Friday, October 24, 2008

Sarah Palin Moose Stew Recipe Redux...

From Her Personal Recipe File!

Most people don't know this about me, but in the late '80's I got a sweet sports intern gig at a little station called KTUU, working for a big-haired former Idaho Vandal nicknamed Sarah 'Barracuda'. But the funny thing is, she was as sweet as her nickname was tough. And that lady sports anchor taught me many things about sports, particularly sport-hunting. And especially moose-murdering, as she liked to jokingly call it, in her husky Idaho drawl. Oh how we laughed! Her favorite thing to do, the crazy kidder, was to whisper to the big fella in her sights, "Hey, Bullwinkle! I've got a message for you from Rocky. He says, 'I'll see you in hell!'" Then, blammo! Gut-shot between the eyes! Dinner for eighty. It was usually a cold morning, and we'd pass the thermos of warmed buttermilk mixed with cheap amaretto around, amazed at the aurora borealis in my pants. You know, urinating on yourself keeps you warm when you're in the wilderness. At least that's what she told me. And I always tried to be obliging, to fit in out there, even if I did believe in evolution. My nickname was 'First Blood', because she always made me taste the blood from the wound, to make sure the moose wasn't diseased. Again, at least that's what she told me, and my East Coast elitist ass was always obliging. And if you'd ever been boxed-out on the hardwood by a near-sighted, pointy-elbowed, over-and-under carrying, Helmut Newton-style mom-in-stilettos clone, you'd be pretty freaking obliging too, Fred.

As my career flourished, I never forgot that sexy soccer mom who taught me how to be a man, by, among many other things, killing a moose. This is my valentine to her, the recipe for Moose Stew that first brought us together. It was our recipe, one that we painstakingly perfected over many cold, frosty mornings, with nothing but our strong personal and religious convictions, and about a quart-and-a-half of cheap amaretto, to protect us from the love that can not be named. And the secret ingredient, of course, was love.

And moose blood. Lots and lots of moose blood.

Recipes of Sarah Palin (Random House, due out in January 2009)

Ragoût d'Orignaux (Moose Stew)
1 1/3 pounds top or bottom round of moose
1 1/3 pounds chuck or shoulder of moose
1 1/3 pound moose cheeks
1 moose foot, soaked and boned
1 piece pork rind
1/2 pound slab bacon
1/4 pound fatback
1/2 bunch parsley
4 carrots3 onions
3 cloves garlic
1 celery heart
3 tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley, savory)
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 pinch allspice
For the Marinade:1 celery rib
1 onion
2 carrots
3 shallots
3 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch parsley
1 sprig savory
2 bay leaves
Zest of 1 orange
3 cups red wine, preferably Gigondas
6 tablespoons cognac
3 tablespoons olive oil

There is always enough time for everything in Alaska. The sun shines all day long and the stew simmers slowly. Four or even six hours of cooking-enough time to include a little siesta. Ragoût is a method of cooking à l'étouffée, meaning slow cooking in a daubière, a pot with a cover designed to hold hot water. Traditionally placed in a hearth, the daubière heats from above and below. When the soldier in one of French author Jean Giono's novels comes upon an inn, he finds it sacked and abandoned, except for the daube still on the fire, cooking gently.
Begin a day in advance.The day before, cut the moose meat into large cubes. Prepare the vegetables for the marinade: Trim and chop the celery. Peel and chop the onion, carrots, and shallots. Peel the garlic. Place the moose meat in a large bowl with the chopped vegetables and whole garlic cloves. Add the parsley, savory, bay leaves, orange zest, wine, cognac, and oil. Let marinate, refrigerated, for 12 hours. The next day, blanch the moose foot and the pork rind in a moose foot. Chop the slab bacon and fatback into 1 by 1/4-inch pieces, removing any rind. Chop the parsley finely and roll the fatback in it. Prepare the vegetables: Peel and finely chop the carrots and onions.Peel and crush the garlic. Chop the celery heart. Peel, seed and quarter the tomatoes. Remove the moose meat from the marinade with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve. Preheat the oven to 250° F. Heat the oil in a large skillet and sauté the moose meat over high heat until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Place the pork rind in the bottom of a large Dutch oven or earthenware casserole. Spread about 1/3 of the moose meat over the rind. Add about 1/3 of the chopped vegetables, and sprinkle with some of the bacon, fatback, and diced moose foot. Continue to layer the ingredients in this manner until all are used. Add the bouquet garni, orange zest, peppercorns (tied in a square of cheesecloth) and the allspice. Add the strained marinade. Prepare a moist dough of flour and water, form it into a long cord and place it around the rim of the pan. Moisten the edge of the pan, cover with warm water and press it down firmly on the dough to form a seal. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 5 hours. Remove from the oven, break the flour crust and remove the cover. Turn the oven off, and return the daube to the oven to rest, uncovered, in the residual heat for 30 minutes longer. Serve with fresh pasta.
(Be sure to gather and freeze moose blood, and save for future (non-Satanic) use)