29 January 2014

It's About Time: A Recipe for Moose Curry

There's a lot more to moose than stew and sausage.

Let the moose marinate in the rubbed seasoning while you prepare the remaining ingredients for the curry.

Moose Curry, Variation 1:
Fefe Noir's Been-Lied-To* Moose Curry

*see commentary below

for the marinade:

Measuring out your ingredients into cute bowls will make you happy.
2 tbsp cumin seed
1 tbsp whole coriander
1/2 tsp black mustard
2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 fresh hot red chilies 
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 onion, quartered
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp salt

~ 2 lbs moose blade roast (or other braising part, like the unrecognizable cut of moose from your uncle)

for the curry:

2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 bay leaf
3 whole cloves
small handful of cinnamon bark (or 1 cinnamon stick)
4 green cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
2 onion, finely diced
4 tomatoes, diced
1-1/2 c. water

Make the marinade: Heat oil over medium-high in a small saucepan; add cumin, coriander and mustard seeds.  Watch them closely until they begin to pop.  Immediately put the lid on the pan, remove from heat so they don't burn, and let them continue to pop.  Leave them aside until the oil is cool enough to handle.

Pour warm (or fully cooled if you were busy with other things and not staring at the pan, waiting impatiently) oil and spices into a blender, chopper, or food processor.  Get a load of this: someone overly generous and now guaranteed to be well-loved, gave us a mini-chopper over the holidays.  That's the most exciting thing to happen to this house since the pasta machine.  Grind up the spices and oil.  Add chilies and garlic, whiz them around until ground.  Add the onions, tumeric and salt and grind again.  

Roughly cut your moose roast, leaving the bone-in.  Don't worry about bite-sized pieces.  First, we'll assume you will serve this to people capable of using a knife and fork and that if not, you'll be cutting it for them anyway.  Second, you want all the good flavour from the bone to be part of your curry.  Embrace the moose juice. 

Combine the moose and marinade in a bowl, massaging the marinade into the moose meat.  Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients, or for a couple of hours, whichever is most convenient.

Make the curry: Heat about a tbsp of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Brown the moose meat (in batches if necessary); remove and set aside.

Add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan, and quickly sautee the remaining spices in hot oil.  Add minced onion and cook until golden brown (but not burned).  Take your time, there's no hurry.  Add the tomatoes and cook until softened.  Add the moose meat, scraping any remaining marinade into the pan with it.  Add the water, stir it around a bit, bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 2-1/2 hours.  While it is simmering, check occasionally to see if it needs more water.  It's done when the sauce is the thickness you want and the meat is pulling from the bone.

During the meal, be sure to remind everyone to watch out for the whole spices and the bones...  unless you went to the trouble of searching them out and removing them before serving.  (This is much easier if you use a regular cinnamon stick rather than the teensy flakes of mexican cinnamon bark.)

Serve your aromatic moose curry with things you like to eat with your curry.  We heated up some naan, broke open a jar of chili pickle, made a quick onion salad and dished out some plain yogurt.  We won't need to eat again for days.  Ha.


If you are a hunter, be assured that when you share your meat with other people they are really, truly, grateful.  It is not a wasted overture.  You will win loyal friends for life.

Neither of us hunts (yet, says caribougrrl, but she's been saying that for years), so we rely on the kindness of friends and neighbours  - but most especially a particular colleague and friend of caribougrrl's who always comes through with the holiday gift we look forward to most.  This year especially, because once we had some moose in the freezer, we knew we'd be able to answer to our blog name.

Fefe decided the first moose curry recipe should be a simple one.  Something that could be done without too much effort, without any fancy equipment or experience, without multiple dead-end trips to supermarkets and specialty shops to find the right spices.

Which was how Fefe Noir and caribougrrl ended up in a grocery store not buying anything for the blog-edition moose curry.  Everything used in Fefe's fast and easy weeknight moose curry recipe is a staple in the home, including the hot curry paste. 

What?  You don't see curry paste in the ingredient list?

Right, caribougrrl swore up and down that yes, absolutely, just the other day when she was looking for a new jar of apple ketchup, she had seen at least one jar of curry paste in the cupboard.  Her recollection was very particular... just to the left of the partridge berry jam, right behind the priced-to-sell coconut milk that's been there for a couple of years.  And caribougrrl is, afterall, taller than Fefe Noir and thus can see things in the cupboards with more ease.  So against her much better judgement, Fefe Noir did not put a jar of curry paste into the shopping basket.

Well, as it turns out, the first blog-edition moose curry is not a Monday-night-after-work curry (unless you made it Sunday afternoon).  Not only was there no curry paste, but the fresh ginger had started to wither and rot and we were out of a couple other spices.  What does it say about you when your pantry has obscure mexican cinnamon bark but not even one piece of ordinary cinnamon stick?

So make it up and make do.  Make a good moose curry with what's on-hand, just like so much of the cooking we do.


  1. NO idea why I read this blog...as a card carrying vegan I know that I would be drummed out of the vegan confraturnity for even sniffing around your moose fat greased up door but I can't help myself...I just need to know how that moose curry tasted? Always good to have the name of your blog replicated in your evening meal. Most evenings "serendipity" is what arrives on our plates as I have NO idea what is going to be there prior to the actual event. Now, off to replicate this curry sans moose...seitan? Faux moose seitan curry? Sounds like a plan! :)

    1. I'm pretty sure you keep reading because we're just so darned charming...

      Moose has a mineral-ish gamey flavour. Something with a strong taste of it's own would make a decent substitute. Fava beans? Beet root? Crimini mushrooms?


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