Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Moose Stew

One of the things I've come to enjoy around this part of the country is hunting season.  Its not because I actually go hunting...or because my husband disappears to go hunting for weeks at a time.  Its actually because everyone we know who goes hunting usually has a wife who hates cooking game meat!  They usually wait a few months after hunting season is over and ask us if we'd take this meat away so they can have their freezer back. We win!  Not only is it free meat, but its lean and healthy too.  Wild animals aren't maintained the way that livestock is cared for, which can be good and bad. 

Good points:  no steriods or hormones were ever administered
Bad points:  you have really no idea where this animal has been getting its food or drinking water OR how much road salt its been licking up over the years.

At any rate, I like introducing wild meat to my kids.  It is a different flavour altogether and its nothing like they serve at fast food restaurants which has got to be a good thing.

Every time I eat wild meat I feel more like a pioneer than a consumer.  Living in the country, it just makes me feel like we live off of the land more...even if its not actually us doing the hunting.

I made Moose Stew the other night and this is how it goes:

Moose stew for you!

Rinse the meat really well once it has defrosted.  This method helps the meat lose some of the gamey flavour and any residue the meat may have.  (especially if you don't know who did the butchering)

Marinate the meat chunks in water and salt and pepper (or beef stock or wild game seasonings) overnight.  Discard water after.

Simmer meat on low in some liquid (stock or seasonings).  I used beef stock, less than a 1/2 cup per 2 lbs. (discard liquid after)

In a separate pot, simmer onions, carrots (from our garden) and potatoes. 

Add meat, more stock or seasonings, as well as 1/2 cup of  barley and simmer some more.

Towards the end of the simmering, I added frozen peas and beans from our garden that we froze and blanch devereaux'ed.  Its at this time you can add more stock if the barley has absorbed too much of the liquid.  I made the mistake of adding much more than I should have and decided to add some corn starch mixed in 1/2 cup of milk to thicken it up...but i should have just let the stew boil off.  That's why in the picture above the stew seems a little creamier than a stew normally is....

I also would have added some celery if we had any, but it still turned out nicely!  Not bad for not following a recipe....

I topped off this dish with garlic parmesan biscuits.....mmmmmmm.....

Now this is a thick and hearty meal from the Canadian wilds! 

I truly enjoy living where I live.  I especially love learning about the edible things in my area...so look forward to future posts about eating locally, foraging for goodies, and eating a true Canadian diet. 

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