Thursday, June 09, 2011

Marinated fillet of moose

My sister brought a fillet of moose from her freezer, when visiting a few weeks ago. We decided to marinate it for three days before baking it, and as helped us to our first serving, I asked myself; why do I not do this more often.

Extra flavour may be added to meat through different methods. Cover a piece of chicken breast or a fillet steak in salt, and allow it to stay in the freezer for a few days, and you’ll find that the salt has extracted water and has added a mild salty flavour to the meat.

Use papaya, both fruit meat and stones and you’ll get flavour, but the seeds are strong tenderizers as well. Papaya contains the enzyme Papain that breaks down all types of meat within seconds.

How to Use Papaya as a Meat Tenderizer - read story here

A good marinade may add flavour as well as tenderize. My sister brought a large fillet steak of moose as a gift a few weeks ago. As we did not know how tender it would turn out to be, we decided to place it in a marinade. My sister made a complicated marinade from what was available in my kitchen cabinets and refrigerator.

She is a gifted cook, so she made the marinade very quickly. Basically a marinade should contain sweet, salt and sour aroma. Here is what she used (that I can remember)
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Vinegar from a empty glass of pickled cucumber
  • Wine
  • Mustard
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Sliced onions
  • Minced garlic
  • Herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf)

She mixed the marinade well, poured it over in a large bread tin immersed the large piece of meat in it. We covered it with clingfilm and placed it in the fridge. I massaged the meat once a day, leaving it to soak for three days.

The best way to roast it, was, as ever, on a low heat (100C / 215F) as long as you want, basically. Seal the surface in hot butter first, before placing it in the oven. A piece of meat like this must stay there for at least 6-7 hours. In a hotter oven you may decrease the cooking time drastically, but it will not stay as tender and moist. Try it!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Løten nærstasjon - local food and railwaystation

Artisan butter - label from Bekkenga products
There are a growing number of old railway stations that are left unused. Luckily, a few enthusiasts may transform a seemingly worthless property into a meeting place. This is what has happened in Løten, a small community north of Oslo. At Løten nærstasjon you may catch a train, and get a cup of coffee and do some local shopping as well.

A few months ago, we went to visit Løten nærstasjon, and I was thrilled by the activity in the old station building. This was clearly a meeting place for the locals, where you can order a cup of coffe, locally produced apple juice, cakes or waffles. We had a decent breakfast, but if you are in for a treat you may try their warm “Stasjon burger” made from ground beef from Bakken Øvre, a local producer. Another scrumptious warm treat are the grilled sausages made from venison reared at Løiten Hjorteopdrett.

I certainly bought my fair share of local products. Here are a few: 
Brilliantly yellow butter from Bekkenga Søndre
Artisan butter

If you believe that butter is butter, think again. Unlike the mass produced butter bought in you supermarket, the artisan butter like the one made by Bekkenga is tastier. It was simply wrapped in gray paper. 

It was delicious. Generously salted, and with a rich taste. Interesting consistency. I sliced thinly like cheese, but it melted into the warm toast.

This artisan butter is made from unpasteurized milk by Harry Dale, at Bekkenga Søndre farm at Løten. Buy a packet and try it yourself.
A traditional "kjøttkake" dinner from Bakken Øvre
Home made burger 

It really looks delicious, doesn't it? I bought a packet of six home-made hamburgers or "kjøttkaker", as we call it here in Norway, produced at Bakken, Øvre farm in Løten.

These were seriously delicious, made from ground beef, well seasoned and just ready to hit your pan. 

Norwegian "kjøttkaker" are usually served with stewed cabbage, fried onion, boiled potatoes and thick brown gravy.

I kept the gravy but substituted the rest with dauphinoise potatoes and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
This specialty was slightly disappointed 
Venison salami with aquavit

Løten has its own venison farm at Brendholen.

Products from Løten hjorteoppdrett were praised by Master chef Bent Stiansen. I decided to try the cured venison salami with Løiten Linje Aquavit, another local and very famous product.

I were, however, slightly disappointed. It was black in colour, very dry, and I did not care much for the taste either. I would have preferred a Spanish venison chorizo with olive oil, pimento and garlic instead.   
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