Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know. But I just got back from butchering the calf moose I shot. It yielded 100 lbs of meat – and oddly, exactly 50 of super-lean super-clean burger, and 50 of varying steaks and roasts. It took very close to 5 hours from start to finish, including grinding of burger and cleanup. This is the third animal I’ve helped butcher this fall. If we’re lucky we may get some calf elk yet, and if we’re really lucky, we may find ourself butchering some wild boar.
Happily, I’ve been improving my chops with game dishes to keep us enjoying eating all this stuff. Today’s accomplishment was a ‘steak au poivre’ style sauté of calf moose tenderloin with a cream and cambozola cheese sauce on garden mashed potato. Pam loved it, and wants me to make it again, which means I did good.
This being the first large animal I’ve shot, gutted, skinned, butchered, packed, and frozen, I can say there’s a similar feeling of accomplishment similar to gardening and eating your own produce. I’ve referred to hunting as ‘gardening for meat’ before. Very similar concept, but has far nastier sides to it than gardening. But man it teaches you how much the average meat-eating consumer is blissfully sheltered.