Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grilled Llama Porterhouse

Our children were all headed for different destinations this Thanksgiving weekend and we thought we were going to be doing Thanksgiving alone. Then Judy got a call from my mother and a nephew (and his family) asking if they could come stay with us while they were attending another family event later in the week. Judy got excited, said "yes," and invited them all for Thanksgiving as well. Not too much later, Judy said, "We need to eat something a little unusual, it is a family tradition." Well, that is all it took for me. I decided I was non-vegan for Thanksgiving and we ordered an eastern wild turkey for our meal. Then I discovered that llama 
Llamas graze at Machu Picchu in Peru.
was available and ordered a 16 oz. porterhouse llama steak. I decided to prime my pump for Thanksgiving and eat the llama the night before. We visited Peru three years ago and saw quite a few llama while there, especially at Machu Picchu where they wandered wild on-site. 

We also had an opportunity to eat alpaca, a relative of the llama, at a restaurant in Cusco, and found that it was very good. The llama meat is very, very lean, 
Llama porterhouse steaks
so I figured the meat needed to be cooked on high heat for a short time. I heated up our outdoor gas grill, which has been under-utilized the last six months, cooking corn-on-the-cob and poblano peppers, and was as excited as the grill to try something more substantive.  I cooked the steaks about 7 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other. 
The larger steak was quite rare in the middle, but that's how I enjoy it, particularly for lean meats. 
It was very, very lean, and had very little blood. 
It was quite tough and hard to cut, but it had a very pleasing flavor, although I can't think of anything to compare it to, other than alpaca. It had more flavor than beef, but was not gamy. It was a very nice way to warm-up for tomorrow. 


  1. It was a nice "appetizer." However, I'm not sure your system can handle two days of meat. Luckily, neither this nor the turkey is loaded with fat.

  2. Hi Bob,

    I was wondering if I could get your permission to reuse the second photo of the raw llama steaks on my company's website.

    We are currently developing an online reference-base about various ingredients and recipes pertaining to 175 countries around the world. Our site is educational, and will be used by universities and libraries.

    In an attribution line under the photo's caption, you would receive credit as its photographer, and, if you'd like, we can also link it to your blog. Please let me know if this would be okay with you.

    Kind regards,