I had dinner with friends this week and the main course was curried moose compliments of Seth Adams, a great friend and photographer. I encourage you to visit Seth's Facebook page at Seth Adams Writing and Photography, and check out his photographs and blog at http://sethadams.zenfolio.com. He flew into a base camp near a lake near an old abandoned mine and packed the moose out. You can see the picture of the lake here.
Here's the recipe for moose curry and it's not unlike most curries so pull out your favorite and substitute as you like. Moose is subtle, not gamey, and there's little fat. When friends make burger out of moose, they often add a second type of meat to help it stick together and add flavor. Moose is easy to work with; if it's older or got lost in the bottom of the freezer, let it simmer a bit longer on a low heat until it's tender.
A few days ago, we were at a memorial -- a traditional Alaskan Irish Wake-- and yes, that really is a thing. up here. Moose spaghetti and Copper River king salmon caught by a nephew were the treats, along with a bit of whiskey to make sure the singing went on.
For the curry, wait until the end to throw in your choice of potatoes and vegetables so they don't overcook.
I used a wok this time though I also have a cast iron dutch oven that weighs a ton and cooks everything to perfection though honestly, most any large pot will do. All my skillets are cast iron, the same ones I've had since since before moving from The Peoples Republic of Ester to Murphy Dome Road, and I can't imagine using anything else.
Here's the basic recipe:
2 Tablespoons peanut oil
2 Tablespoons curry paste or to taste. We used red this time
2 medium potatoes (I like red or Yukon gold)
1 large yellow onion
2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce or more to taste
4 cloves garlic, smashed or minced (or more... I'm of the opinion that there's no such thing as too much garlic)
2 Tablespoons Sesame Seed oil
soy sauce (optional)
two pounds moose cut into bite sized chunks
vegetables: your choice of red or green bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, peas
Heat the oil and add the curry paste and cook for a minute or two. When it's well blended add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft. Add the meat and let it brown. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and remaining ingredients and cook for twenty minutes or more, testing until the meat is tender and adjust seasoning to taste. If it's too thick, add chicken broth. Add the vegetables at the end. Serve over rice or quinoa.
For more information on preparing moose and other Alaskan foods, take a look at the brochures put out by the University of Alaska Cooperative Extension Service, here.