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How To Cook Beaver

Updated on February 2, 2011

Beaver

For centuries Native Americans trapped beaver in baskets for food and pelts. The beavers rich, fatty tail was highly prized. Later, in the mid sixteenth century, beaver pelts drew French, Russian and British trappers into the Northern Territories and over hunting greatly diminished the number of beavers in the wild.

Beaver meat is dark red with a strong flavor. Only young beavers, under the age of 2 should be cooked, as old beaver is said to taste like the underside of a Mexican saddle.

Fresh or Frozen?

Beaver is available dressed and frozen from small game farms, where the animals are raised for their meat and hides. Check the regulations in your state, before trapping beaver.

Frozen farm-raised beaver weigh 5 to 8 pounds and are sold whole or as legs and saddles.

If you trap a beaver, after skinning and dressing it, be sure to remove the scent glands or "kernels" in the small of the back and under the forelegs immediately after the skin has been removed, taking great care not to cut into them.

Beaver fat has a strong flavor and odor, it should be cut away completely before cooking.

Characteristics

Beaver meat is rich, fine textured, soft dark red meat.

The liver of a beaver is very similar in flavor to that of a goose. In fact, due to its simularities to goose, beaver can be substituted in goose recipes.

Beaver meat will dry out quickly, compared to most lean cuts of beef.

 

Serving Suggestions

Make a gravy with the meat drippings, by adding a bit of flour to thicken.

Serve with other strong flavors:

  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Onions
  • Wild Rice
  • Green Beans
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Baked Beans

Side Dish Recipes

Mushrooms in Wine on Wild Rice

  • 1 1/2 lb fresh button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice

Combine rices, and simmer with lid in 4 cups water.

Sauté mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until tender (5 min). In saucepan, cook wine and onions for 10 minutes, add remaining butter. When butter is melted, add mushrooms and seasoning.

Serve over hot rice.

Brussel Sprouts and Green Bean Casserole

  • 1 lb each fresh or frozen brussel sprouts and green beans, cooked and drained.
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 strips bacon, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Sauté onion and bacon until onion is translucent. Combine with green beans and brussel spouts in 9" x 13" casserole dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, top with parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake at 350* F, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned.

Resources

I am calling around and making inquiries, but have yet to find a source for farm raised beaver. It has been suggested to call my butcher, and have them order or locate a butcher in the yellow pages, under "meats."

Ivorwen, 2009.

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    • Tom Rubenoff profile image

      Tom Rubenoff 7 years ago from United States

      What shouid I even say? Beaver is one of my favorite delicacies. I have it any time I can get it. Thank you

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks Tom!

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

      Sounds like it's worth a try. Of course, we have lots of beaver around here...if I ever manage to get hold of one, I'll let you know what I think.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Well now, I like rabbit fried, I like a well roasted coon with oyster stuffing, I like bbq groundhog on a grill, I have enjoyed possum but I somehow just don't see me eating this kind of beaver.

    • profile image

      badcompany99 7 years ago

      Never have had a beaver, but am glad Tom enjoys it !

    • fortunerep profile image

      fortunerep 7 years ago from North Carolina

      I have never had beaver. Din't neally know you could eat them, I mean cook and eat the animal.

      dori

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Joy, good luck catching a YOUNG beaver. :)

      Ralwus, I liked fried rabbit the one time I had it. Can't imagine eating ground hog or coon, but I did enjoy the bit of beaver tail I had once.

      BC, good to see you!

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Hello Dori, I know what you mean. Beaver isn't on my shopping list when I plan a menu, but I think you can eat most anything. I question how good somethings are, but here we through carp out because they are bottom feeders, and yet they are a main food source in Japan.

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      Carp is good, has a bad rap indeed. It is kosher too.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

      I think it depends on where the carp comes from, and what else is in the water (I don't believe dead cars and beer cans enhance the flavor). We have tried some of the 2-3 foot long carp around here (you rarely see smaller ones, they hide well), and haven't yet found a way to make them palatable. Even the cat doesn't like them. Some people I know swear by smoking them...maybe they use a secret technique that I need to beg out of them.

      Of course, slightly different things are meant by "carp" in different areas, so maybe the kind we have really is less palatable than others.

      I began to seriously wonder when I found a bunch of Romanian recipes centering around carp. My first thought was, "Glad I don't live there!"

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      We have actually eaten carp a couple of times. I have found the smaller ones to taste better than the larger ones. Also, where they come from does seem to make a huge difference. We don't eat them, unless they come from clean moving water.

      Smoking is the way we have enjoyed them most. We like to cold smoke them until the bones come out cleanly, leaving meat that is almost dry.

    • Joy At Home profile image

      Joy At Home 7 years ago from United States

      Well, I guess they're off my menu for the moment - there's no such thing as clean moving water around here!

      The catfish are okay, though.

    • hubber-2009 profile image

      hubber-2009 7 years ago from India

      very nice and tasty recipe..

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thank you Hubber-2009.

    • profile image

      Justine76 7 years ago

      HA HA HA Ralwus.

      This is a neat hub Ivorwen. I love that you like all this hmm, I don't know how to say it... not mainstream to the usa?..lifestyle.

      I raise rabbits for food. We don't have beaver in markets around here, but my brother in law has eaten nearly every single thing you can imagine that a boy can shoot with a bow and arrow, or a bb gun. Nice hub. :)

    • Ivorwen profile image
      Author

      Ivorwen 7 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Thanks Justine. The last time I had beaver was at a Wild Game Feed, quite a few years ago.

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