Sunday, February 17, 2013

Fried Bobcat Stew Meat

I was excited recently to find that Exotic Meat Markets (877-398-0141), an on-line meat distributor, had bobcat stew meat available. They get their bobcat meat from bobcats that have been trapped for their fur. 
I did some internet research to try and find a good bobcat recipe. Most of the bobcat recipes are on trapping sites and I found some very fun ones that perpetuate the general stereotype that any meat from an unusual source must be horrible. For example, "Marinate it overnight in Golden Italian dressing, the next night take it out of the fridge and throw it in the trash...go to Wendys, order yourself a big ole burger and a cup of chili....." This next one is a little more elaborate, but along the same line: "This works best with the tenderloins or a steak cut. 1. Cut Bobcat into 1/2 strips and marinate in a mixture: 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, 1 table spoon salt, 2 table spoons ketchup, a good dash of A1. Wrap bobcat strips in bacon. Let sit over night in fridge or at least 6 hours. Set up the grill for indirect heating. Get a cedar plank and arrange bacon wrapped bobcat evenly across the plank. Cook until medium rare. Remove bobcat from plank and discard. Salt and pepper to taste and Eat Cedar Plank."

I did find some helpful information. I learned that bobcat is very mild and will take the taste of whatever it is cooked with. Also, as one would guess, that it is very lean. The recipe I used came from Dacotah Rose (love that name) who writes about "living the wild country life atop the Rocky Mountains of Colorado." She noted that all the men she'd asked about cooking bobcat meat said it was "awful," but when she'd asked them how they'd cooked it "it was always on the barbecue." In her words: "Cut into bite sized pieces. Place in a smooth surfaced skillet with butter, salt, pepper and garlic to taste. Cook gently, turning often until done. It was not stringy, strong tasting or smelling and it was really a very nice mild meat." 

As I like to get the true taste of wild meat, particularly when trying it for the first time, this simple recipe was my guide. I cut the stew meat pieces into smaller pieces. 
I put canola oil in to a fry pan, along with the bobcat, some salt and some pepper. 
I did not want to over-cook it, so I pulled it off with hints of pink still in the meat. And Dacotah Rose was exactly right. It was very mild, very nice textured and the salt and pepper gave it just enough spice to make it enjoyable. 
We had Andrew and Lauren over for dinner and Andrew wanted to cook it longer because of the fact it was wild caught. So I took out my portion of the meat and let him cook the rest of it further. The further cooking made the meat stiffer and texturally less appealing. 

I loved the bobcat and would eat it anytime or anywhere, cooked just the same way again. For anyone venturing into wild meat, this is a good starter meat as it does not have the gaminess of venison or antelope. 

32 comments:

  1. I feel sorry for the Bobcat, though

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    1. Why not? The bobcat is dead regardless of whether the meat is eaten or not. Unlike a cow, chicken or pig, the bobcat lived a good life not constricted by a cage or being fed food it was not naturally built for.

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    2. Bobcats around here are killing everything. from pets to livestock. They're going to killed anyway. Cut the meat across the grain, roll it in seasoned flour, fry it canola oil to medium heat and eat.

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    3. Bobcats around here are killing everything. from pets to livestock. They're going to killed anyway. Cut the meat across the grain, roll it in seasoned flour, fry it canola oil to medium heat and eat.

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    1. That's bastard, and yeah, I think that's why they shot it.

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  5. I noticed that the bobcat is endangered in Mexico - is that not the case in the US? I'm trying to pick apart the social taboo of eating cat versus the environmental realities. What's your feeling about determining exotic meats to eat and the relative rarity of the animal? I mean, clearly some we don't eat because we just don't want to even though they might be good (for example, I love to eat snails, but my husband would probably rather die). Others are problematic, like eating Siberian Tiger because there just aren't enough of them. On the other hand, of course, we also treat the 'normal' animals we eat so horribly before they die that I'm not sure the moral balance tips in the favor of steak or bacon either.

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    1. Lots of animals are endangered or extinct in one area, yet plentiful or common in another area. I recently looked up laws for otters. Otters are protected in some states, and are available for trapping or shooting in other states.

      On the other hand, laws may not be a good indication of environmental status. California does not allow hunting of mountain lions, but I recently read something that said there are more mountain lions now than there were originally before modern people arrived. They are so plentiful that it is hurting populations of bighorn sheep, turkeys, etc.

      We have problems with wild horses because we have more than the land can support, but we can no longer use them for food - ship them to Europe where they enjoy horse meat. So we spend millions of dollars keeping them in corrals and feeding them. Sale of the horses for meat could provide more money for conservation, rather than using conservation money to house and feed them.

      On the other hand, they are allowing the hunting of wolves in Montana and Wyoming and, in my mind, endangering the sustainability of wolves in those areas. So I realize the legality of it is not always a good indicator.

      I get concerned about legislating culture - forbidding the eating of horse, cat, dog, or guinea pig because it is repugnant to the sensibilities of local culture, although in other areas of the world those items are perfectly acceptable. I believe that is what California is doing with mountain lions, although people don't normally eat them. It is the local culture that says that hunting is wrong.

      I generally do not have a problem with eating the meat of an animal that has been obtained legally. I am all for protecting Siberian tigers and for zoos and other organizations that carefully breed them to keep them from extinction. Yet, if it were legal and someone could find a way to raise them in a sustainable manner and benefit from it commercially, for meat, hide, etc., I would have no problem with that as it ultimately means the tiger will be better off. People will want to keep them around because they can profit from them. That is what has happened with the alligator.

      I do believe that most people are too shielded from the harshness of our current system of raising and slaughtering animals for food. Cows and chickens are raised in deplorable conditions, but people don't think twice about eating a hamburger or an egg. But they get enraged when a hunter shoots a deer and wants to eat it. That deer has lived a much better life than the cow or the chicken. And I think the hunter usually has a better appreciation for the life that is being taken so that he or she can enjoy it as food.

      Lots of rambling for no conclusion, but it is not an easy issue.

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    2. Here in Australia, kangaroos are hunted for pet food and use in some speciality foods. These animals are shot, maimed or bashed to death, leaving their young to starve or die of thirst (female kangaroos always have an extra young in the pouch) It's a cruel practice, and no amount of rationalization makes it ok in my opinion.

      What is interesting to consider is - what impact does killing and consuming animals that have emotional significance to us have on the psychology health of consumer? And, where do we draw the line? Shall we eat our pets when they get too old to enjoy what we decide is their quality of life?

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    3. Not the chinese eating cats american eating them!

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  6. OMG. just... OMG
    what happened to white people judging chinese people eating cats?! and its not just whether its wasteful to eat them or not at the first place, its why would people hunt these beautiful animals at the first place?! Animals hunt for each other for survival, we slaughter millions of animals each year just because we are "better". Hug a vegetarian today!

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    1. No question that vegetarianism is a more sustainable way of life and most of us would be better off if we adopted that lifestyle.

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  7. Fucking disgusting.

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  8. Why? Why?
    Tell me one thing - will you have human meat if it is available ?

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    1. Why is the next step human? Do you equate the life of a bobcat with the life of a human? If so, then do you equate the life of a bobcat with the life of a chicken or a cow?

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    2. Lol. I love all your answers!

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  9. This discussion is pointless! Read it in the Bible 3.mose 11 and you will see: you can't eat Bobcat or other predators!

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    1. According to the Bible you can't do lots of things that many people regularly do today. As far as food, the Bible says you can't eat pigs (pork), hare (rabbit), camel, bear, eel, lobster, crab, shrimp, squid, octopus, oysters, mussels, alligator, crocodile, turtle, shark, sturgeon, swordfish, catfish, ostrich, peacock, swan and guinea fowl. Most people I know have eaten at least one of the animals on that list. Then there are all kinds of other ritual practices involving sabbath worship, sacrifice, sex and other activities that most people do not follow. So it may be pointless for a few people, but as the sole criteria, it would be pointless to most.

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  10. That's right. We can do many things and eat much. But what is good for us and good for the Earth? What is sustainable? To eat the meat of carnivores is not sustainable. The commandments of the Bible have sense.

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    1. If the issue is real long-term sustainability and what is good for us and the environment, I'm not sure that many meats we now eat are sustainable, especially meat from cows. In the long term, to be sustainable, I think we are looking at a primarily vegetarian lifestyle and eating insects. And we certainly should not be driving fossil fuel cars and living in the deserts of Arizona, Nevada and Southern California, drinking water that is coming out of irreplaceable aquifers. But most of us are making compromises with our lives (driving cars, drinking water from non-sustainable aquifers, eating beef) even though we know that another way of living would be better for the environment and for us.

      Although the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament and its intricate laws make sense for those who are Jewish and want to follow those directions because they believe God wants them to, I don't know of any Christian religions that follow all of the intricate commandments in the Old Testament. They follow some, but discard many others, as somehow not applicable to them because of the intervening life of Jesus.

      For those that are not religious, many of the commandments in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament make no sense. Many efforts have been made to support scientifically what was mandated by the Bible, but much of it is not supported scientifically.

      So, to say that I should not eat a predator because the Bible says I shouldn't, whether it be a bobcat, or an alligator or a shark, or a lobster, does not make much sense to me, just as the Biblical prohibition of eating milk and meat together (no milkshake and cheeseburger) does not make sense to me.

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    2. Bob you have some with responses. I love it. I am sitting in my dear stand right now and I found this because I friend just killed a bobcat and I did a search about eating bobcat. I might have to try some. To me all these vegetarians are sick in the head.

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  11. Bob, you are awesome! Disregard the negative comments, as those set in that incredibly ignorant will never "get it", not matter what logic you present.

    As a trapper, I know bobcats are more than sustainable. They are plentiful and each state's Dept. of Fish & Game/Wildlife set bag limits based upon current population. I do indeed harvest bobcats, and I am amongst a tiny minority (even among trappers) that consumes my catch as food as well as pelt. Most bobcats that expire just end up getting picked clean by the crows and 'yotes, nice to see a person who also taps into resources that usually fall by the wayside (or roadside).

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  12. Not sure why there's so much hate in the comments - I landed here via google because my dad shot a bobcat while deer hunting and wants me to tan the hide. I thought I would look into using the meat as well because I don't like to waste anything. Thanks for the post - I will surely try it.

    And Bob - very impressive comment replies/etiquette. Based on the few statements I read above, you are obviously a very thoughtful, rational, awesome, person.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the info!

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  13. my feelings are that if you kill it, make use of it and have nothing go to waste. i don't see trophy hunting just for the mount and wasting the rest, but if the game if fully utilized i dont have an issue.

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  14. I would love to try bobcat burger..while watching liberals choke on their own vomit....of course with a nice red whine

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  15. I agree Bob. Ignore the negative comments. Lynx is a popular dish up North. We don't have them here but do have an abundance of bobcat. Same general animal. I tried beaver for the first time last fall and now not a stitch of meat goes to waste.
    Let those who are quick to judge be happy eating their bacon which comes from an animal that rolls around in their own feces all day. Ignorance is the word of the day.

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  16. I agree Bob. Ignore the negative comments. Lynx is a popular dish up North. We don't have them here but do have an abundance of bobcat. Same general animal. I tried beaver for the first time last fall and now not a stitch of meat goes to waste.
    Let those who are quick to judge be happy eating their bacon which comes from an animal that rolls around in their own feces all day. Ignorance is the word of the day.

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  17. Good thing we all read our Bible and realize Jesus changed much of the Old Testament rules on forbidden foods. It is not what you put in your mouth, but what comes out... Love and respect all living creatures. Some must be taken down. I was raised if you shoot it, you eat it.

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