Wondering what to do with that moose nose? There's a recipe for that
Shawnalee Sears experimented with a moose nose, making a pâté-like jelly to serve on crackers
CBC North is telling the stories behind recipes posted on our Facebook group, The Arctic Kitchen: Recipes of the North. Join our group and follow along!
You could say that Shawnalee Sears has a real nose for recipes.
The Yukoner recently shared a recipe she used to make pickled moose nose on CBC's Arctic recipe Facebook group, and explained her process for cooking the oft-ignored organ on wild game.
Experimenting with wild game isn't new for Sears — she's also known for making what she calls RCMP pie — that's rabbit, chicken, moose and porcupine.
But back to that nose. Sears says she was gifted it by a friend last year.
"She brought it to me in a bag with a big grin on her face, probably expecting something cool for me to make, cause she loves when I feed her."
With nose in hand, Sears starting Googling recipes and found one for a jellied moose nose. Thus began the arduous, and stinky, process.
"I boiled it up and the smell was atrocious in the house," she said, laughing. "I almost threw in the towel thinking there's no way this is going to taste good from the smell going on in my house right now."
But she says she persevered, boiling and draining the water, then taking hours to remove the hair and skin, adding spices and simmering it down.
"I was impressed when, once I diced up the meat and I poured it into a container, that it actually gelled up kind of like a head cheese."
She compares it to a treat she remembers as a child growing up in Beaver Creek, Yukon, when a family friend gave her pickled pork hocks, or pigs' feet.
"It really does kind of have texture and the jelly like of pickled pork hocks."
Sears says it's not gamey at all, and hardly even tastes like moose, "which is kind of disappointing because we all love the flavour of moose."
Colleagues leery, then impressed
Sears brought her pâté-like creation into work in Whitehorse, to serve with crackers. She says, at first, her colleagues crinkled their own noses at the sight of it. But she says all that changed when they tasted it.
"Oh they were impressed. A lot of people that kind of were leery about trying it were quite impressed with the flavour and the texture of it," she said.
"I was so happy with it."
Sears hopes to make pickled moose nose again this year — her partner is on the hunt for a moose this fall.
Written by Katherine Barton, based on interview by Wanda McLeod