Well, I have curried a horse before, but never in the culinary sense. Also I have been pulled by a horse but I haven’t pulled one. Here I am putting the horse before the à la carte.
I am sure there will be a lot of neigh-sayers who will stirrup some emotion over this issue. Let me say from the outset that I did not have a stable relationship with the horse in question, in fact I was not even acquainted with it when it was alive. I don’t want to be saddled with the epithet unfeeling so before you bridle at this post and are spurred to make negative comments, it behooves me point out that I am living in an area where most people are subsistence living, and much of the meat they eat is hunted. Kangaroo, emu, goanna, snake, feral camel and horse, wild birds.
In the mane, I contend that eating meat is natural. We evolved as omnivores, and indeed we owe our so-called intelligence to being omnivorous and to the invention of cooking meat. Even though meat eating nowadays can be said to be a lifestyle choice, the type of meat eaten in any society is clearly a cultural and historic accident. It depends entirely on the resources available as the society developed. Thus Inuit eat seals and whales, Choiseulese eat bats, Peruvians eat alpacas. Other cultures eat rabbits, guinea pigs, chihuahuas.
When in Rome… – or in this case – When in the Kimberley….
Tika shot a wild horse last week, and gave me some of the meat to try. He also told me how it was usually prepared in Tonga. It sounded OK to me so I decided to give it a try, with my own twist.
The meat is very lean, and has the appearance of beef. I first slow roasted a small piece, just to try it. I found it very similar to beef, quite tender but rather dry. It was rather good with my plum sauce. My dog liked her piece just as it comes. I concluded that Tika’s recipe would definitely be a good idea to overcome the dryness, which I suspect is a result of it being so lean. He told me that in Tonga they slow roast the meat, pull, or shred it, and then cook it with onion, garlic, chilli, curry, herbs etc. (he was a little non-specific), and coconut cream.
So that is what I did, except instead of slow roasting, I used the slow cooker, into which I put:
- about 1Kg horse meat
- a teaspoon of beef stock powder
- a few bay leaves,
- a dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup of water
I left it to cook on low for about 8 hours.
Then I removed the meat, cut it into chunks and shredded or “pulled” it with a couple of forks. Then I returned it to the slow cooker along with:
- a tablespoon of curry powder,
- a teaspoon of paprika
- two teaspoons chilli
- a teaspoon of mixed herbs
- two finely chopped onions
- two diced potatoes
- more garlic
- half a tin of coconut cream.
If I had any, I would have added some red or green capsicum for colour.
(UPDATE: I showed this post to Tika whose comment was that I had missed the green or red fresh chillies!)
This was cooked on low until the potato was cooked, about 3 more hours.
Believe me, it tastes very good, and you would not know it wan’t beef if I served it to you. So if you are dining with me in future and I serve you something like this, wait for the puns, they may be your only clue.