Out of the Scrap Bowl Halloween Special
Pets in a Pot by Kevin Bryan
We like to pet them, hug them and lavish them with love but In various parts of the world, that warm and affectionate animal you think of as a pet would be dinner. For example, throughout Asia dog is an acceptable choice for meat. In Vietnam they even have names for different preparations: Thit Cho Luoc – Steamed dog; Cha Cho – Grilled dog; Rua Man – Steamed dog in shrimp sauce, rice flour and lemon grass; Doi Cho – Dog sausage with dog blood, peanuts, vegetables and neck bone; Gieng Me Mam Tom – Steamed dog in shrimp sauce, ginger, spices and rice vinegar; Canh Xao Mang Cho – Bamboo shoot and dog bone marrow; Cho Xao Sa Ot – Fried dog in lemon grass and chilli. Dogs, although a commonly found food source in current or historical sociological settings are by no means alone, Guinea Pigs in Central and South America, called Cuy, are raised as a common food source. Even what we consider a house cat is used and yes there really are places where you can get a Gato Taco. The list goes on and on, basically proving that in the wrong part of the world if it doesn’t run, hop, swim, crawl, slither or fly away fast enough it is eaten. The following is an actual recipe that has been used for various small cuddly yet tasty morsels.
2-3 lbs small animal cut into serving pieces
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chili paste (see recipe)
7 tablespoons white wine
1 cup good-quality light meat stock
1/3 cup roasted peanuts, ground
12 new potatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the meat pieces in a bowl. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and use your hands to massage the marinade into the meat pieces, making sure they are well covered. Season with salt and pepper and leave to marinate for at least a couple hours.
Heat the olive oil in a Heavy Pot over medium heat. Fry the meat pieces on all sides until evenly browned. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and add the onion. Sauté the onion until translucent and then add the chile pastes. Cook for a further couple minutes and then deglaze the pan with the white wine. Scrape vigorously to make sure nothing is sticking and then add the stock. Return the pieces of meat to the pan. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in plenty of water until they are firm but tender inside. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half crosswise.
Stir in the peanuts and leave to simmer uncovered for a further 30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the meat is very tender. Add the potatoes and leave them to heat through. Serve sprinkled with the parsley.
homemade chilli paste
3.5 oz dried red chilli, cut (with scissors) and soaked in hot water for about 20 minutes
2 medium onions, chopped
10 cloves garlic
water as needed
3 Tbl Spoons vegetable oil for frying
Drain the chillies and place everything apart from the oil, in a blender/food processor with enough water to get a smooth paste.
2. Heat the oil in a deep wok or saucepan, then fry the chilli paste on medium heat initially for about 5 minutes until fragrant.
3. Lower the heat and cook for about an hour, stirring every now and then.
4. Let cool and store in a clean jar in the fridge, lasts up to a month. You can even freeze until needed, in ice cube trays would be perfect, as you can use a little at a time as needed.
Warning: Before you head to your local pet shop for a tasty treat checkout your local societies taboos and laws to avoid an embarrassing and/or costly situation.