Moose meat tastes great roasted

Posted Sept. 10, 2010, at 7:56 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:20 p.m.

Editor’s Note: The Best of Bud is a compilation of some of the advice and recipes gathered by the late Ralph W. “Bud” Leavitt who retired as the Bangor Daily News executive sports editor and outdoor editor in the fall of 1988. He continued to write a weekly column for the paper until his death on Dec. 20, 1994. During his nearly half-century as the BDN’s outdoor columnist he penned more than 13,000 columns and one book, “Twelve Months in Maine.” He starred in his own TV program, “The Bud Leavitt Show,” which aired on the Hildreth Network for 20 years, and the nationally acclaimed “Woods and Waters” outdoor program on the Public Broadcasting System. While some of the folks Bud interviewed have died, their contributions and memories remain with us.

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Editor’s Note 2: The Maine Moose hunt resumed in 1980 for a season. In 1982 there was no hunt but it resumed in 1983 and has continued seasonally ever since.

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The last time Maine hunters were legally allowed to hunt moose was in 1935, but despite the law, moose meat has continued to turn up on Maine dinner tables.

Every year 1,000 or more Maine residents journey to Newfoundland for the experience of a moose hunt. It has been through this legal traffic, mainly, that the precious delicacy has regularly decorated dinner and supper tables.

I know no one offhand with a keener skill when it comes to “cookin’ a junk o’ moose meat” than Mrs. James Henderson of Brewer.

Worry not, Adelaide can do it all, and right!

Two years ago at our camp in Carrabassett Valley, Adelaide was an overnight guest. I just happened to have a 5- or 6-pound chunk of moose meat on hand. It had been given to me by a longtime moose hunter, Chester Hawkins of Machias.

Hawkins never allows a year to pass without hieing off to Newfoundland in search of a trophy-racked bull. Ches is a headhunter. He likes the sight of huge, wide racks.

Adelaide placed this roast in a large stainless-steel bowl.

I watched closely and this is how she cooked a moose roast:

She made a marinade, 1 quart water, 2 medium onions sliced, 1 stalk celery diced, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon each thyme, rosemary, curry powder, mace and freshly ground black pepper.

After briskly stirring, she poured the contents over the meat and announced, “This will be tomorrow night’s supper.”

I hadn’t expected this, thinking all the time, what a beautiful supper we’ll have this evening!

The next day, precisely at noon, my old friend Adelaide set things in motion in quick order.

She seared the meat in 1 tablespoon margarine in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes. Now the marinade. She poured, making certain more than a dab touched all of the meat, covered and baked in 325 degree oven for about 2 hours.

Adelaide didn’t stop there, not for a second.

She blended 2 tablespoons soft margarine with 2 tablespoons flour, stirring smoothly into the gravy. The liquid was cooked slowly until it formed a nice, thick gravy.

Catch her next move — it’s the one that makes you think you want to go out and shoot a moose.

She served with hot French toast.

Dip 8 slices of not-too-soft bread, on both sides, into a well-blended mixture of 2 slightly beaten eggs, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Brown toast on each side in a well-greased griddle or in a heavy fry pan.

Adelaide Henderson’s Roast Moose and French toast, exquisite, superb, out of sight!

Guaranteed you’ll never back off when offered seconds.

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