October 1, 2013

Butchering

Welllll, what do you get when you have a husband who goes on a five day moose hunt? A whole moose (basically) waiting for you the next day when you get home in your arctic room.
What do you do with that?!?! You butcher it, of course!

I have absolutely no idea how I ever missed seeing the inside of an animal when we were living in IL dating Joshua and his family. Every year his family would have a butchering "party", where they cut up their own steers and hogs.  I never made it to one of these shindigs.
No, the first animal I have ever seen cut open was a seal.. now a moose.

So when I walked in my door Friday afternoon after school, my knees buckled from seeing all the meat that was just sitting there.  We didn't really have a whole moose - just the front leg (quarter), the hind leg (quarter), the ribs, and the rump. So pretty much a whole moose.
Joshua starting cutting it up around 2 pm so when I got home at 4, we could dive right in.




I just stand there and Joshua proceeds to tell me that I am going to grind the meat, while he cuts up the steaks, roasts, etc. So Joshua starts cutting up the meat in the arctic room and I set up grinding in the kitchen. Our house turned into a butcher shop!





We had a system going.  Joshua had three bowls that he would cut his strips in.  When the bowl would get filled, I would bring it to the kitchen and grind that meat up. Once I was finished, I would bring him back the bowl to be filled again.

After an hour or so of cutting the meat just ourselves, we decided that it would take forever if we wanted to finish this tonight. Luckily, Matt came over to help! Even with him, it took us all night!

The first task the boys had was cutting up the ribs. These ribs were huge. In one photo, notice that Joshua had to use a saw to cut through them!


 Matt with the ribs! These are going to be sooo tasty. We made some boneless as well!

Told ya they had to use a saw!

After a few hours of working, we got hungry. What better way then to eat as you go.. our fast food! We made vegetable soup with moose meat. We decided to sear it first then let it cook with the soup. Delicious!

Yesterday, we made moose spaghetti, too.
I'm thinking about making a page on my blog with just the moose recipes we cook. What do you think?!

After eating, it was back to the grinder -literally. Each hour I would go check on the boys, and very slowly, the meat began to disappear. 

 This is one of the quarters.
This is cool because you can see some of the bone.  The Natives actually boil the bone and eat the marrow. It is one of their favorite parts. 

At around 1:30 am, I was hoping that we would finish soon! 
 


 This is a picture of one of the last bowls of meat that the boys cut.  We needed to take it to the school (you know running water helps in this kind of situation) to clean it better because a lot of grass stuck on these pieces of meat. My sister is the dietitian in my hometown and she eats mainly all organic. She only buys grass-fed beef.  I was joking with her saying ours was literally grass fed since I was pulling grass from almost every single strip of meat that I put in the grinder. 


My station when we finally were finished! Almost 12 hours of grinding meat... 

We finished around 3 am, but that meant almost an hour of cleanup - including showers!
Since the showers are at the school, we did not get back to our house and in bed till almost 
4 am.

It was so worth Joshua leaving for five days -even though I missed him terribly. We ended up getting 25 quart size bags full of ground moose meat and I didn't even count all the bags that held our moose steaks, roasts, and ribs.  We even have two bags of the backstraps of the moose. The secretary at the school said that the backstraps are one of her favorite parts of the moose - besides the bone marrow!

Our entire freezer is now full in our house, including some space in Matt's deep freeze over at his house. I would say we should be set with meat for at least the winter, even the entire year! Good thing too since I was getting ready to go to Bethel to shop for meat. It was an awesome feeling grinding the meat, knowing my husband went out and hunted this for us. Saves a lot of money, too! 
Looks like we can check off a few items on our top ten page! 






2 comments:

  1. O.K.! We killed and plucked and all that stuff 150 chickens one summer. That too was quite the job! This looks like you need to fly a freezer in on that twin engine plane for your little home? How would you get a freezer? Such a great adventure you kids are having. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. What an adventure Emily! I love reading your blog and have enjoyed getting to know the Hall's! God Bless!

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