Reindeer: It's What's for Dinner

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Finnish Tourist Board
Despite rumors that Bojangles, North Carolina's fast-food underdog, was finally rolling out their revolutionary reindeer nuggets this month, that has not come to pass.

However, other restaurants are disregarding convention (and the cries of children) as they opt to roast Rudolph rather than sing about his
nose.

This Christmas, Arizona restaurateur Payton Curry is looking to top his Easter success (when he offered an all-bunny menu). So this Yuletide, he's cooking caribou -- that's our North American version of reindeer -- which tastes similar to elk and buffalo. 

At his Caffe Boa in Tempe, Curry will start you on caribou tartare. Then comes caribou tongue bruschetta with pickled watermelon radish and horseradish cream. There's caribou sausage, caribou Bolognese pasta, and caribou-filled tortellini. 

In Sweden, they sell reindeer salami at Ikea! After all, the nomadic Sami people from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia have been making meatballs from Donner and Blitzen for centuries. 

Reindeer hash, with strips of frozen Cupid (or Comet), mashed potatoes, and lingonberry jam, is quite popular with Arctic Circlers. Smoked reindeer dishes are big in Finland as well. 
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In fact, those Laplanders know how to do Dasher up quite divinely, as the following recipe attests:

Finnish Sauteed Reindeer (Poronkaristys)

Serves six reindeer-hating heathens.

800 grams sliced reindeer (poronkäristysliha) 
50 grams butter 
3 deciliters beer
2 small onions 
1 ½ tsp salt 
3 tbs flour 
½ tsp ground black or white pepper 

Brown the sliced reindeer meat and chopped onions in butter, preferably in a cast iron casserole pot. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add the flour, stir. Add the beer and stir again. Place the lid on top of the pot and allow to simmer at a low heat for approximately one hour. 

Serve the Sautéed Reindeer hot together with mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, pickled beetroots, and pickled cucumbers.

Lie to the kids and dig in.

Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.


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