Thursday, January 6, 2011

canned teriyaki muskox (skip this post if you're squeamish)

Loren and our Friend Lieudell went out this weekend and caught some muskox. For those of you who read this blog and are unfamiliar with the creature it looks like this:

This is the first time Loren has got us a muskox.  Usually we get a moose every year, but this year no moose, and the freezer was looking pretty empty and sad (except  for blueberries and breast milk)... so we are extremely grateful for the meat.  The muskox is a pretty amazing animal really; they weather out some of the ugliest winters in world thanks to their super warm coats and dense underfur known as qiviut.  I will be posting more about qiviut later, but back to the topic at hand.

We have been processing the meat from the muskox, and as with any animal we harvest, we try to use every bit of it that we can.  Its a good rule of thumb not to be wasteful in general, but it is also my personal belief that if you treat your animals respectfully and process them with mindfulness it is the best way to show your gratitude to their spirit.

There are parts of any animal that are tough and chewy, especially wild game.  Some of the back meat and lower leg meat is full of sinew and it is pretty hard to cook it into a texture that is palatable.  Some people use this meat for burger, and others just throw it away (this is me judging them).  Personally, I like to use this meat for canning. After 90 minutes in the pressure cooker the sinew breaks down and you are left with delicious, tender meat (sort of the texture of pulled pork--obviously, a different taste).
So today I decided to can up a batch of teriyaki muskox using the hot-pack canning method. To do this you first brown your meat (so its heated through, but mostly raw in the center still) add it to jars with the broth of your choice (I used Yoshida's gourmet, water, raw onion and garlic to season mine) put your tops on, pop into your pressure canner (you should always use a pressure cooker to can meat!) and process at 10lbs. pressure for 90 minutes.

browning the muskox
yoshida's is yummy, but it does contain HFCS (damn you High Fructose Corn Syrup, why are you in everything?)

cooking meat in my house always brings in at least one kitchen helper, sometimes two or three:)

meat in the jars, ready for lids. Be sure to leave 1" head-space at the top so they can seal!

Wipe jar rims, add lids and screw-on bands...arrange in your canner

follow the instructions that come with your pressure cooker for canning meat.
Canned game is awesome--you can just heat it up and serve over rice (YUM!) use it for sandwich fillings, or in pasta, soup, chili, etc.. You can even win big points by sending some in a care package to your carnivorous little brother who goes to school in California where you, "can't bag any rascals, damnit!" Its a little more time consuming up front, but an awesome thing to have in the pantry.
Thank you muskox!


  1. totally interesting! we have "butcher days" around here so it wasn't the cause of any squeamishness here. but our animals lived in the barn, not in wild alaska. i'd been meaning to ask, were you the one in the anne geddes group saying you were in a bush plane crash? i was thinking it might've been you.

  2. no. that wasn't me thank goodness. I am terrified of flying. I do it, because I have to--but I hope I won't ever be in a bush plane crash! Yipes!

    I wonder if it would be harder to butcher up animals from your own barn. At some point I would like to raise some chickens and pigs, but I worry I will become attached to them and they will be like pets to me (expensive ones)!

  3. and to the damn you hfcs i add, damn you gluten!

  4. well thank goodness that wasn't you!! i'll have to sift through some of those threads and see who it was...i know alaska was part of her s/n because i was doing my normal "I LOVE ALASKA" thing when she told me about that crash. yikes!

  5. ok i found her. oddly enough she is from nome too! what are the odds?!! i googled the population of nome and it was smaller than i thought. LOL. her screen-name was alaskaheidi but she must've deleted her account or something because the thread that she was talking to us in no longer has her posts but you can see that people clearly were talking to her. weird?

  6. ah... I totally know who that is. She was from the mid-west somewhere and lived here for a couple of years, but I think maybe she moved back. She was indeed in a plane crash... kind of a crazy miracle. It was a little commuter plane flying in from one of our villages in really awful weather and it clipped the top of a mountain. Luckily, it sort of bumped and slid down the mountain and all the passengers walked away with pretty minor injuries. That is about the best case scenario in a crash like that.
    Funny... what a small world it is huh?

  7. that is super crazy you know her and even more super crazy about everyone surviving that crash! YIKES!