Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

My Photo
Location: Texas, United States

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Roast Possum, Apples & Sweet 'Taters

El Capitan's Bistro: You Kill It, We Grill It!

This recipe is for Eric the Straight White Guy, who has an abundance of fat possums roaming in his south 40.

Eric, first thing is to get yourself a box trap or one of those Hav-A-Hart humane traps, and bait it with some peanut butter or maybe that macaroni & bleu cheese you make. Usually possums prefer a ripe Stilton, or a slightly runny Brie, but a decent Maytag Bleu will be OK.

After you trap a critter, take a look to see what you've got. I know you Tennesseans will eat just about anything, but if the critter is wearing a collar and meows or barks, best to let it go.

If the critter's got a ringed tail and a bandit mask, it's edible, but you ought to pass on that type. Them's a 'coon, and pulling 'em out of the trap can be a caution. They get riled up, they turn into a mobile fur-covered woodchipper.

What you're hoping to find in your trap will look like a giant mangy rat. It'll have a pointy snoot, nekkid grey ears & pink tail, beady eyes, and grimy-lookin' grayish-white fur. That there's a possum! Then again, it might just be a giant mangy rat. That's OK, too. The recipe will still work.

Once you've got your possum, you need to purge him. He's been living on roadkill, garbage and stinky cheese, and won't taste very nice. Keep him in the cage for 2-3 weeks, and feed him on cornbread and buttermilk. He'll fatten up nicely, and won't taste like a dungheap.

OK, when he's purged & plump, time to get cookin'! Two days before you're ready to eat him, go hug him and pet him and squeeze him and call him George. Seriously, you want a nice relaxed possum. If he gets scared, he'll be pumping out all kinds of hormones and adrenaline, and the meat will taste like rancid goat liver.

When George the possum is nice & relaxed and looks the other way, smack him on the head with a hammer. Be quick about it, and for Pete's sake, use enough hammer! An 8 oz. ball peen is a bit light, a 10 lb. sledge might bruise the meat a bit. Best to use a nice framing hammer, and unless you're Yabu, don't use the claw end!

Take out one of those knives you're always flashing about, and slice the neck most of the way. Hang the possum up by the tail to let the blood drain.

Now, if you're looking for that authentic Appalachian taste, hang up the possum in a cool dark place for 2 days, and let it "dry age". Don't let me hear you whine about this, Eric! Your Scottish kinfolk are well known for letting their hare and grouse hang by the head and age until the body drops free of the neck due to decomposition proper aging. They call this meat type "high", mostly 'cause you would have to be high to eat rotted grouse.

Scald the possum in boiling water that's got a cup or so of quicklime mixed in to loosen the hair. It shouldn't take but 30 seconds or so of giving the possum the ol' teabag dunk. Scrape the hair off the possum carcass, leaving you a moist nekkid possum. Tell Velociman to stay the hell away from your moist nekkid possum.

Gut the possum, and remove the head, tail, and feet. Be careful carving around the bunghole and the guts, you don't want to get any of that goo on the meat. Wash the carcass off well, making sure there's no loose hair or icky bits. (well, other than the moist nekkid possum icky bit...)

In a big plastic tub, mix 2 gallons cold water with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup salt. Dunk the possum in brine, and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, dry off your brined possum, and follow this recipe!

Roast Possum with Spiced Apples and Sweet Potatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp Thyme
1 Possum; dressed, washed, and patted dry
1/2 c Red wine
1 1/4 c Water
4 Sweet potatoes; pared and split lengthwise
4 Apples; pared, cored, and halved
1 c Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Allspice
3/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg

Mix flour, salt, pepper, and thyme and rub inside and outside the animal.
Place on rack in roasting pan. Add the wine and water, cover tightly, and
roast in a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour. Pour off all but a
cup of the liquid. Lay the sweet potatoes in the pan, cover, and continue
roasting 45 minutes. Now lay in the cored and halved apples amid the sweet
potatoes and sprinkle both fruit and vegetables with a mixture of the sugar
and the spices. Continue to roast, with the roaster now uncovered, for
another 30 minutes, or until the possum is tender.

There you have it! A delicious recipe that uses your natural backyard resources!

Bon Appetit!

Oh, yeah... One more thing.

If you grow too fond of George the possum, and can't bring yourself to administer the hammer treatment, you can always keep him as a pet. Just keep the kids away from him...