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Needed: Butcher of Raccoon

Needed: Butcher of Raccoon
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  • Post #31 - January 7th, 2005, 8:51 pm
    Post #31 - January 7th, 2005, 8:51 pm Post #31 - January 7th, 2005, 8:51 pm
    Al,

    Last year I skinned a goat
    Image

    Butchered a pig
    Image

    and before I moved to Chicago used to hunt now and then, but Raccoons no experience with raccoons.

    Frankly, I was tempted to go over to Hammond's house today just to watch Fess Parker in action.

    You think Hammond will be opening a winery sometime soon? :)

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #32 - January 7th, 2005, 10:45 pm
    Post #32 - January 7th, 2005, 10:45 pm Post #32 - January 7th, 2005, 10:45 pm
    If anyone wondered why David Hammond gave Gary the nickname Ultimo, here is a good example. You're laying back in the weeds, waiting to spring all of the butchering pics upon us. Taking this thread to another level.

    If you only had somekind of varmint butchering pictures. I know you take BBQ trips to Georgia. Those guys have to be eating some kind of rodents.

    Bravo,
    Al
    Last edited by Al Ehrhardt on January 8th, 2005, 1:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #33 - January 7th, 2005, 10:59 pm
    Post #33 - January 7th, 2005, 10:59 pm Post #33 - January 7th, 2005, 10:59 pm
    Al Ehrhardt wrote:If anyone wondered why David Hammond gave Gary the nickname Ultimo, here is a good example. You're laying back in the weeds, waiting to spring all of the butchering pics upon us. Taking this thread to another level.


    Al,

    Is there not a look in his eye that bespeaks "another level" of participation in the food to be enjoyed.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #34 - January 8th, 2005, 6:33 pm
    Post #34 - January 8th, 2005, 6:33 pm Post #34 - January 8th, 2005, 6:33 pm
    You might enjoy a glance at Calvin W. Schwabe's book, Unmentionable Cuisine. He seems to prefer opossum to raccoon - less fat and "an agreeable flavor" - but offers the nutritional gem that both have over twice the protein of T-bone steak.

    His carcass prep advice is limited to skin as soon as possible and remove the glands inside the front legs and on the back intact. Word is that parboiling and soaking is a good idea for adult animals. Aging is up to the taste of the consumer.

    As for recipes, he claims that barbecued raccoon is good with any sauce useful for pork. Other recipes include "Baked Raccoon," "Fried 'Coon Stew," and "Calalou." The last is a stew that, in Schwabe's incarnation at least, includes pieces of every animal species available in the south.

    You might want to see if you can get a couple Opossums as well.

    rien
  • Post #35 - January 14th, 2005, 10:05 pm
    Post #35 - January 14th, 2005, 10:05 pm Post #35 - January 14th, 2005, 10:05 pm
    We need a coon update...

    Empty traps?
  • Post #36 - January 14th, 2005, 10:20 pm
    Post #36 - January 14th, 2005, 10:20 pm Post #36 - January 14th, 2005, 10:20 pm
    Al,

    Saw a big mother of a raccoon scurry across the alley last night, tried to wrangle it into the trap by wiggling the Volvo and gently tapping the horn; escaped in the opposite direction...but she will be mine, oh yes, she will be mine.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #37 - January 14th, 2005, 10:36 pm
    Post #37 - January 14th, 2005, 10:36 pm Post #37 - January 14th, 2005, 10:36 pm
    David,

    Silly me. I thought you were trapping raccoons in your attick. I had no idea you were trying to rid Oak Park's alleys of the masked creatures. Maybe you should be listening to Mr. Daane's comments about the DNR. We don't want to see your mug shot alongside Michael Jackson's.

    www.thesmokinggun.com

    Best,
    Al
  • Post #38 - January 29th, 2005, 8:22 am
    Post #38 - January 29th, 2005, 8:22 am Post #38 - January 29th, 2005, 8:22 am
    Mr. Hammond:

    you haven't given us an update on the raccoon project for a while, but you may be interested in this story in today's Chicago Tribune about Delafield, Wisconsin which has an annual raccoon feast. In the paper edition (but not the online edition) there's a picture of their raccoon stew with "carrots, apples, onions, garlic, celery and spices."
  • Post #39 - January 29th, 2005, 8:44 am
    Post #39 - January 29th, 2005, 8:44 am Post #39 - January 29th, 2005, 8:44 am
    Amata wrote:Mr. Hammond:

    you haven't given us an update on the raccoon project for a while, but you may be interested in this story in today's Chicago Tribune about Delafield, Wisconsin which has an annual raccoon feast. In the paper edition (but not the online edition) there's a picture of their raccoon stew with "carrots, apples, onions, garlic, celery and spices."


    Amata,

    In my quest to become the mighty Raccoon hunter of Oak Park, I've been stymied by lack of kill and no real leads on a place that will take my (apparently) illegally acquired carcasses and do all the dirty work. Still, the traps are baited...

    I'll check out the article in the Trib (I assume it's in the "paper" version, too).

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #40 - January 29th, 2005, 9:39 am
    Post #40 - January 29th, 2005, 9:39 am Post #40 - January 29th, 2005, 9:39 am
    Amata,

    I checked out the Trib article. I like the way the author implicitly draws a comparison between the "masked bandit" on four legs and the Capone-type characters who also once visited the region.

    With the "healthy" raccoon population in Delafield, it seems like I'm setting my traps in the wrong part of the world.

    The author notes that raccoons are "critters that misguided urbanites might consider vermin" -- I agree. They are vermin...DELICIOUS vermin.

    Hammond
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #41 - January 29th, 2005, 10:05 am
    Post #41 - January 29th, 2005, 10:05 am Post #41 - January 29th, 2005, 10:05 am
    Hi,

    If I read this article correctly, this event is today. Delafield is just west of Milwaukee ... I just might be found there this evening! Heck after Indonesian for lunch, I will be hungry again in the evening! Guaranteed!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #42 - January 29th, 2005, 10:13 am
    Post #42 - January 29th, 2005, 10:13 am Post #42 - January 29th, 2005, 10:13 am
    Raccoon feed: The 77th Annual Coon Feed, in memory of Tom McNulty, will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, at the Delafield American Legion Post No. 196, 333 Lapham Peak Road, Delafield. The cost is $10, $5 for children. Meals will be served on a first-come-first-served basis until the meat is gone. Proceeds go to Delafield American Legion youth Programs.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #43 - February 24th, 2007, 8:40 am
    Post #43 - February 24th, 2007, 8:40 am Post #43 - February 24th, 2007, 8:40 am
    http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/07 ... 22307.html

    Raccoon fans will want to note the recipe near the bottom.
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  • Post #44 - February 24th, 2007, 11:42 am
    Post #44 - February 24th, 2007, 11:42 am Post #44 - February 24th, 2007, 11:42 am
    If the idea of eating raccoon makes sensitive readers squeamish, IMHO the experience of eating raccoon holds little culinary challenge once the decision has been taken to give it a go. Nevertheless, the recipe Mike links to above appears to treat raccoon as just another dark meat, something that might have less-than-delectable results. At the raccoonfest, the elaborate process used by the Delafield American Legion cooks was explained. Their recipe involves scrupulous cleaning of every morsel of fat from the carcass (which spoils the taste), as well as brining for a week in several changes of water and salt. Next comes the braising with vegetables and a number of spices (including, pepper, garlic, bay, juniper, from what I could taste). The final dish resembles braised hare in terms of bones, but tastes more like pot roast-- hardly a challenging meal in the final analysis, though the recipe is labor intensive.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #45 - February 24th, 2007, 12:10 pm
    Post #45 - February 24th, 2007, 12:10 pm Post #45 - February 24th, 2007, 12:10 pm
    The raccoons have their say:

    I've only caught one episode from this season's mostly-poo-poo-d Masters of Horror...the episode in question: Dario Argento's Pelts. So...it wasn't so much the maestro's presence nor that of Meatloaf starring as the titular fur impresario, but the chance to see yet another permutation/adaptation of F. Paul Wilson's infamous short story, "Pelts." It's been banned, it's been lambasted by animal rights activists of every stripe, it had a reprint in an early issue of Gauntlet(the magazine that goes out of its way to give "offensive" material a voice...often denuding the transgressive content by virture of recontextualization/explication in a deadly, dull magazine), and it's been a comic. Now it's an hour long gorefest from the once-capable hands of Dario Argento. I'm not really here to review it so much as add it to this thread of perspectives on the raccoon; the feisty critter central to "Pelts." The piece itself...eh...the gore ain't bad, the characterization is basically nil, but I always tend to enjoy Meatloaf, regardless, and there's lotsa of boobage and butt for those who go in for that sort of thing[the *female, of course* nudity seemed(and this *is* a criticism of the Masters of Horror series in general) more tacked on for randy, adolescent boys than for anyone able to unlock cable softcore, or, for that matter, log on to the internets].

    mmm...raccoon
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #46 - February 25th, 2007, 1:23 am
    Post #46 - February 25th, 2007, 1:23 am Post #46 - February 25th, 2007, 1:23 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    As always start with a clean kill to the head. Raccoon are best when taken in the winter months. Cut the jugular vein and hang by tail immediately after the kill. Keep cool until ready to dress. Remove the glands from under the front legs and fleshy part of the rear legs before dressing. Remove as much fat as possible from the carcass. Gut, remove head, tail, and feet, rinse well. In a non metallic container mix 2 gallons water with 5 tablespoons baking soda and 1/2 cup salt. Completely submerge possum in brine, refrigerate overnight before preparing. If you are going to store in the freezer for any length of time it is best to freeze in a plastic container filled with water with a tightly sealed lid.


    Personally, I don't see why you don't want to give it a try yourself. If you want help (aka the blind leading the blind), then let me know.

    Regards,

    Why would they specify a "nonmetallic" container for the meat brine?
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #47 - February 25th, 2007, 6:18 am
    Post #47 - February 25th, 2007, 6:18 am Post #47 - February 25th, 2007, 6:18 am
    It's been a long time since I studied chemistry, but basically, salty water and metal is a starting point for lots of electrical processes. You don't want to electroplate your dinner!
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #48 - August 9th, 2007, 9:33 pm
    Post #48 - August 9th, 2007, 9:33 pm Post #48 - August 9th, 2007, 9:33 pm
    Another approach to the age old raccoon challenge: Woman kills raccoon with her bare hands:

    A woman killed a raccoon with her bare hands Thursday when the animal attacked a young boy.

    ...

    She pulled the raccoon off the child, told the children to run home and strangled the animal, authorities said.

    ...

    The carcass was taken to a state laboratory in Hartford where it tested positive for rabies.


    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #49 - September 6th, 2008, 9:52 pm
    Post #49 - September 6th, 2008, 9:52 pm Post #49 - September 6th, 2008, 9:52 pm
    How to cook a 'coon

    Years ago at a Missouri Mycological Society's annual potluck, I sampled a severely over-roasted Mr. and Mrs. Raccoon. I considered it a check off moment on my life list of unique edibles. Interesting to have tried once and if I never had another opportunity, then so be it.

    I never really gave it another thought until Hammond sought a butcher for the trash mining varmint in his life. While Hammond never quite found the butcher of his dreams, my many inquiries on his behalf to real hunters who reacted to my query as a bit queer. If you can kill the critter, then they believe it is reasonable you know how to field dress and butcher your kill.

    The innocent days of speculatively chatting on finding raccoon butchers was the loins that sprung the whole foodie raccoon dining urban myth. Little Miss Enthusiastic never misses a beat in trying something new leaped at Amata's linked article of a raccoon dinner that very same day in Wisconsin. Who never expected her gift to Hammond of raccoon meat would morph in Homaru Cantu's fantasy factory into a roadkill course emulated today on his menu as a duck roadkill course. A gift from one friend to another was a lead anecdote in a Moto profile in Time magazine, though the story took on mythical qualities of an avid hunter who challenged the chef.

    Only last weekend, I was at the Chicago Botanical Garden representing the Illinois Mycological Association aka Mushroom Club. A visitor who had studied mycology in college was asked, "How do you use your mycological education in your work today?" She replied, "I consult to a Chef." "Really, which Chef?" "Homaru Cantu." "I know Homaru." "How?" "I am the raccoon lady!" "Oh my God, I was talking about you last night!" A polite query on her professional use of mycology was a touchstone to our knowing quite a few people in common between us.

    Last January's Chicago Tribune article on foodies dining on raccoon highlighted to my mycology friends my other life they knew vaguely about. At our annual mushroom dinner, a friend brought me out to the parking lot and offered a freshly killed raccoon as a gift. This was so fresh, no rigor mortis had set in. Having long learned there are more opportunities to saying yes than no, I took it. I was advised to trim off the fat and scent glands around the armpits and anus. I knew instantly this was destined for this year's picnic. I froze it as-is with plans to deal with the fat and glands later.

    A few nights ago, I realized I needed to settle how to cook this raccoon. My original thought had been to butterfly it and grill it. I had commented this to SteveZ who correctly pointed out successful preparations seemed to dictate a braise. My searches indicated people tended to drown their raccoon in strong flavors: either braised in barbeque sauce or baked under layers of stuffing and sweet potatoes. While as a composition it may taste quite vivid, it does hide the raccoon's flavor profile. I have observed the same treatment of wild mushrooms whose taste is buried in garlic, wine, cream or soy sauce, though can you really identify the taste of that mushroom? One of my very first interactions with Hammond and Rene G when they attended a mushroom meeting. It was our annual identification meeting, which I was on the periphery searing wild mushrooms in a little butter and finishing with a touch of salt. We sampled maybe five or more mushrooms that night with each having a unique flavor profile. We purchased a few of Marie's cheese pizzas, which I learned about from this community, to make our own variant of mushroom pizza.

    For today's picnic, I decided to cook the raccoon like a pot roast via pressure cooking. I began by spending perhaps ten minutes trimming fat and a silverskin enveloping the raccoon. This silverskin had the same slippery loose quality like one experiences grasping a cat's skin lifting away though the cat is firmly planted and not moving. I then proceeding to remove the legs in whole sections and disposed of the tail. I seared the legs in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in my canning pressure cooker, then later the body. Once the body was seared on one side and beginning to sear on the other, I added at least a pound of thinly sliced onions to cook until softened. I then returned the legs to the pot with a quart of veal stock, two cups of water, some salt and freshly ground quatra epices.* I closed the lid of the pressure cooker, brought it to a boil until I could see steam shooting out consistently for a few minutes. I then set a ten-pound weight on the pressure cooker and waited for it to come to pressure. I cooked the raccoon for an hour at ten-pounds pressure. Once depressurized, the meat was fall off the bone tender for very easy deboning. The cooking liquid was reduced by a third, tested it for seasoning and poured it over the raccoon meat.

    The final result was a raccoon course that could easily be served as a pot roast without any telltale gamey flavor. If this were being freshly served, instead of having to sit keeping warm for a few hours. I think this preparation could easily be a very respectable candidate to treat as beef noodles over mashed potatoes.

    If it were not for the opportunities provided by my mushroom friends and those from this community, I certainly could not have ever envisioned an opportunity to cook a raccoon nor an audience to feed it to.

    Thank you for the gift that keeps on giving.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    *Quatra Epices
    2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) white peppercorns - I used black
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon (about 12) whole cloves
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    A few pieces of allspice
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #50 - September 6th, 2008, 10:13 pm
    Post #50 - September 6th, 2008, 10:13 pm Post #50 - September 6th, 2008, 10:13 pm
    C2, thanks for the memories...and for the most excellent raccoon today. Very delicious. Stevez seems to have been quite right about the braise; it worked well, and this really was the best preparation of this beast that I've ever had.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #51 - September 7th, 2008, 6:06 am
    Post #51 - September 7th, 2008, 6:06 am Post #51 - September 7th, 2008, 6:06 am
    Cathy2 wrote:*Quatra Epices
    2 tablespoons (1/8 cup) white peppercorns - I used black
    1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon (about 12) whole cloves
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    A few pieces of allspice

    Shouldn't this be six epices? :wink:
  • Post #52 - September 9th, 2008, 8:34 pm
    Post #52 - September 9th, 2008, 8:34 pm Post #52 - September 9th, 2008, 8:34 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:My searches indicated people tended to drown their raccoon in strong flavors: either braised in barbeque sauce or baked under layers of stuffing and sweet potatoes. While as a composition it may taste quite vivid, it does hide the raccoon's flavor profile.

    River Road Recipes from the Junior League of Baton Rouge has a recipe for "Coon a la Delta" (recipe courtesy of Mrs. Orville E. Comer, Tensas Parish) summarized below. While this one does have some strong flavors, they are consistent with the flavor profile of other Louisiana dishes.

    Ingredients:

    1 coon
    Cayenne pepper (to taste)
    Black pepper (to taste)
    Salt (to taste)
    3 cloves garlic
    1 large onion
    1 cup celery
    1 medium bell pepper
    Flour
    Fat/shortening
    6 sweet potatoes

    The process (paraphrased) -- Soak coon for 1 hour in mild vinegar solution then drain. Salt and pepper coon and place in pot with enough room to cover coon (cut up or whole, your preference). Add chopped onion, chopped celery, chopped bell pepper and cayenne. Parboil until "partially tender." Remove from heat, drain, and then brown coon in a small amount of shortening. Place coon in a roasting pan. Make a "thin brown gravy, seasoned as desired." Pour gravy over coon, peel sweet potatoes and place around coon. Cook in a 350 oven until potatoes are done.
  • Post #53 - September 10th, 2008, 10:03 pm
    Post #53 - September 10th, 2008, 10:03 pm Post #53 - September 10th, 2008, 10:03 pm
    Matt,

    Your recipe looks far better than those I saw in a casual search. Now that I am aware of several vendors who sell raccoon, I might buy one and prepare your recipe sometime.

    Thank you!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #54 - May 31st, 2009, 8:16 pm
    Post #54 - May 31st, 2009, 8:16 pm Post #54 - May 31st, 2009, 8:16 pm
    Me too!
    If I catch it will you eat it?
    Image
    This Raccoon is busy eating my garden hose and soaker hoses...
    Got a trap set tonight
  • Post #55 - May 31st, 2009, 10:21 pm
    Post #55 - May 31st, 2009, 10:21 pm Post #55 - May 31st, 2009, 10:21 pm
    Hi,

    If you catch it, do THE deed plus skin it, I will cook and eat it.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #56 - May 31st, 2009, 10:24 pm
    Post #56 - May 31st, 2009, 10:24 pm Post #56 - May 31st, 2009, 10:24 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    If you catch it, do THE deed plus skin it, I will cook and eat it.

    Regards,


    I'm in. Of course.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #57 - June 2nd, 2009, 4:37 pm
    Post #57 - June 2nd, 2009, 4:37 pm Post #57 - June 2nd, 2009, 4:37 pm
    Seems like I missed the critter... live trap was un-tripped but the cooked salmon was gone.
    No signs of him / her since...
  • Post #58 - June 2nd, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Post #58 - June 2nd, 2009, 4:58 pm Post #58 - June 2nd, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Image
  • Post #59 - June 2nd, 2009, 5:00 pm
    Post #59 - June 2nd, 2009, 5:00 pm Post #59 - June 2nd, 2009, 5:00 pm
    LOL

    that really funny Thanks
  • Post #60 - June 2nd, 2009, 5:14 pm
    Post #60 - June 2nd, 2009, 5:14 pm Post #60 - June 2nd, 2009, 5:14 pm
    THAT cat won't hunt. Trust me on this.

    Geo
    PS. I've smoked both 'coons and squirrels. Edible. Not bad in fact. Suprized that Gary hasn't told us similar stories...
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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