This recipe came to me when I needed to feed a crowd and wanted to have all the cooking done be- fore everyone arrived. While most folks know this classic dish as a preparation for chicken or veal, it works brilliantly with pretty much any big game animal as long as you select quality steaks from the loins or back legs and tenderize them vigorously with a mallet. You can use your own home- made tomato sauce or one from the store. I like this simple tomato sauce because it’s easy to make, freezes well, and tastes great. This feeds 8–10 people and doubles nicely if you need to feed more.

SERVES: 8–10

• 8 steaks, cut from the back leg or loin, 3⁄4 inch thick (about 3–4 ounces each)
• Flour for dredging
• 2 eggs
• 11⁄2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, divided
• 2 cups fresh bread crumbs (see below)
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cups tomato sauce (see recipe below, or use your favorite tomato sauce)
• 12 fresh basil leaves, rolled like a cigar and sliced into thin strips (see below)
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella


Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil and 1⁄2 red onion, chopped. Sauté over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent. Add 4 cloves of garlic, chopped, and sauté for 30 more seconds. Add one 28-ounce can of crushed to- matoes (San Marzano tomatoes have the best flavor) and a little salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning, add a sprig of basil, and remove from the heat. Use immediately, cool and freeze, or cool and keep in the fridge for up to a week.


Fresh bread crumbs are so much more delicious, they’re worth making every time you have a fresh loaf of bread in the house that’s gone a little stale. I like to use baguettes, but sour- dough works, too. Just remove the crusts, cut the bread into 1⁄2-inch pieces, throw them into your food processor, and pulse until you have bread crumbs. It’s that simple. Store the bread crumbs in resealable bags in the freezer for when you need them.


First pick the largest leaves. Stack them up like dollar bills, then roll them like a cigar so you end up with a long roll of leaves. Slice the long roll crosswise with a sharp knife into thin slices. When they unfurl, you’ll have little thin slices of basil. Pretty cool.

This recipe is from The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game by Steven Rinella