I swear they know when I’m cooking moose. Is it the aroma? Maybe they’re peeking in the window… However it is they know, they do. Friends often show up when I’m cooking moose meat even if I’ve taken it out of the freezer and have it thawing in cold water in the sink 20 minutes earlier. It’s a funny coincidence. We always manage to stretch an amount of meat meant for two people into a meal for six or eight. I switched the menu from sausage patties, scrambled eggs and pan fried potatoes to a Hearty Moose Frittata that fed six of us.
- 1 lb moose breakfast sausage
- 1 cup cleaned and sliced mushrooms (Uneven pieces help keep the mushrooms from sticking together.)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium bell pepper
- 1 large baked potato, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1 Tbl salt
- 1 Tbl black pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheese. Choose a cheese that melts well such as cheddar. Grate it yourself for better flavor and melting. You’ll use 1 cup of cheese in the eggs and a half-cup on top.
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 12” Cast iron skillet
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Clean the mushrooms with a paper towel and cut into uneven pieces. Nicely sliced mushrooms can stick together in the pan.
Dice one medium onion. It’s best to use a mild onion to avoid over powering the mild flavor of moose sausage.
Mince the garlic. If you don’t have a clove of fresh garlic, you can use the same amount of powdered.
Cut the bell pepper into bite-sized pieces. I use red, yellow or orange peppers. They add a splash of color and look nice. Colored bells are a little more expensive per pound but it’s a few cents difference per pepper. You want to impress the drop-in guests, right?
Saute the moose breakfast sausage, mushrooms, onion, garlic and bell pepper. Sautéing adds a boost of flavor. I pre-cook everything but the eggs when I’m making frittata. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. While this cools:
Leave the skin on the baked potato and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Scramble the eggs with the milk, one cup of the cheese, salt and pepper. I use whole milk. It adds a small amount of fat compared to 2% milk, but it’s a dozen eggs and 1.5 cups of cheese…a little more fat in an entire meal is okay.
Spread a tablespoon of olive oil in a cold 12” cast iron skillet or pie pan. Place the potatoes and sautéed moose sausage mixture in the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the other ingredients. Sprinkle the remaining half-cup of cheese on top.
Bake the frittata for 25 minutes. It will continue to cook a few minutes more because of the heat from the cast iron. The frittata is done when it has a custard texture. If it’s drier it’s overcooked. Take it out of the oven five minutes earlier next time.
I’d like to tell you a great story of a moose hunt that spanned several days, involved our choice of bulls, and ended with a freezer full of meat. I hope to tell you a similar story someday if I’m ever drawn for one of Maine’s few moose tags. This moose doesn’t have a great story. It’s important to know where our food comes from, especially when it’s meat. This wasn’t a sustainably harvested moose. He was standing in the middle of Route 11 in northern Maine, just over a rise in the road. He almost made it out of the way. Almost. He was hit and killed by a logging truck. It happens on a regular basis here in Maine.
We are allowed to claim the wildlife we kill in vehicle accidents if we want it as long as it was a true accident. The truck driver is a friend of my husband Steve. The moose was killed instantly, and it was dead before it landed in the ditch. The truck had a few thousand dollars damage, minor for a 1000 pound bull moose. By the time the driver called for help, looked the truck over quickly, and returned to the scene, someone had already cut the antlers off the moose with a chainsaw. With help, the moose was field dressed, or maybe we should call it roadside dressed, loaded onto the log truck and taken home to be processed. It’s unfortunate but the best was made of a bad situation.