Last weekend, a bunch of friends got together for Christmas in Tahoe, and to celebrate I ordered a 2lb Zebra shoulder from Exotic Meat Market. Zebra is illegal in CA, but we’d always wanted to try it. Since the party was in Nevada, we were able to ship our zebra there.
Nkryptr brined the zebra overnight in kosher salt, spice rub, molasses, and Kenyan bush honey. Then, he put it in the smoker over mesquite and pecan. A duck was cooking above it, dripping its lovely fat. A basket made of bacon held it. It hung out in the smoker for 5 hours at 250-275 degrees, then rested for 45 minutes.
We were worried about both undercooking and overcooking the meat, but it turned out perfect. Cutting it was a bit problematic- it didn’t have a distinct grain to follow. Nk sliced about half of it into thin pieces for people to try, and then roughly cut the rest to cook in a pan.
The zebra tasted mostly smokey sweet, and absolutely delicious. Because we smoked it, I think it lost some of the original “zebra flavor.” It’s generally known as a light, lean meat. Nk paired the zebra with green hatch chili salsa and fresh tortillas.
As I was leaving, nkryptr handed me a bag of leftover frozen zebra and bacon. It was some of the tougher bits of zebra. The next day I threw it in the sous vide for an hour at 180 degrees with some apple cider vinegar and fresh lemon to soften it up. That worked, but I probably should have added the honey back into it. I served it over some spelt risotto and it was pretty good.
The orange in the photos we think is viseral fat, but that’s our totally not scientific guess. Tasted fine.
Here’s the link if you want to try zebra, too! http://www.exoticmeatmarkets.com/zebrameat.html
Exotic Meat Market also gave us a free eel with our order, so I’ll post about that soon!
A+++ WOULD ZEBRA AGAIN