Eric Flatt of Tonto Bar & Grill and Cartwright's Talks Hunting in Arizona
|Courtsey of Cartwright's.|
|The trio of meats is a protein packed treat at Flatt's restaurant Cartwright's.|
For Flatt, it's not only about the respectful hunt but also about the process including enjoying the meal with friends and finding a creative way to make a meal based on what is available. "I am at ease being out in the field alone, then finishing up the day with a group of hunting buddies or a couple of families while camping." Recently, he hunted in Cibola for ducks and geese. "Arizona is so diverse that each area holds a special place. I love to hunt Quail and Dove in the lower desert areas," he says.
Unlike some hunters, this chef is adept with a knife and processes all of this own meat. "Being a chef, it is not just pride but the need to break every usable part down and think of what is to be made," Flatt relates. Inspired? Heed the words of the experienced. "With most 4 legged animals it goes like this for me: the tenderloins and back-straps (NY, Rib Eye & Sirloin) come out and are cut into steaks, portioned and wrapped. The hind ends are of varied uses, I like to keep some larger pieces for braising or slow roasting in my wood oven. I also like to cut some into nice tips for all kinds of uses, like chili, stews, carnitas, etc. The front legs contain the least amount of meat with the most amount of tendons and work. This all get cleaned and is used for grinding," says Flatt. "You can make jerky out of this, but I cherish deer too much to make jerky."
If you're inspired and interested in hunting in Arizona, but sure to read up on rules, safety and regulations via the Arizona Department of Fish and Game. Or, you can take a trip to Cave Creek to branch out from the ordinary and try the beef, elk & buffalo meat loaf at Cartwright's or onion-crusted fresh-water walleye cat Tonto Bar & Grill.