Snow came to the village a little later this year (last year our first snow was in October) but this year it stuck. It is a winter wonderland, and got cold fast. The river road is open already too. Personally I prefer it this way- the constant tease of snow, only to melt the next morning in a depressing drizzle, was no fun at all. And completely contrary to my thoughts about Alaska- the East coast where my family lives was getting hit with snow and cold, while we dealt with almost constant gloom and rain. I’m much happier this year, and the cold and snow being a constant means something else great as well: caribou hunting is possible.
Last year we received a little bit of caribou, enough for a roast and a stew. I fell in love with the meat. Think of the tastiest cut of beef you can… caribou is even better than that! It is a tougher meat though, so cooking it in the crock pot is the way to go for sure.
This year, it was like we were thrown into the deep end of bush living when it came to caribou. No nicely packaged and cut piece for us this year, no. We’ve been out here now for a while- so we got to butcher our own half of a leg that a neighbor shared with us. Not just cutting, but cleaning the hair off as well 😉
So I put on some clothes that I wouldn’t mind getting messy, and dove right in! I was actually pretty excited. I have carved a chicken before, but nothing like this.
My husband was surprised that I volunteered for the task. In the past I have acted pretty squeamish when it came to gutting the Salmon. I’m not sure why but the scaly texture of the fish freaks me out, whereas the caribou leg wasn’t that bad. Regardless, he was happy to play with the baby while I hacked away at the meat.
It was a hard, messy job, but in the end it was so worth it. We now have a whole bunch of meat stored in the freezer- at least 3 pounds of stew meat and several roasts. It’s going to be a tasty year for sure!
Have you ever tried caribou? Any favorite recipes? I would love to hear about them in the comments!