In the wilds of Alaska, where the air is crisp and the landscapes are vast, there's a culinary tradition that's as hearty as the spirit of its people: moose meat. Yes, you heard me – moose meat! This is the meat I grew up on and am blessed enough to still enjoy to this day!
While the idea might raise a few eyebrows among those used to more conventional meats, for many Alaskans, moose is a staple of subsistence living and it's quite delicious and versatile!
Moose meat cannot be bought or sold in Alaska, because it for subsistence use only. Subsistence hunting and fishing in Alaska fills our freezers and saves us from spending big bucks on foods that have to be shipped to Alaska. So, you either that moose or it is gifted to you from family and friends.
Which means, unfortunately, for most of the world's population, the opportunity to savor the rich, pure flavor of moose meat remains elusive. But fear not, adventurous foodie friends, there's a substitute that's readily available – beef! While it may not have quite the same exotic allure, beef can still satisfy your cravings for a hearty, meaty meal.
Now, let's talk fusion cuisine. Picture this: Swedish Moose Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce. Yes, we're taking the iconic Swedish meatball and giving it an Alaskan spin. It's a marriage of flavors that's as unexpected as it is delicious. And because cranberries are plentiful in Alaska, let's just add that twist to our recipe, as well!
Here's a recipe to try at home:
1 cup cranberries
2-4 tbsp sugar
1/2 lb ground moose meat (sub beef)
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 sauteed onion
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp parmesan, grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup beef broth
1 chicken bouillion cube
2 tsp Worcestershire
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
Make cranberry sauce by heating 1 cup cranberries with 2-4 tbsp sugar on medium heat. Add more or less sugar depending on your personal sweet/tart preference. Stir occasionally until the cranberries have broken down and it becomes more 'saucy', approximately 5-7 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
For meatballs, use large bowl and combine moose meat, pork, onion, garlic, parmesan, egg and spices.
Only mix meat combination until just combine, don't overwork meat.
Shape balls to approximately 1" - 1.5" balls.
Saute meatballs on medium heat in olive oil until all sides are golden brown, this might take two batches.
When meatballs are done, set aside.
Start sauce. Heat butter in a large saute pan, add flour and combine to form a roux. Use a whisk and slowly add beef broth, whisking as you go so no clumps form.
Add chicken bouillon, Worcestershire and Dijon.
When the sauce is smooth, add 1/2 cup sour cream and whisk thoroughly.
Add meatballs into sauce and let heat through for approximately 10 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Garnish with chopped scallion.
Serve with rice or noodles and your tangy delicious cranberry sauce.
So there you have it – a taste of Alaska, a dash of Sweden, and a whole lot of culinary adventure. Who knows, maybe one day you'll have the chance to visit Alaska and experience the real deal for yourself. But until then, don't be afraid to get creative in the kitchen and explore new flavors. After all, that's what food is all about – bringing people together and satisfying the soul. Bon appétit!