction to bear meat for all.

Find the recipe here.

5. Partridge

This year the partridge is on your plate and not in a pear tree, and it is going to be a pleasant surprise. A traditional game bird in Britain, it is time to popularize its flavors here in the US.

This year, try it in a Hungarian style. It will please your pallet and warm you up even on the coldest day.

Get a recipe here.

Read More: 24 Wild Game Recipes Worthy of That Hard-Earned Harvested Meat