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Ideas on roasting another animal whole. Please be realistic.

JB BANNISTER Jun 11, 2012 10:53 AM

I am looking for an idea for next years Bovinova. So far we have cooked these whole animals:
Cow, Llama, lambs, goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys. I am looking for another animal to add. I have been thinking about a whole ELK, like I helped cook in Tx for the Food and Wine Foundation but it maybe cost prohibitive to get one.


  1. biondanonima Jun 11, 2012 11:01 AM

    Deer? That might be a bit more accessible than elk. Buffalo? Horse (I know most Americans shudder at the thought of horsemeat but it's popular in many places in Europe and quite delicious)?

    5 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima
      FrankJBN Jun 22, 2012 01:43 PM

      I may be mistaken, but I believe it is illegal in all US states to sell horse for human consumption.

      1. re: FrankJBN
        JB BANNISTER Jun 23, 2012 05:42 AM

        They changed that law. Even with a law change I could not get my team drunk enough to get that passed.

        1. re: JB BANNISTER
          kengk Jun 23, 2012 05:46 AM

          SC, right? I vote mule. Seriously.

          1. re: kengk
            JB BANNISTER Jun 23, 2012 05:58 PM

            I don't think it would be something people would want to eat. As for me, hell I'll try it.

            1. re: JB BANNISTER
              kengk Jun 23, 2012 07:48 PM

              Well, once you get past beef or pork a lot of people aren't going to want to eat it. For whatever reason the thought of ostrich makes me a little queasy but I would like to try some horse or mule meat.

    2. a
      acgold7 Jun 11, 2012 11:12 AM


      1. arashall Jun 11, 2012 11:43 AM

        Except that it doesn't fit the Bovinova theme, I'd love to see a huge fish, like marlin. Having grown up on Colorado elk, I think you are right that cost will be prohibitive unless you can find a "ranch" that raises them in your area. The good ones are really big! Reindeer? Ostrich?

        1. l
          Louise Jun 11, 2012 02:02 PM

          Goose, ostrich, rabbit, buffalo, nutria, veal, rattlesnake, bear.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Louise
            JB BANNISTER Jun 11, 2012 04:37 PM

            I am thinking a veal or deer would be good. The ostrich would be tough to cook properly. I am big on having a good product to serve. Somebody told me today that a Ram might be good.

            1. re: JB BANNISTER
              meatn3 Jun 11, 2012 08:42 PM

              An Anthropology professor at U. of Fl. in Gainesville had an armadillo roast for years - it is now in it's 41st year. They also have a mystery meat event of the evening. Yak was the mystery meat one year. They may be helpful in sourcing information.

              1. re: meatn3
                JB BANNISTER Jun 12, 2012 03:49 AM

                I can check into that.

              2. re: JB BANNISTER
                drongo Jun 12, 2012 01:27 PM

                You should contact Lise Beyers, who writes for Die Burger (South African newspaper). She spit-roasted a whole ostrich at the Calitzdorp Port & Wine Festival last month. See http://www.dieburger.com/Buite/Nuus/So-n-grote-volstruis-is-nogal-n-waagstuk-vir-n-spitbraai-20120529

                You can get a very rough translation from Google: http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=af&u=http://www.dieburger.com/Buite/Nuus/So-n-grote-volstruis-is-nogal-n-waagstuk-vir-n-spitbraai-20120529&ei=faPXT_qKLuHC0QXzi7yzBA&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CGUQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dlise%2Bbeyers%2Bvolstruis%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26prmd%3Dimvnso The Google translation uses the word "fry" but the word she uses in Afrikaans is "braai" which means grill (or "spitbraai" is what in U.S. would be spit roast).

                Edit: Another picture of the ostrich spit roast in the 24 May entry on this page: http://www.diehoorn.co.za/category/fo...

                1. re: drongo
                  JB BANNISTER Jun 13, 2012 05:40 AM

                  That really looks doable. Thanks!!!! I just forwarded this to the Board of Directors (drinking buddies) I think the heavy duty spit from spitjack.com would be able to handle it. We are having a Board Meeting tonight, at a bar, and it will be topic for discussion. Wish me luck.

                2. re: JB BANNISTER
                  kengk Jun 23, 2012 07:49 PM

                  I've never had it myself but have a brother in Wyoming who claims pronghorn antelope is very good eating.

                  1. re: kengk
                    JB BANNISTER Jun 23, 2012 08:47 PM

                    I wonder if I have to have a farm raised animal if I am serving it the public? I really like the idea of that.

                    1. re: kengk
                      Virginian Apr 4, 2013 08:06 AM

                      I've eaten it and it is nowhere as good as venison or elk.

                3. r
                  redfish62 Jun 12, 2012 04:42 AM

                  It might be hard to get your hands on one but a Capybara is the right size


                  It's not threatened or endangered so no ethical issues

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: redfish62
                    itaunas Jun 14, 2012 11:49 AM

                    The issue is USDA approval to bring it in, which isn't likely to happen for it wild. "Paca" is farmed in Brazil (and legal in the North), but again its not worth the effort for those businesses to get export approval. I know that "Cuy" is available in the US, so that might be the place to start, but most of JB BANNISTER's animals tend to be larger. :-)

                    1. re: itaunas
                      JB BANNISTER Jun 14, 2012 12:32 PM

                      I am looking for a cuy but just for my personal consumption. I don't think I could sell the team on that idea.

                      1. re: JB BANNISTER
                        itaunas Jun 14, 2012 01:07 PM

                        Its sold frozen in the Northeast, bit hard to find but not that uncommon, and not inexpensive. I would expect that its probably distributed out of New Jersey, but probably the easiest thing would be to find a hound or friend to ship you one on dry ice. I think there are some live poultry places which also sell it, but that wouldn't help you.

                  2. b
                    beevod Jun 12, 2012 08:02 AM


                    1. JB BANNISTER Jun 14, 2012 12:31 PM

                      I think I am going to run with a ostrich or emu. Maybe a whole deer. On all these animals I would have to use a Larding Needle to put some fat in it. If you suffer from a dry pork loin larding it before cooking will fix it. The Bovinova Board kinda gave me the goahead last night to start the search so I am looking for one of the big birds now. I think we should do a emu first then the following year an ostrich. What do you think?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: JB BANNISTER
                        drongo Jun 17, 2012 01:10 PM

                        Sounds great to me. I think an emu is a good lead-in to an ostrich -- if the emu turns out too dry, then ostrich likely worse. There's a farm up the road from me with emus... maybe a midnight raid is called for!

                        The place mentioned in my previous post about ostrich is near the world-center of ostrich farming, Oudtshoorn (South Africa). The farms used to have about a million ostriches (back when ostrich feathers were fashionable). For some history, see http://www.nytimes.com/1993/09/15/wor...

                        I don't know how established ostrich farming is in the U.S. -- and hence how inexpensive or expensive a whole one (presumably with skin already removed for the making of boots!) would be.

                        1. re: drongo
                          JB BANNISTER Jun 17, 2012 07:47 PM

                          This is a youtube video of how I can make the meat moist. I have done it once. Old classic cooking. The needle is called a larding needle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKDN28...

                      2. n
                        ninrn Jun 17, 2012 01:54 PM

                        I don't know where in the US you are, but if you decide to go with ostrich and it's feasible to get it shipped from here, please consider getting one from a supplier in New Mexico.

                        Many people in the state were persuaded to try (some would say 'conned into trying') ostrich farming in the late '80's and early '90's. They were told ostrich meat was the next big thing, that they could raise them on small plots of land, that a single bird can yield 100 lbs of edible meat, and that people spend crazy amounts for the eggs and the hides. At one point there were close to a hundred ostrich "ranches" registered in the state. Unfortunately, ostriches are very temperamental, run fast, kick hard and only lay eggs when they feel like it, so most of those businesses have failed, but there are still a number of family farms still trying to make a go of it.

                        Here's the most well-known one, but there are others around the state you may want to investigate. http://www.floeckscountry.com/ . The agriculture/livestock research department at NMSU could probably help you find a provider.

                        PS: We've got emus, too.

                        1. Veggo Jun 21, 2012 08:33 PM

                          JB, throw a couple javelinas on the grill.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Veggo
                            GreenDragon Jun 22, 2012 01:15 PM


                            1. re: GreenDragon
                              JB BANNISTER Jun 23, 2012 05:43 AM

                              I will put that on the list.

                          2. KaimukiMan Apr 3, 2013 03:09 PM

                            elk is just a large deer, go out and find bambi's mother . . .

                            what about a yak? Ostrich? I imagine Camel would be hard to find, as would zebra.

                            seems to me there is a place in Wyoming you can hunt your own Bison. Durham Ranch? Something like that.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: KaimukiMan
                              Veggo Apr 3, 2013 03:30 PM

                              I have a friend who grazes zebras in his front 40 acres in Nacodoches, TX. I have never eaten one.

                            2. nokitchen Apr 7, 2013 06:42 PM

                              You know what might be fun if you can arrange it? An invasive species roast. Wild boar from Texas or Michigan, nutria from Tennessee or thereabouts, lionfish from the Florida Keys, etc. Can one make a salad from kudzu? ;-)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: nokitchen
                                JB BANNISTER Apr 8, 2013 07:05 AM

                                Doing 2 boar this year. Both will have bullet holes in them to show off.

                                The nutria thing does interest me. Is there a guide that I can hire for me and the guys to go get some?

                                1. re: JB BANNISTER
                                  nokitchen Apr 8, 2013 11:22 AM

                                  Dunno -- the thought just crossed my mind. I did find a chef who has a specialty in cooking invasive species. Maybe drop him an email? http://www.chefphilippe.com/invasive....

                              2. JayL Apr 7, 2013 08:47 PM


                                Getting a black bear shouldn't be too difficult.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JayL
                                  JB BANNISTER Apr 8, 2013 07:03 AM

                                  Bear meat is one of the only meats I really don't like. Also bear meat accounted for almost all nonpork cases of trichinosis. I am feeding A LOT of people that scares me.

                                  1. re: JB BANNISTER
                                    JayL Apr 8, 2013 08:40 AM

                                    Nearly every case of trichinosis comes from wild game anyway so you need to be careful whichever way you go.

                                    Farmed pork has been mostly trichinosis free for years.

                                2. PotatoHouse Apr 8, 2013 07:39 AM

                                  Would probably be pretty expensive, but what about a lion?

                                  1. JB BANNISTER May 17, 2013 06:56 AM

                                    Here is what I ended up with EMU. I larded it with bacon to keep it moist. What you see is the thighs as they have no breast meat.

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