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Moose (Merged topic)

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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?

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

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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.


Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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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.


sparrowgrass

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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.

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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!!!

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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

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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.



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


Karen Dar Woon

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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.


Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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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.

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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.

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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.


eGullet member #80.

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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.

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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.

D41BA92C-3F87-492B-913A-C54A24A0C245-3834-0000051B57066DFA.jpg

12 hours of work turned that into abour 600 lbs of component parts and pieces -- all nicely labelled for packing.

F09D14F0-17FE-4243-9914-FC06D6C469E5-11187-00000DD92EE35E2E.jpg

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.

F254FC3F-135C-4693-99C1-6393A4155B0F-11187-00000DD90F7BAA3E.jpg

This week. Corned moose heart and tongue.

399BA055-5057-4089-84C2-4ACFDF171D41-11187-00000DDD3E576D9D.jpg

Steamed on on rye with saur kraut and swiss.

96FE6C3D-6695-4118-AA54-AFC845694045-11187-00000DDE4384074F.jpg

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 (log)

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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.

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Nice to see you using the whole animal.

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

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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.

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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

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Thanks Michaela!

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

Alex

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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.

2B3B50F9-65AE-4AF1-967B-431D86990E1A-16797-000015C7971BAAC4.jpg


Edited by sjemac (log)

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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

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