It’s been a while since I’ve posted and I’ve been mostly neglecting the blogosphere for the past few weeks. I did manage to read Hank Shaw’s thoughtful post on hunting and it inspired me to share a recipe that I’ve been making for years. Though I don’t hunt myself, wild game has always been a part of my diet. My father started hunting as a young man and he’s passed on his skills to my brother, my nieces, and my nephews. When I buy meat, I try to choose organic, humanely raised meat as often as possible, but between the game my family provides and the meat from my parents’ hobby farm, I don’t have to shop for it very often.
Moose meat is one of my favourites, especially when it’s ground. It’s lovely wherever you’d use ground beef, and as I’ve said before, it’s not as scary a proposition as commercial ground beef can sometimes be.
Think of the recipe below as a starting point – I’ve varied it many times over the years. The last time, I used HP Sauce in the mix and then glazed the top with a little more before popping it in the oven. Sage, thyme, and summer savoury made lovely herbal additions to this particular loaf. The rice and milk are important (I used brown rice this time), because moose meat is very lean. The mixture might seem a little wet, but the excess moisture gets absorbed nicely by the rice and allows the loaf to have a nice jus when it’s just out of the oven. That jus will disappear, though, if you have any leftovers – the loaf will reabsorb it, keeping your next servings tender.
1 lb ground moose meat
1 cup cooked rice
1 small onion
1 cup milk
3-5 tsps dried herbs
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce or 3 Tbsps HP Sauce
salt and pepper
a clove (or three) of garlic (optional)
Combine ingredients, place in a greased loaf pan, and cook at 325° F for 45 minutes to an hour.
I count myself lucky that I’ve had more than my share of humanely raised and wild meat. I think it’s helped me avoid the disconnect between food and its origins that is so ubiquitous in this culture. I know that not everyone has access to food from the sources I’ve had and that for many, ethical eating means vegetarian or vegan eating. I do believe that choosing to eat meat responsibly can be an ethically sound choice and Hank Shaw’s essay is a great explication of how that may be.