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2020 Porcupine Catch

2020 Porcupine Catch


Ryan and Pailey with their 2019 Porcupine harvest.

Ryan and Pailey with their 2019 Porcupine harvest.


What a catch!

What a catch!

For the last three Christmas Eve’s, Ryan and Pailey have gone porcupine hunting to provide meat for our holiday soup. The first porcupine they got turned out to be some of the most delicious, fatty, dark meat that we had ever encountered, and so we’ve made it a holiday tradition to try and harvest one porcupine during the week of Christmas and make it the center of Christmas Eve dinner.

Porcupines are covered with fat, as they thrive in cold weather climates, and during the winter they need extra fat and their thick quilled coats to keep them warm. This means a delicious slow-cooked meat with excellent stock. This recipe has changed over the years to include from just veggies and meat, to a rich creamy mushroom, vegetable stew. It does take some time to make, but it’s well worth it!


Quartered Porcupine ready for the crockpot.

Quartered Porcupine ready for the crockpot.


Cook all day to make the stock and tender meat.

Cook all day to make the stock and tender meat.


Peeling off the meat.

Peeling off the meat.


Before addition of cream.

Before addition of cream.


Finished product with cream.

Finished product with cream.

Prep Time: 8 hours of slow cooking meat and stock

Cook Time: 1-hour final product

Servings: 8

Supplies:

Ingredients: Meat and Stock

  • I porcupine quartered bone-in

  • Water to cover porcupine.

  • 1 tsp sea salt

Ingredients: Final Product

  • 5 ounces crimini mushrooms, washed and chopped

  • 5 ounces shiitake mushrooms, washed and chopped

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 1 yellow onion., chopped

  • 2 stalks celery, chopped

  • 4 large stalks of crinkly kale, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 64 oz porcupine stock

  • Porcupine meat off of the bone

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • salt

  • fresh ground pepper

  • 1 tsp Montana Mex Sweet Seasoning Mix

  • 1 tsp fresh Italian herbs

  • Fresh parsley, chopped

For those who are dairy-free, substitute animal tallow or coconut oil for butter, and omit the cream. Also, any mushroom combination you desire works well!

Instructions:

  1. We will leave getting a porcupine up to you. If you aren’t lucky enough to find one, consider other wild meat like goose, pheasant, or rabbit. We usually skin, gut, clean, and leave intact, unless it’s too large to fit into the crockpot, then we quarter.

  2. Add meat to crockpot and cover with water and a pinch of salt. If you want a more robust stock, consider using onion, carrot, garlic, and other spices to add to the stock. Strain when finished.

  3. Slow cook for about 8 hours until the meat is tender enough to fall off the bone. The stock should have a fatty consistency due to the high-fat content. Strain and set this aside while you prepare the other soup contents.

  4. In an Instapot or stovetop saucepan, add 1 stick of butter and melt. Add mushrooms (make sure not to wash your mushrooms too much so they aren’t soggy), and onions and garlic, sauté until soft, then add carrot, celery, kale. Sauté until soft.

  5. Next add the porcupine meat, Italian herbs, salt, pepper, Montana Mex Seasoning (try the Jalapeno if you want a spicer version) and cover with 64 oz of stock. Cover and cook on Stew/Soup setting of Instapot or 1 hour on the stove.

  6. When this cook cycle has ended, slowly stir in the cream. If you like a creamier soup consider adding more cream or half and half. When you have found your perfect spot, simmer this for about 5-10 minutes making sure NOT to boil.

  7. Again, salt and pepper to taste, and finish off with fresh parsley!

  8. Enjoy!

Porcupine Cream of Mushroom Soup

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