Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Call of the wild - roast of moose

In spite of being an urban cowboy, I am well connected. These connections often provides some rare treats. The other day I was invited to a great party. Roast of moose was on the menu. These huge animals roam the deep forests of Norway. Alive they are majestic animals, but I rather prefer them dead, on my plate. They have a lean, gamy meat, ideally served medium to bloody, as it may easily get dry as there are rarely no fat on these animals.

Last weekend I visited good friends at Løten, a 2 hour drive north of Oslo. In this area you may easily buy good moose meat during the hunting season. We were offered meat to prepare, and it arrived vacuum packed. There were several cuts of meat from different parts of the animal.

It is always important to seal the meat before you roast it in the oven. I melted butter in a pan until very hot and fried the surface until golden brown. The preparation offered us a challenge as most of the guests preferred the meat well done. The best way to keep the meat moist at this state is to long roast it. We placed it in a moderately hot oven (120-130C / 250-270F) for three hours. If you lower the temperature further you may leave the meat for another two to three hours and still have a delicious result. You may also use a roasting bag to preserve the moistness.

And do not throw away the butter you used when sealing the meat. Add 1-2 (large) glasses of red wine, herbs and tomato puré or ketchup and scrape to remove all the delicious residue on the bottom. Allow to reduce. This was used to make a delicious aromatic gravy with extra red wine, stock, salt, pepper, sugar and creamy velvety double cream.

And vedge? We used a steamer do prepare bouquets of broccoli and cauliflower until medium soft. They are easily over cooked, but are best when a little crunchy. We boiled small potatoes until soft, or you may roast them in a hot oven with pepper, salt, olive oil, garlic and olive oil.

There is nothing to say other than it was an exquisite meal, even when well done. This due to the fact that we used extremely low heat when preparing the meat.

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