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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

May the Moose be With You

Pork, chicken, beef, whatever. As Jimi Hendrix would say: "Blah blah woof woof."

Shoulders and briskets. Ribs and wings. Let's do something new.

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Bang. That's a moose roast, Son.

My man Johannes Leppihalme from Finland has the hook-up on the fresh Bullwinkle. It takes a certain touch to cook it with success, but he's been working at it.

I'll let him tell you:

Moose is dark and mild flavored meat. Younger the animal, tenderer it is. It is also low fat so you have to pay attention when cooking it. Moose cuts are very similar to beef. You can get great steaks, boneless rib eye, roasts, sirloin and tenderloin, you name it.

I don’t use much of spices on moose. As the meat is mild, black pepper, salt and sometimes mild chili go well with it. Bay leaf and juniper are also typical seasonings. Some people use garlic and ginger, but I don’t.

Most important on cooking moose is temperature control. You need to keep inner temp between 130°F - 140°F. Otherwise it will get dry.

Steak is always a steak. Good sear first and then cooked to medium rare. However, I prefer roast and it is always cooked low and slow. Another slow food I like is a good stew.

So far I have cooked moose only five times. Once I did nice ragú from minced moose. I cooked it almost 8 hours in a cast iron pot in red wine with root vegetables and tomatoes to get it right. That experience was a success and I served the ragú with pasta and ciabatta.

Four times I have tried to get the roast right. I think once the cut was not very good quality and the end result was chewy. On that dinner I got quite many guests to feed. Unforgettable evening. Still get nightmares.

On other three times I have followed instructions strictly and also the meat has been top quality. One time I smoked moose roast with apple wood. Twice I have just cooked it low and slow, without any smoke. When you do it low and slow (210°F - 220°F), keep it medium rare (130°F) and let it rest well after cooking, you can’t go wrong. Moose is not difficult to BBQ. Beef rules apply.

For cooking I have always used my Weber Smokey Mountain. Even for the ragú. I have perfected temperature control by some 100 times of cooking and I always use remote thermometer for monitoring.

Recently I have learned about pulled moose. That sounds interesting and might be my next experiment.

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I think that is one of the most beautiful pieces of meat I've ever seen. A nice mahogany bark on the outside. Fresh and red on the inside. Not often do you see a digital picture you can smell.

He said he'll be cooking moose again this weekend and I'll certainly get you an update.

I'm looking forward to a pulled moose experiment. That has "Fusion Taco" written all over it.

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