food, moose, portland, stew

Moose Stew

All day braises and stews are some of my favorite meals. Cuban Ropa Veija (shredded flank in tomato sauce with peppers and olives) and Malaysian Beef Rendang (cooked slowly in curry and spices) are comfort food at it’s best. And, because we’ve settled into unseasonably cold weather at the moment in Maine, an all day stew was called for.

I was lucky enough to have a coworker give me some moose meat this week which was left over from her hunt this past fall. This is only the second time I’ve had moose, the first was hamburger and I’ve quickly grown attached to the mineral richness of the meat. Gamey is God…

So, here is dinner for the next 3-4 days…

You should probably be warned now that I’m not one for measuring, so estimates are listed below.

Maine Meat Stew

1# Moose stew meat
1# Sirloin tips, cut into 1″ cubes
1 Vidalia onion, sliced
5 Garlic cloves, peeled and kept whole
4 cps Beef stock
1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes
2 cp red wine(Tuscan Ridge Tre Colline–the only bottle of red I had on hand)
thyme/rosemary–about 3 springs thyme/1 rosemary
3 Carrots, sliced thick
5 Med. sized Red Bliss potatoes, cut into 3/4″-1″ cubes
1/3# Black Cerignola olives, pitted
bacon fat/olive oil as needed

1)Heat bacon fat in dutch oven/stock pot over med heat
2)Season about 2 cp flour with salt and pepper. Pat dry meat and dredge in flour, knocking off excess
3)Brown meat in batches, not crowding pan. Removes batches and set aside
4)Carmelize onions until deep golden brown
5)Add garlic and brown
6)Deglaze w/red wine and reduce
7)Add Beef stock and tomatoes
8)Add herbs
8)Add carrots and poatoes, return meat to pan
9)Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-6 hours. Add s/p to taste as you go along.
10)Add olives and cover–cooking about 30 minutes longer until olives are slightly tender.
11)F’ing eat.

It was hearty, comforting and the moose was as tender as the sirloin.



The University of Pennsylvania published a study a few years ago that broke down, according to gender, the number of words the average person uses in a day. Don’t believe me? Fuck you.

And because I was born with an innie instead of an outtie, and am pretty average… I get to use 8805 words per day. Because of my work, which is food related, the majority are spent on that. The remainder is split amongst topics like politics, veggie gardening, how broke we are, undying love of my love, bacon (which could be relevant to the previous topic) and smokables–which really explains four of the five. The veggie gardening is more about available grazing for the cats than anything else.

It’s hard being food obsessed when you basically live pay check to pay check in a town like Portland, ME. But, it is a hell of a lot easier when you don’t have a mortgage to pay, kids or a meth habit. Being broke makes you learn to savor those moments when you can go out and drop $100+ on a meal and feel ok about it. The last time we did that was at Miyake several weeks ago. Glass eels, pig intestine, scallop two ways, miso cod and a few other things made for an amazing evening and if I had more money I would have spent it seated at the bar.
The next night I made pancakes, which always reminds me of Tori Spelling, as the poor girlfriend being asked what they ate every night by Parker Posey’s bi-polar character in “The House of Yes” : “Pancakes actually, lots of pancakes.” There’s a little bit of that character in all of us.

So, sometimes here you’ll see mentions and gushes over foie gras, but more likely it’ll be akin to fried bologna sandwiches (slathered with butter, like how Mom made them).