Sunday, July 17, 2011

Hunting

While I was in the sewing room the DH was out hunting. He spent the first week of July looking for animals and freezing. To be fair I was originally supposed to go, but we decided there wouldn’t be enough to keep me occupied while they were out stalking dinner, (just a euphemism). The hunting place was primitive and the only heat would have been from a campfire, and it would have been too cold to do handwork or just sit and read and in the winter… not much to photograph (possibly). We checked out the surrounding area for other distractions… but sadly not many.

So was DH lucky? Yes, he got a beast (DH is the Smurf in the picture with IMG_0065our friend Faan [Farnie]). An Nyala (En ya la). As, Lana E. recently commented on one of the groups I belong to, of a picture I posted on Flickr.   …”I have to say that my favorite is the Nyala. What a strange looking creature! He's my favorite because he is such a curiosity. So many strange body features in one creature”.  And she is right! The Nyala looks like someone made a beast from leftover parts: yellow socks, shoulder hump with fringe, long horns, white stripes, dots, big ears, thin nose, etc.

In case you are going to be up in arms… about killing a creature… the Nyala is a long way from being endangered here and we will consume a considerable amount of this guy. Of course the skin will become part of our possessions, as will the skull and horns, (not a stuffed and mounted head).  So far we have packaged and frozen much of the meat.

In addition to the meat we have in the freezer we will have some boerwors (farmer sausage); ground, seasoned meat in tubes that you can eat as is as sausage, braiibiltong (bbq) or put in casserole being made. And the best is Biltong, South Africas version of Jerky. Here you use salt to remove moisture, rinse and then season, refrigerate, and then hang in the air for 3-5 days depending on how dry the air is. In winter the air is dry here. Very very dry. Biltong is one of South Africas favorite snacks, and is available in most grocery stores and malls. The meat found most often in the stores of course is beef, but we have seen several other animals too.

So far we have tried the fillet and some ground meat that we made using the grinding attachment to the Kitchen Aid mixer . DH likes my big mixer now too. The meat is sweet, similar to venison (US deer) here it’s also called venison, but it encompasses most of the deer-like creatures. The texture was similar to beef, but a little chewier. The ground meat was dry… very dry. So, it won’t make hamburgers…. but it will make some interesting packet meals or Bobotie, a South African main dish . If, DH gets another deer-like creature… we will season and add some fat or oil to the ground meat, so it will cook up a bit more edible.

Our first batch of Biltong is done… and it is a bit salty and a little too dry, but sincebtong-slicer this is really a guessing game… we’ll do better on the next batch. I found us a Biltong slicer, and it really makes short work of slicing the meat… and it is so much easier than a knife! The piece of biltong on the slicer is from our second batch an while still salty, it is much more moist and tender.

Hopefully the next hunting trip will be some place I can go and find something to do… If not, I am saving all these opportunities up for a special vacation for myself! Can you say Bali? Wanna go?

As usual, more later.

Beth

3 comments:

Karen S said...

Bali?!!!! I wish!

Interesting about the beast. We eat beef, so I don't see the problem with eating this critter. I remember being told that you had to mix in fat with the meat from elk and deer to make it moist enough to cook using beef techniques. It's probably a lot healthier than beef -- with little or no cholesterol.

So what are you going to do with the hide? New shoes? Or maybe some chaps? Perhaps a hat with horns?

Becky said...

Wow! I bet the skin will be beautiful! What a neat slicer! We eat a LOT of elk, which is also very lean. Besides chili, tacos, enchiladas, pasta sauce, I've also had some luck making "kofta kebabs" with them. For some reason they come out better than burgers, even though they're similar... Of course we have a lot of jerky and sausage made. Some day I'll try to make my own. Thanks for the interesting hunting/food story!! FWIW, I almost never go hunting with my DH...

karenfae said...

I just found your blog from someone else and I am putting you on my google reader - I see you have me on your side bar - I will be keeping track of your adventures :) How interesting your life must be.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/