Catskills Hunt & Dinner

In 2019 Elizabeth Starks & Jacob Sackett decided to build a homestead in the farming community where Jacob’s family settled over six generations ago. They wanted to create a place to live, raise livestock, grow food, and welcome visitors. Today their home, Bovina Farm and Fermentory, has a public dining room downstairs that they open for a weekly dinner for guests to eat family style on candlelit tables. The weekly menu includes produce from their own gardens and neighboring farms, and often wild game, all paired with homemade beers and inspired by family recipes. The farm, brewery, and restaurant are run solely by Elizabeth and Jacob, who proudly carry on their family traditions dating back generations in the Catskills, garnering local and national interest along the way.

We’re delighted to share recipes from their Field Day Dinner this past October. Jacob and Elizabeth hosted a group for a guide upland hunt followed by dinner at the farm. The meal featured duck, pheasant, and venison paired with house beers. It was a celebration of Thanksgiving traditions from Jacob’s childhood, which always included a morning hunt with his dad and grandfather, followed by dinner.

Field Dinner Recipes

Continue reading for ingredients and steps to three mouth-watering dishes: Confit Duck Terrine, Pan Roasted Pheasant with Leek Butter Sauce, and Cast Iron Venison Steak.

Confit Duck Terrine

Makes one terrine

Ingredients for confit duck: 

- 6 wild or pekin duck legs
- 1 apple
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch rosemary or thyme
-  olive oil to submerge legs

Ingredients for terrine:

- 1 lb. sliced bacon 
- 1 lb. ground pork 
- 4 large eggs
- handful of allspice berries
- ½ cup chopped rosemary/thyme/parsley
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 large potatoes, thinly sliced, cut into squares
- dijon mustard and cornichons for serving

Confit Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 250*F
2. Situate duck legs in the bottom of a large dutch oven and add chopped apples, onion, and herbs
3. Pour olive oil to submerge legs, bring to a simmer on the stove top
4. Place in the oven for 4 hours or until meat falls off bones
5. Allow to cool for handling, remove all meat from bones. Retain bones for use in stock.

Terrine Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Line loaf pan or terrine pan with parchment paper.
2. Lay bacon strips across the base of the pan, lining the entire pan
3. In a food processor, add the pulled duck meat, ground pork, 4 large eggs, herbs, allspice berries, and heavy cream. Pulse until a rough paste-like mixture is formed. Mix thoroughly, but do not overmix. The meat should retain some of its structure.
4. Peel and boil potatoes for 10 minutes, remove from water and slice thinly, shaping into squares or rectangles
5. In your bacon lined pan, layer your terrine filling, approximately 1" in thickness, followed by a layer of potatoes. Repeat until you fill the pan to the top.
6. Fill a high-walled baking sheet with 2 inches of water and place terrine in the pan and into the oven.
7. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 160*F and remove from the oven.
8. Weigh the top of the terrine with whatever kitchen items suit your pan (it should be pressed down firmly). Allow the terrine to cool in the refrigerator overnight. 
9. Cut roughly one inch slices from your terrine and serve along with your dijon mustard and cornichons. 

Pan Roasted Pheasant with Leek Butter Sauce

Serves 4


- 4 pheasant breasts
- 2 tsp. chopped lavender
- 6 tbsp. butter
- 1 leek
- 1 ½ cups pheasant stock, can substitute chicken
- ¾ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ tbsp. dijon


1. Salt pheasant breasts up to 24 hours ahead. Preheat over to 400*F
2. Pat pheasant breasts dry, and season well with lavender and cracked pepper
3. Heat a cast iron pan over high heat and add olive oil. Lay the breasts in the pan, and sear both sides until golden. Add 2 tbsp. butter to the pan and baste the pheasant. Put pan in oven for ~10 minutes, until 155*F in center of breasts. Remove pan from oven and let rest.
4. Add 2 tbsp. butter to pan, toss in sliced leek and cook 2-3 minutes
5. Deglaze the pan with the stock, wine, and Dijon, and bring to boil for 10 minutes to thicken. Add in last 2 tbsp. butter and stir.
6. Serve pheasant with sauce over top. Garnish with your favorite herbs and serve with your favorite honey roasted root veg.

Cast Iron Venison Steak


- Venison steak cut of your choosing
- Salt / pepper
- 4 tbsp. butter
- Garlic
- Herbs of your choosing


1. Allow venison ~30 minutes to come to room temperature
2. Season all sides well with salt and pepper
3. In a large cast iron pan, melt butter until sizzling, toss in garlic and herbs
4. Lay steak across the searing hot pan, basting in butter and herbs intermittently
5. After 2-3 minutes, flip and repeat the basting process
6. Let cook in pan until internal temperature reaches 120*F - time will vary depending on size and shape of your cut
7. Remove from pan and allow to rest for at least 5-10 minutes, uncovered
8. Best eaten standing over your stove top, directly out of the cast iron