Moose Barbacoa

This style of cooking is for some of the tougher more gamey meats and has roots in the Caribbean, and other flavors of Michoacán Mexico. Later this cooking method evolved from over the fire or in a pit filled with hot coals to a more accessible everyday method of the Crockpot or Dutch Oven. Barbacoa roughly translates to barbeque and since Alaskans aren’t all out cooking meat over the open fire in the dead of winter this is a boldly flavored barbeque inspired dish that will brighten any dark arctic winter day.

When choosing which cut of meat you would like to use in this dish, think of the larger muscle groups like leg, shoulder, or rump. Totally fine to have a bone-in roast and this will help the meat reach an internal temperature of 180 to tenderize the tougher cuts. Some people recommend soaking your game meat in a vinegar salt brine, but you can access this need based on the age of the moose that you have in your freezer. This dish is easily made with beef chuck, caribou, elk or bison.

Before you begin this recipe make sure your roast is completely thawed out, this will help all the dishes pureed ingredients penetrate the meat while cooking. You can use a large crockpot or a dutch oven as long as the roast fits inside with the lid closed. This recipe uses the slow and low method to fully tenderize and meld the flavors of the red meat and savory spices.


3-4 pound moose roast
1 medium onion sliced
4 bay leaves

Ingredients that will be blended together for the Cooking Liquid:

½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ lime juice ( fresh or bottled, not every Alaskan has access to fresh limes)
4-5 canned chipotle peppers in adobo
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs chili powder (personal preference is chili molido New Mexico style)
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ ground clove
1 tsp salt

Place your raw roast in your baking dish or crockpot and surround with bay leaves, sliced onion and pour over the cooking liquid. If you have time to let this sit for an hour or even overnight it will greatly increase the intensity of the flavor, however this is not necessary. Cook in the oven for at least 6 hours or until tender at 300 degrees. Cook in the crockpot on high for 1 hour then turn the heat down to low for the final 5 hours of cooking. Check to see if the meat is fork-tender before removing from the oven or crock pot. Fork tender means you can pull the meat apart using 2 forks and minimal pressure. Serve with onions and cilantro on tortillas or in a cauliflower rice bowl. It also makes a wonderful addition to a Mexican style soup with root vegetables.

Hope you enjoy your meal!

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Food has been my deep seeded passion since I was young. Visiting international markets, along with hosting students from around the globe exposed me to a variety of cuisines. It sparked an interest to learn and a need to devour cultural flavors. Cooking is now a hefty part of my life in social and professional circles. I have been paid to cook for over 18 years but before that I cooked for trade; firstly, because I was under the legal working age but also to gain experience. Typically, I would trade my prepping efforts for the opportunity to go to a type of restaurant I had never been to. Other times, I would babysit just to learn about another family’s culinary culture. During my early professional development years I was scrubbing vegetables, washing dishes, and working cafeteria style shifts to earn my spot as an apprentice. After completing a culinary program at Colorado Mountain College and while completing my ACF program, I gained experience working in several different venues and restaurants. I was now in need of finding my own style of culinary art. I landed with Whole Foods Market. This was where I learned about the big picture of food, from politics to fair trade. Working for a large corporation provided room for me to hone my skills in the realm of healthy and unique alternatives for classic international cuisines. Whole Foods has a broad set of clients and events that made it possible for me to embark on a personal journey of culinary discovery. There I found my puzzle master and problem-solving skills truly being utilized with creating recipes that fit different health lifestyles yet also soothed the soul. As a private chef, I am able to share what I have learned about so many dietary struggles, by helping clients find the list of foods they can enjoy while building vitality on the plate.


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