There is plenty funny about Canadian cooking (poutine, for one), but never scoff at the recipes collected in the “Northern Cookbook” of the Ministry of Indian Affairs. These recipes are clearly the product of hundreds of years of Indigenous People’s experience living off the land in the fertile Canadian climate that historians at the Ministry of Indian Affairs spent countless hours painstakingly researching back in 1967.
The point of the cookbook, compiled by Eleanor Ellis, was to record facts about some of the wild game, fish, and other delicacies found in the True North, but it mostly just turned into a Julia-Child-style cookbook for Canadian “wilderness wives” who felt it necessary to serve stuffed muskrat and fried blubber to their dinner guests. I’m sure the true northerners that populated the Canadian shield would be thoroughly aghast if they were unable to go one night without Steamed Caribou. After all, no dinner party is complete without a Jellied Moose Nose centerpiece.
Jellied Moose Nose
Adapted from Eleanor Ellis, the Northern Cookbook
- 1 Upper jawbone of a moose
- 1 Onion; sliced
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1 tb Mixed pickling spice
- 1 ts Salt
- 1/2 ts Pepper
- 1/4 c Vinegar
Cut the upper jaw bone 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 the hairs – these will have been loosened by the boiling and should come out easily (like plucking a duck). 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, then reduce heat and simmer until the meat is tender.
Let cool overnight in the liquid. When cool, take the meat out of the broth, and remove and discard the bones and the cartilage. You will have two kinds of meat, white meat from the bulb of the nose, and thin strips of dark meat from along the bones and jowls.
Slice the meat thinly and alternate layers of white and dark meat in a loaf pan. Reheat the broth to boiling, then pour the broth over the meat in the loaf pan. Let cool until jelly has set. Slice and serve cold.