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Horse meat recipe: Hayfire roasted horse tenderloin with foods it liked most

Horse tenderloin is at once sweet, savoury, grassy, herbal and delicate. In serving it alongside its favourite foods we reference those flavours and pay homage to one of the most beautiful animals I know.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds horse tenderloin
  • damp hay
  • applewood
  • 1/4 cup rendered horse suet
  • 2 large heirloom carrots
  • 2 firm cooking apples
  • 1 tbsp fermented oat paste (could substitute miso)
  • 2 cups alcoholic dry apple cider
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups finely diced carrots, onions and celery (mirepoix)
  • 1 tsp julienned fresh sage leaf
  • 10 pounds horse bones
  • whole oats
  • good butter
  • chives

For the horse and it's carrots and apples: Build an applewood fire. Over it, suspend a rendered-horse-suet-brushed cast iron grill. When the fire subsides and the embers burn bright, place a layer of damp hay, the whole carrots and apples (peels intact), then more damp hay over the coals. Place the seasoned tenderloin on the hot grill and roast on all sides over the apple-hay smoke until the outside is deep brown and crispy. Move the horse to a warm corner of the fire to rest before slicing. Peel the cooked apples and carrots.

For the horse's oats: Make a stock of horse marrow bones, fermented oat paste and roasted hay. Toast the whole oats in good butter with sage. Add the mirepoix, deglaze with a dry alcoholic apple cider, the cider vinegar and the horse stock. Simmer until oats are tender, adding more stock as necessary. Finish with more good butter, chives, and season to taste.

For the horse reduction: Boil the remaining horse broth with a cup of apple cider until it is thick and sticky. Right before serving add a few spoons of cold butter and whisk to incorporate.

Serve each guest a few spoons of the oats, a thick slice of tenderloin, a few slices of apples, carrots and the reduction.

Brook Kavanaugh is the chef at La Palette restaurant in Toronto.

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