Hunters who take a moose and are camping out often have a feast—chunks of prime meat roasted on sticks over a campfire—a delicious and savory reward for their hard work. Butchering one of these big, heavy animals takes a lot of time and effort. A prime bull can yield more than 500 pounds of meat and fat. Traditional foods include many other edible parts of the moose such as the head, liver, heart, some other internal organs, and the highly valued fat. So it takes not only a lot of work to butcher a moose, but also specialized skills and a detailed knowledge of the animal’s anatomy.
Moose meat and fat are staple foods in most many people who live in the northern regions of Ontario.
Fat is a very important part of a traditional diet because it stokes the metabolism and adds flavor to meat and organs. Unlike beef, moose meat is not marbled with fat, but rather the fat is separate. A favorite kind of fat is found in the sheath-like mesentery membranes that hold the organs together.
In times past, even the bones of moose were ground and boiled to make a fatty broth. If they didn’t use the bones immediately, they could store them as a potential source of food during times of scarcity.
Delectables include brisket, short ribs, heart, and tongue. Thin slices of meat may be fried. A delicious gravy is made from the fat.
A regular favorite is moose meat simmered in a big pot along with some combination of rice, noodles, or potatoes and sometimes vegetables. The result is a thick meaty, delicious stew. Bone marrow is also used in tasty, nutritious broths.
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