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Moose (Merged topic)


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#1 eVITAERC

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 11:38 PM

Thanks to some friendly co-workers from the hilly forests of Alberta, I now have about an 8oz rectangular chunk of moose meat (of the lovingly clueless indiscriminate cut of "steak") sitting in my freezer. The thing is... what do I do with it? I've never dealt with moose before. I was tempted to just pound it out and grill it, but the more I think about it the more I suspect I really would want to braise it or roast it instead. Does anyone have any experience cooking with moose meat? How did you prepare it?

#2 TheSwede

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 02:16 AM

Moose is generally quite tough meat (the tenderloin excepted). Some sort of slow braise or stew is my recommendation.

#3 Peter the eater

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 06:06 AM

The moose hunters I know tend to treat the meat much like deer (NS) or caribou (NL). This means basic barbecue, roasts and sausages. Have you had experience with the elk out west?

Apparently there are some choice bits along the back and loins and head, but the pieces I have been given and cooked have been dark, lean and a bit tough. As much as I enjoy a rare steak, I would be careful with the meat of any wild animal - you never really know where they've been or what parasites they might have.
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#4 sparrowgrass

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:06 AM

I haven't cooked any moose, but I have dealt with many a hunk of venison.

If it is steak (evenly grained, no silverskin or sinewy/gristly stuff), I would do as you first thought--pound it out and grill it. Don't overcook it. Or slice it paper thin and do a stir fry thing, maybe with lots of mushrooms and onion.

If it is sinewy/gristly, then make a stew or braise.
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#5 Magictofu

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 01:37 PM

Look at the amount of fat and sinew in the piece of meat. If there is little of it avoid braising or stewing, it will get tough and dry.

In my familly, we used to make fondue with moose but I assume you could make interesting burgers too. I would add some fat in the ground meat if you decide to go for burgers.

You could also slice it very very thinly and cook it in butter flavoured with some herbs (sage, thyme or rosemary).

Moose has quite a strong and unusual taste... a bit like a very gamey horse meat. Some people don't like it others are crazy for it. If you want to experience the taste of moose meat, cook it as simply as possible.

#6 freddychef

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 05:08 PM

Again it depends on the cut, the hunt, the time in the freezer BUT I always tend to prepare it in a few select ways...depending on the size attempt a few small recipes...pound a few pieces and marinate and grill; make a nice braise with red wine,double smoked bacon, homemade parsley spaetzle and carmelized shallots or onions, or bottle and enjoy later on as the process (if done right) can add an enormous treasure that is great taken straight from the bottle!!!

#7 Goatjunky

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 04:08 PM

Thanks to a friend of mine i am about to get a TON of moose meat. I have zero experience cooking game. I have no idea what cuts i will be getting but im looking for recipes and advice

#8 LindaK

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:08 PM

I've only tasted it in a braise, never cooked with it. The flavor was distinctive but not so gamey that more timid diners shied away. Definitely tender, so the braise technique worked its magic.

Braises freeze well.


 


#9 janeer

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 07:21 PM

Moose mincemeat? Venison (shoulder)is my absolutely favorite meat for mincemeat , so why not moose?

#10 KarenDW

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Posted 14 September 2011 - 11:29 PM

Sausage... with pork. So many flavoring options available :) Then freeze the sausage links.
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#11 Mallet

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 08:05 AM

Moose is delicious. Very similar to grass-fed beef, but generally more intense. Hopefully it will have been properly butchered. In my neck of the woods very often the majority of the carcass is simply ground up (a total waste IMHO), and the rest made in super thin (1/2in) steaks, leaving you with relatively few options.

Being game, it will be quite lean (little to no marbling), so on any of the grilling cuts medium-rare is the rule. Personally, I think moose tartare is a near-transcendental experience. FYI, moose can carry disease (e.g.: trichnosis, tapeworms), so freezing the meat for a few weeks (perhaps more on really big pieces) is highly recommended. As stated above, any braise should work well, but I favour rich/fatty braises with moose because it's so lean that it has a tendency to dry out.
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#12 Jan Virtanen

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Posted 15 September 2011 - 12:53 PM

As it happens soon theres reindeer in season. I would like to buy some meat from Lapland but i dont know what shape of cuts to request. When i cook beef i like tail, cheeks and shortribs, and hanger steaks. Tail is definatly my favorite cut of beef.
I would like to eat wild meat and not agriculture grown stuff anymore. I have no experience with reindeer meats. I would use them as braise or sous vide. I like the fatty cuts.
They also sell marrow bones, i am sure they make a great stock but they are little expencive.

#13 Goatjunky

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:05 PM

So what i got are completely unidentifiable cuts. I was loaded up with about 10 pounds of meat in cryovak packages that all look similar. They look really lean and somewhat darker than beef. Im debating what to do, but am going to let them sit in the freezer til after thanksgiving.

#14 Margaret Pilgrim

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Posted 19 November 2011 - 07:25 PM

am going to let them sit in the freezer til after thanksgiving.

Probably excellent idea. Since they are unlabeled, I would pull them out one at a time, let it thaw and see what you have to work with. It will probably make more sense when you see it face to face.

When I was first married, I mean within a week, my m-i-l brought me a zillion pounds of frozen elk meat. I was at the time a virgin cook. The easiest parcels were ground -> elkburgers. Prime cuts, i.e., t-bones or NY steaks, we flash-fried to greater or lesser success. Larger mystery cuts, we sliced and pounded and made a version of Swiss steak, a dish that is probably unknown today: pounded steak, breaded in flour, browned then braised either with or without tomato.

Do let us know, parcel by parcel, about how you are handling your largesse.
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#15 Kathyann

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Posted 20 November 2011 - 02:59 AM

I had half a moose to cook many years ago. I like it much better than venison. I brought moose bourguignon to a party and it went over very well.

#16 sjemac

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 01:35 PM

One of the "benefits" to living in the frozen north is the availability of local ingredients uncommon elsewhere. This year we had the opportunity to put one of natures great delicacies in the freezer and a LOT of it at that. Enter a 900+ lb bull moose.
Posted Image

12 hours of work turned that into abour 600 lbs of component parts and pieces -- all nicely labelled for packing.
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One of the first meals. A seared round roast that was finished by wrapping it in the rind of a freshly smoked slab of homemade bacon before cooking to an internal temp of 135.

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This week. Corned moose heart and tongue.


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Steamed on on rye with saur kraut and swiss.

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Flavour wise, moose is like a "beefier" beef. It is like the flavour of oxtails but through the entire animal -- even when med rare. The shanks make for an amzingly rich stew. Will post more as we empty the freezer.

Edited by sjemac, 09 December 2012 - 01:57 PM.


#17 Tri2Cook

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 02:27 PM

That bacon-rind wrapped roast looks awesome. I have some vac packed this-season's moose loin in the freezer, I'm still deciding what I want to do with it.
It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

#18 Okanagancook

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:07 PM

Nice to see you using the whole animal.

#19 SusieQ

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:11 PM

All I can say is, WOW!

#20 Creola

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Posted 09 December 2012 - 04:46 PM

Another WOW! What a days work.Talk about living off the land, you are doing it in style.

#21 Alex Parker

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 02:46 PM

Hey everyone. I have a Moose loin that I am planning on doing for Christmas Eve. Its about 4 lbs, and looks delish! I have a few questions though, as I am planning on Sous vide, followed by a light smoke of dry pine branches.

1) - Does Moose benefit from a couple days of dry aging? Or is there simply not enough fat content to do anything of significance to the meat?

2) As I said above, I am planning on Sous Vide. I have settled on probably 48 hours at around 62.5 degrees. Does this seem about right? Or again, am I way off the mark.

I am throwing this out there, because I haven't dealt much with Moose other than in ground form, so I want to make sure this is perfect. Any and all help is super appreciated!

Thanks so much


Alex.

#22 Alex Parker

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:50 AM

Ok so I am going to do this on my own it seems.

I was way off in my initial temps and times. I did some math and figured out what I want texture wise and decided
on 145 degrees for 24 hours. I am going to add a little red wine, a couple of drops of rose syrup to bring out the sweetness a little.and some salt and pepper and thats it. I know that cooking time seems a little optimistic in terms of complete doneness, but I think the smoking at the end is going to take it up to where I need it, which will be 155 degrees. May do a mustard and red wine reduction as a sauce. I will get pictures of the entire process and report back with my findings early Christmas morning!


Alex

#23 Alex Parker

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:29 AM

Thanks Michaela!

I did a search on the forums and that topic didn't appear.. Ugh! Sorry.


Alex

#24 sjemac

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hey Alex,

Depending on how the moose was cared for, it can definitely benefit from a few days in the fridge. Was it hung for any amount of time before butchering? Old or young moose?

If I've been forced to butcher an animal before the optimal hanging time of 14 days (I had to butcher my moose two days after taking it) I take my roasts and after defrosting them I put them in a large ziploc with a huge wad of paper towel underneath and leave it in the fridge for a few days. This improves the flavour and texture somewhat though not nearly as much as proper aging on the bone does.

Sous vide works excellently with elk and moose. I recently did an elk roast sous vide for 12 hours at 130 F and it turned out perfect. For moose I would not go past 135 F (140 max). It is a lean lean animal and temps of 145 and higher are considered well done. 48 or even 24 hours of sous vide is sometimes too much for game like moose and deer. The meat stays nice and pink but the texture can get somewhat mushy -- almost chalky. Moose loin is of a much finer grain than other parts of the animal and more susceptible to this effect than beef.

The pic below is of the sous vide elk roast. I Jaccarded it (I would NOT do this for loin), seasoned with salt and pepper and vac packed it in a bag with chiles, lime slices, red onion and olive oil and cooked it for 12 hours at 130 F (54.5 C). Seared it with a torch afterwards. 135 F would give a lighter pink and 145 F would be bordering on gray. The beautiful thing about sous vide is that you could go for 12 hours and then check for texture and doneness -- if happy, chill and rebag and simply bring it up to temp on the day of the meal. If not, rebag and place it back in the bath for more time. Smoking lightly afterwards and then searing should be fine. I liken moose to really beefy tasting beef, you notice that it is not beef but it does not have the tang that deer does, the flavour is deeper and rounder than venison. Big red wines and dark beers were made for it.


Posted Image

Edited by sjemac, 19 December 2012 - 11:02 AM.


#25 Alex Parker

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:59 PM

Thank you so much!

So excited to work with this beautiful piece of meat! Taking your advice, and bringing down cooking time and temp. Cannot wait to get going on it!

Again thanks so much! I will be taking plenty of pictures to document, and of course, I will put them up on here.

Yours sincerely


Alex

#26 demo

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:25 AM

I have had good results at 55-56C, and no more time than to make sure the core has reached temp. I think I have read somewhere, Modernist Cuisine perhaps?, that game contains more of the enzymes that break down your meat, so one should be careful with long time low temp cooking as the risk of mushiness is higher than in beef.

#27 Syzygies

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:53 AM

followed by a light smoke of dry pine branches.

Have you used pine smoke before?

I have a ceramic cooker and I'm active on the Komodo Kamado forum (http://www.komodokamado.com/forum). There, I've long advocated putting wood chips or chunks in a cast iron dutch oven with a few small holes drilled in the bottom, and the lid sealed on with flour paste. (This is to place on a charcoal fire, temperature controlled like sous vide by a PID controller.) The idea is to "distill" the most pleasant part of the smoke, making it one more flavor in balance. Even then, I prefer apple to stronger wood smokes for most purposes. I'm having trouble imagining that pine smoke would contribute a desirable flavor.
Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
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#28 sjemac

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

followed by a light smoke of dry pine branches.

Have you used pine smoke before?

I have a ceramic cooker and I'm active on the Komodo Kamado forum (http://www.komodokamado.com/forum). There, I've long advocated putting wood chips or chunks in a cast iron dutch oven with a few small holes drilled in the bottom, and the lid sealed on with flour paste. (This is to place on a charcoal fire, temperature controlled like sous vide by a PID controller.) The idea is to "distill" the most pleasant part of the smoke, making it one more flavor in balance. Even then, I prefer apple to stronger wood smokes for most purposes. I'm having trouble imagining that pine smoke would contribute a desirable flavor.


A very light smoking with pine does depending on the recipe. Maybe a half hour at most.

#29 ninagluck

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 02:58 PM

what would you serve with your dear animal? i just had one recently, smoked a vanilla bean and put it into a potatoe mash, matched perfecct!

#30 Syzygies

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 07:50 AM

I am planning on Sous vide, followed by a light smoke of dry pine branches.

I see a logistical conflict here: In the BBQ world, one always smokes cold raw meat, getting a beautiful red smoke ring as the meat absorbs smoke, until this process stops somewhere before 145 F. Any smoke after that is a surface effect, only there to reassure the cook and guests that they're really cooking with smoke. In the sous vide world, one typically moves hot procedures to after sous vide that in classical technique would precede a braise.

I'd smoke the moose first, then chill it as your vacuum chamber requires, or use an alternative method (I use an impulse sealer and snip a corner to expel air under water, allowing me to work hot).

Recall also the advice of Thomas Keller (and others) that flavors are stronger sous vide, one has to be very careful with any spice. Pine smoke is such a spice...
Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."