Thursday, 27 June 2013

Exotic Meats

Hi peeps!

Ostrich, Crocodile, Eiland, Warthog, Quail....all these deliciously weird and wonderful venisons and exotic meats. Do you have a favourite? What would you try and what wouldn't you?

Cooking Crocodile

Crocodile meat is usually sold frozen as tail steak, stew meat, burger, wings (legs), or sausage.

Preparation, uses, and tips:
Braising
Rinse crocodile or alligator tail meat, pat dry with a paper towel, and cut into cubes. Sauté onions and spices in a skillet. Add meat and a small amount of cooking liquid. Simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Pan-frying
Rinse crocodile or alligator tail steaks and pat dry with a paper towel. (For blackened alligator steak, rub meat with a mixture of spices.) Heat a skillet until hot. Add oil or butter. Sear steak for two minutes, turn and sear the other side for another two minutes. Larger steaks may take up to a total of five minutes. For alligator balls, mix ground meat with egg and spices, dredge in flour, and fry until brown.
Stewing
Rinse crocodile or alligator meat, pat dry with paper towel, and cut into cubes. Dredge in flour and spices. Brown in oil if desired. Then put in a Dutch oven and cover with liquid and herbs, spices, and vegetables. Cook in a preheated oven at 325°F (160°C), or on the stovetop over low heat until meat is tender.
Grilling
Rinse crocodile or alligator tail and pat dry with paper towel. Marinate in milk and spices for three hours. Drain marinade and pat meat dry. Brush tail meat with oil and place on prepared grill with rack about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15cm) from the heat source. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side.
Broiling
Rinse crocodile or alligator tail, pat dry with paper towel, and cut into slices. Lay slices on broiler pan, brush with butter, and place 6 inches (15cm) from element. Broil 10 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Cooking Wild Boar / Warthog
Wild boar is lean meat that should, as a rule, be cooked at lower temperatures than other meats. Avoid overcooking. Wild boar, raised like beef, is range fed and therefore can be served on the rare side. A rule of thumb for cooking wild boar is "low and slow". The temperature for cooking roasts for example, is 250-275 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of time depends on your personal preference as to how well done you would like to cook your meat. For chops, bake with a sauce for best results or if you prefer, pan-fry at a medium heat. Always check frequently so as not to overcook.

Wild boar is excellent barbecued. When prepared properly it is flavorful and very tender. Wild boar also makes tasty sausage, jerky and ground meat products.

When preparing wild boar for cooking remember, never thaw or cook this meat in a microwave, as it will become very tough and dry. Slowly thaw meat the day before and marinate overnight for best results. Pineapple juice or wine is a particularly good choice for marinade because it contains an enzyme that actively breaks down muscle fiber. Therefore it is highly effective as a meat tenderizer.

The wild boar’s light fat layer can be easily trimmed. But many cooks believe the fat layer provides a "self-basting" element and helps retain succulence.

Smoking (slow cooking Quarters or Wild Boar Hogs) Barbecue

This is a common and excellent way for preparing wild pork. Ideal for friend and family get-togethers.
First of all read the tips above.

Gather your favorite seasonings such as lemons, peppers, onions, potatoes, and any other seasonings that suit your taste.

Completely wrap the meat so the vapors are locked in as well as possible and the drippings will not escape.

Slow smoke (or bake) at about 275 - 300 degrees turning or rotating as needed to insure even cooking. The time will vary greatly depending on the size.

Whole hogs cooked overnight or all day. Quarters will usually cook in 5 - 6 hours

Wild Boar Sausages braised in Red Wine

Serves 2 –3

• 1 lb / 450 g Wild Boar sausages
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 dessertspoon olive oil
• 6 oz/175g medium open cap mushrooms
• 8oz/225g diced bacon or pancetta
• 1 heaped teaspoon plain flour
• 1 large clove garlic, peeled
• 1 rounded teaspoon mustard powder
• 8oz/225g shallots, peeled
• 1oz/25g soft butter
• 8 juniper berries
• 1 rounded tablespoon redcurrant jelly
• 10 fl oz/275ml red wine
• Salt and freshly milled black pepper
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Take a large flameproof casserole and heat the oil in it. Then, with the heat at medium, brown the sausages all over, taking care not to split the skins by turning too soon.

Next, using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate while you brown the diced pancetta along with the garlic and shallots. Now crush the juniper berries very slightly without breaking them - just enough to release their flavour.

Return the sausages to the casserole, pour in the wine and add the berries, then thyme and bay leaves. Season lightly, bring it all up to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the casserole, turn the heat as low as possible and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

After that, add the mushrooms, stirring them well in, then leave everything to cook gently for a further 20 minutes – this time without the lid so that the liquid reduces slightly. To finish off remove the sausages and vegetables to a warmed serving dish, mix the flour and the mustard powder with the softened butter until you have a smooth paste and whisk this, a little at a time, into the casserole. Let everything bubble for a few more minutes, then take the casserole off the heat, return the sausages to the pan, whisk in the redcurrant jelly and serve.

I reckon I will do an awesome croc steak recipe next week!

Cheers to the crocs and pigs that featured today!
Chef Shants xxxxx

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