Friday, January 13, 2006

Jellied Moose Nose

Last night, I finished my contract stint at Boeing. Wandering through the cube prairies, offices, and factories, I've seen a lot of different ways that people try to humanize their work space and add a little touch of warmth to the drudgery. Most of the time, I'd ignore what I saw. If I was really bored, then I might read a comic or perhaps notice the pictures placed around the area. A couple of nights ago, for instance, I was working with a colleague and waiting for him to finish up and I noticed a woman who had 11 pictures of herself around her cube. How do I know it was her? She left as we were walking in. One of the pictures was from an old news clipping of her as a softball pitcher. The rest were just her in posed and unposed photos. It brought a whole new meaning of narcissism to me.

Leon and I were working together again last night. While I was waiting for him, I became a bit bored and glanced at the desk next to me. On it was a recipe for Jellied Moose Nose. It was the actual page, torn from a book. I love oddities like this. Even though I'm a vegetarian, this is just too strange for me to not be fascinated by (for the record, I feel the same way about tomato aspic, but that's another story). The very idea of someone dreaming up a recipe like this using something that never occurs to most people just fascinates me. Such items also get my old recipe geek riled up. Not that I would ever make such a thing, but it's interesting to learn how and what people eat. I made a photocopy of the page from the book.

Before I get to the recipe, I just did a Google search and there are quite a few sites that list this recipe. Wow! A whole new dark place has just opened up in my mind. This is from The Montana Cookbook and is credited to one Ronald B. Tobias from Bozeman.


1 upper jawbone of moose
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbs. pickling spice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup vinegar

Cut the upper jawbone of the moose just below the eyes. Place in a large kettle of scalding water and boil for 45 minutes. Remove and chill in cold water. Pull out all haors and wash thoroughly until no hairs remain.

Place the nose in a kettle and cover with fresh water. Add onion, garlic, spices, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until meat is tender. Refrigerate overnight in the liquid.

When cool, remove meat from broth and remove and discard bone and cartilege. Slice the meat thin and alternate layers of white and dark meat in a loaf pan. Pour broth over meat to cover. Let cool until jelly has set. Slice and serve cold.

Chef's note: "This makes for great dinner conversation, and believe it or not it ain't bad! Buffalo nose can be used in place of moose nose."

Because, you know, buffalo nose is so much easier to come by. What inspired Mr. Tobias to try this recipe? What inspired him to substitute buffalo nose? Why stop with buffalo? My neighbor's an ass, maybe that would work for an appetizer? Who knew that moose nose had both white and dark meat? Finally, don't you just love how in the first 2 steps, the descriptive is "nose", but when you cook it down, it just becomes "meat"?

1 comment:

Scott said...

I'd guess the basic recipe dates back to the native americans, or one of the depressions. Nothing was wasted then. Pretty entertaining seen with today's overly fastidious mores.

We tend to forget we ate whatever animal matter wiggled or smelled ripe and whatever vegetable matter that didn't make us sick or worse for many millenia. We were designed/evolved to eat both vegetable and animal matter. I bet we fought with dogs over the turds with the most alluring bouquet.

I think omnivore is just a nice word for describing desperation, meaning we ate whatever we could manage to swallow, and avoiding accidental poisoning was as much luck as caution and lore.