As the work day wound down today, I was chatting with my co-worker Stu and the conversation somehow veered toward the question, “What would horse meat taste like?” I blame it on the inevitable pre-dinner tummy rumblings that usually happen around this time.
I guess it won’t be long before I can answer the question myself, as the government lifted a five-year ban on horse slaughter back in November, much to the outrage of animal-rights groups and horse lovers everywhere. (Interestingly, PETA actually supports lifting the ban; read all about it here.)
Turns out that the economy has been particularly hard on horse owners, many of whom end up neglecting, abandoning or euthanizing their animals.Some of these animals end up in slaughterhouses in Canada or Mexico, which apparently don’t have the same euthanasia standards as we do here in the good ol’ USA.
Now, I appreciate horses as companions just as much as the next person. I mean, have you read Black Beauty? Freakin’ blew my 12-year-old mind. Secretariat? I’m down with him. War Horse? Well, that’s about as badass as a herbivore can get. And I effin’ loved My Little Pony. That was the bomb.
But I admit that if I should ever come across a horse plow steak, by god, I’m going to buy it, bring it home, cook it, and eat it, just to see what it tastes like. I may not actively seek it out, but if it’s there, it’s going into my basket. As Stu put it, “Horses are just skinny cows.”
I wonder whether we’ll start seeing horse in Whole Foods’ meat cases anytime soon, or if Iron Chef America will use horse as the theme ingredient. (“And here you have a lovely horse tartare ice cream, topped with a rich raspberry coulis and a light sprinkling of pulverized cacao nibs…please enjoy.”) Oh wait. Top Chef Canada has already beat us to it.
Apparently, horse meat tastes like a cross between beef and venison and has a subtle sweetness, which sounds downright delicious to a red-blooded carnivore such as myself. It can be roasted, stewed, braised, ground, etc. just like any red meat. A cursory glance at Google Image results for “horse meat” turns up these delicious-looking dishes:
Oddly enough, when you Google Image “horse meat,” you get some images of a band called “Horse Meat Disco.” Maybe they’re on to something. (Also, you get images of dismembered horsies, so proceed with caution if you’re wimpy, emo, or PMS-ing.)
I know the whole horse meat thing is very controversial with a lot of folks, so I don’t mean to ruffle any feathers. Some people will refuse to eat it, and others won’t. I just happen to be in the latter category, and I assume that most food-curious types will be, too.
But I draw the line at dog and cat. Oh, and human. Unless there’s really nothing left to eat except Soylent Green.
All this meat talk is getting me hungry. Time to call it a day and stuff my face at dinner.