Friday, May 8, 2009

Eating Eco- MOOSE!

This post is part of Fight Back Fridays! Hosted by Food Renegade :)

After reading my discussion on how to ethically and environmentally eat meat, my mom was so kind as to pipe up that dad had procured some wild moose meat! She promised that we could have an ENTIRE frozen roast when I came home for the holiday weekend. My mom isn't really a fan of wild meat, and dad often has to give his deer and rabbit meat away (to families who greatly enjoy it). She gave this meat away gladly lol.

Just a quick summary, meat production (including organic, biodynamic or wholistic) uses much much MUCH more energy and has a higher carbon footprint than other real food. Of course, making the choice to eat local, sustainable and organic (whether certified or if you know the farmer practices organic farming without certification) is vastly better than eating antiobiotic, corn-chomping unhealthy growth hormone meat.

The next step- sustainably harvested wild game.... MOOSE!

Our beautiful moose was killed in Newfoundland by my uncle and cousin. They only give out a certain number of moose tags a season, and hunters pay a pretty penny for them. I have actually never seen a real live moose.... Nova Scotia doesn't have a huge population. All I know is I never want to encounter a moose while driving on the highway (actual signs posted in NFLD)! Moose are now considered the dominate ungulate in Newfoundland and are a part of the deer family. They have majestic antlers which are covered with a delicate skin called felt which they shed when the antlers become full grown. They are truly a majestic, Canadian animal.

Our moose meat was in the form of a roast. We decided to try frying small strips on the stove. Since this was my endeavour, Andrew kindly said he'd be my "sous-chef" and that I could cut the meat. Right. One look at the red, red meat dripping blood on our bamboo cutting board and I started to gag. I am a scaredy cat. I shamefully passed along the title of chef to Andrew, who bravely cut out two steaks. The rest was easy- fry in the pan with garlic, real butter, spices and a bit of sauce.

We took our first adventurous bite and chewed. And chewed. Well, I would have chewed some more but an entire STRING of fat got caught in my teeth. ACK. The chewing was over. Hmmm. frying moose meat was NOT the  best idea.

Unfortunately we still had a GINORMOUS thawed out roast dripping happily onto the cutting board (I could only briefly look at it before turning away quickly like the wuss that I am). Andrew being a genius, decided to slow potroast it... and three hours later it was DELICIOUS. SUCCESS!!! So here is our Moose recipe numero DEUX :)

Andrew's Yummy Moose Potroast
First: In a large dutch oven-type-pot put some extra virgin olive oil, turn up the heat and sear the meat on all sides (thongs are useful).

Then- put in a cup of water and a bunch of vegetable stock (he really doesn't know how much). He put in enough to squash his mother's fears that it would all evaporate (they were visiting). He reports that in the end he had extra liquid because of the fat.... But at least the apartment didn't burn down haha.
Ok, with the water and veggie stock add some salt, pepper, worchestershire sauce, sage, marjoram and he was going to add garlic but he forgot. I think garlic would yummy!

Last: Put the lid on and bring the liquid to a simmer and let cook for three and a half to four hours.

While you are doing this, go to the local sustainable restaurant (The Wooden Monkey) with in-law parents and enjoy yummy organic ginger beef while periodically reassuring the in-laws that "no we're sure the apartment isn't burned to the ground by now". 

The moose was fantastic, tasted just like potroast! We ate moose leftovers for the entire week. :) We didn't take any pictures, mostly because I have such a weak stomach and was distracted by my need to run away from the bloody kitchen lol. My conclusions though, moose meat didn't taste "gamey" at all and was in fact scrumptious when done right (i.e. NOT pan fried! lol).



  1. "...sustainably harvested wild game..." I concur!

    The Husband and I have a deer in our freezer tidily wrapped in small white packages or in the case of the kielbasa and venison sticks, vacuum sealed bags. One deer will last the two of us a year - a perfect amount.

    There is something to be said about meat one has procured for themselves or relatives have shared. Enjoy that moose! Someday I hope to be able to try moose meat, I bet it would be a lot like bison.

  2. I think it is great when meat-eaters acquire their meat in responsible ways, like this. And I applaud you for getting that close to your meat! I think the vast majority of meat-eaters block out where their meat came from. I think it is so important to be close to our food - whether it is wild game, or a carrot. How many people do you suppose have never grown and eaten their own produce at least once? Not that that's a bad thing - it just goes to show how disconnected our culture is from the food we eat.

  3. I grew up in a family of hunters, so I would gladly fill in for your mom when she doesn't want any of that moose, rabbit, or deer!

    Thanks for sharing this in today's Fight Back Fridays carnival.

    (AKA FoodRenegade)

  4. Kristin:
    hehe, dad still has some deer... frozen and ready to eat when mom isn't looking lol. Andrew has had Bison while we lived out west and LOVED it... I think moose probably does taste like Bison, but only if properly prepared (and not panfried haha). :)

    Yoga Witch:
    So true! I have actually seen a bunch of deer, hanging from the barn's rafters, opened and gutted, bleeding slowly onto the floors as the men stood around admiring the latest "catch". Although I could never actually kill a mammal myself (I have killed plenty bugs, worms, frogs and well... have run over a few squirrels lol), I think it was important for me to experience that. We are disconnected.

    Kristen (FR):
    hehe, yes mom just strangely never acquired the taste for wild game, even though all the men around home hunt quite a bit. :)

  5. Oh very cool! We recently had venison from our friend's dad. That's the kind of meat I go for. It was ground so we made burgers and they were awesome.

  6. ACK.....geez but I'm with you on the bloody business.

    My only experience of moose (other than seeing them live) is the package of frozen moose left in my ex-in-laws freezer (gift from a hunter) that my ex thought it would be a grand idea to thaw and cook. OMG, I can STILL smell it.....(gag, retch)...

    That said - you are SO right..this should be the only way we procure our meat. I wonder how many people would turn veggie if they actually had to *prepare* a carcass...disconnected indeed!

    Funnily, I was really thinking of returning to my veggie-ness.....

  7. It's funny, I used to be so anti-hunting...mostly because of the attitudes of all the kids in my high school who were into hunting...but had no problem with eating farm-raised meat at ever meal. Now, though I very rarely have opportunities to eat wild game, my attitude has pretty much reversed.

    On the other hand, wild game unfortunately isn't much of an alternative for society as a whole--it takes all kinds of regulations and game wardens to enforce them...thus the pricey moose keep wild animal populations from being wiped out as it is....

  8. Yep, moose are something else alright. It is a shame that so many of them are hit on the highways around here.

    I have never eaten moose meat before, however. We have always had a herd of those great food and water wasters and emitters of methane, it seemed wrong to take from the wilds. I do agree, however, that responsible hunting can be a very responsible stewardship tool, as can selective logging and underbrush harvesting, selective fishing, grassland management, etc.

    If only we were a little more balanced in our management, and a lot less selfish and/or lazy.

    Interestingly, the Nfld moose population has exploded since being introduced to the island, as there are no natural predators and little hunting.

  9. Hi there, this is my first post, so here's a bit of a story.

    My husband is a park ranger at Kings Canyon (Watarrka) National Park in outback Australia. Like the moose in NFL, camels feral camels are an introduced species that have no natural predators and are now a massive problem across all the arid regions of Australia. Every year, the rangers shoot several thousand -yes, you read right- several thousand on one national park.

    Whenever they do a camel shoot, we have a freezer of fresh, super yummy camel meat for several months. All cuts: minces, sausages, steaks, corned, chunks for curry, and slabs for big pot roasts.

    So what does it taste like? Well, it's very similar to beef. In fact, I could serve it up to most people and they wouldn't know the difference. The only catch is, you either have to cook it rare, or sloooow cook it, otherwise, it gets tough.

    It's a shame that we can't make a viable industry out of feral camel meat. Unfortunately, there's not too many roads and absolutely no abattoirs.

  10. Hi Amanda;
    Thanks for commenting and visiting my blog! :) Wow, that sounds really interesting- camel! I think it's great that you and your husband are helping as best you can not let all that camel go to waste. It is a shame that there are so many hunted with no viable industry- but population control is important for the rest of the delicate ecology. :)


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