July 09, 2012
Contest: How Would You Cook A Mammoth?
By David Draper
In case you missed it, NPR recently celebrated “Meat Week,” a series of articles and news reports about meat consumption in America since the turn of the previous century. Among the interesting reports and anecdotes is a friendly jab at the current diet fad of eating like a caveman. Called the Time Traveler’s Cookbook, the illustrated history of eating meat uses archaeological evidence and historical data to reconstruct mock recipes for a number of dishes from gazelle tartare to caveman steak.
Among my favorites is the guide to pit-cooking a woolly mammoth, which is rooted in an actual 25,000-year-old cooking site excavated in the present-day Czech Republic. As much as I’d like to try mammoth meat, I’m not sure pit cooking one would be my first option. For one thing, it would require digging a really big hole and the cooking with hot rocks things scares me a bit ever since I witnessed a river rock explode in a campfire.
No, I think I’d start with the backstraps and grill them over hot fire, before moving them to an impromptu smoker built from willows and the mammoth skin. And, in true Czech style, they would be served with dumplings and cabbage.
As good as that sounds, I’d like to hear your go-to recipes for woolly mammoth. Give me your best idea and the winner will receive a cast-iron grill pan from Camp Chef. Have your entries in by 5 p.m. (MST) Sunday, July 15, to be eligible.