Horsemeat and Sweet Potato Pie

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TNGhost

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Back as a kid growing up in Tennessee, it was far from unusual to see horsemeat in the meat counter between the beef and pork (not even relegated to the end where the kidney's pig ears and pork brains were displayed) My mother prepared it occasionally, usually as some type of ground meat based dish, but occasionally we had the privileged of a horse meat steak. I found it not dissimilar to beef.

Recently, I ran across this recipe which reminded me of the type of dishes my mother prepared,, and it could,with perhaps some minor adjustments, be prepared in cast iron cookware over a campfire, or perhaps on the hearth of a properly equipped fireplace.

Horsemeat and Sweet Potato Pie

5 sweet potatoes, peeled then halved
1 1/2 onions, finely chopped
16 button (white) mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb. ground horsemeat
3/4 cup canned tomatoes (diced)
2 tbsp tomato paste
15 drops Tabasco sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup 2% milk
2 tbsp butter, unsalted
ground pepper to taste [optional]

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Prepare the vegetables: finely chop the onion; thinly slice the mushrooms; peel the potatoes, cut
them in half then boil them 20-25 min until very tender. Drain them well and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and sear it until it looses its red
color, about 4-5 min. It is important not to overcook, otherwise the meat becomes too dry.

When the meat is golden-colored, add the chopped onion then cook 2 min with stirring. Stir in
the diced tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, Tabasco sauce, and broth. Add the frozen peas and
continue cooking until heated through, about 4-5 min. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from
the heat and transfer the contents to a baking dish.

Pour the milk into a large microwave-safe bowl. Add the butter and microwave on medium-high a few
minutes, uncovered, until very hot. Add the cooked potatoes and mash the mixture until it is
creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place a spoonful of the potato mixture on top of the meat
mixture, then gently spread it with a spoon to cover evenly.

Bake in the middle of the oven until the top is golden-brown, about 30 min. Serve.


Having recently added a crane to my fireplace to hang cast iron pots from, and having a woodstove with a flat top nearby to facilitate heating, frying and sauteing I am going to give this one a whirl when and if I can find the primary ingredient.
 

TNGhost

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So, after looking around a while to try to locate some horsemeat, it seems that it is nearly unobtainable in the U.S. Not illegal, just unobtainable as the Obama Administration withdrew funding from the USDA for inspecting it (another backdoor move to "fundamentally change" American tradition and culture, and in particular the southeast) and thus, as with any other uninspected meat, it cannot be used in commerce.


You can however raise horses and slaughter them for your own use, or buy them from the Dept of Agriculture and slaughter them yourself, solely for your own use, or export them for slaughter. You can also buy imported horsemeat, inspected abroad and some searching found me this (with free shipping to the continental U.S.:


Not wanting to fork out $17 for a small can of stewed meat, I fortunately have an alternative. As I live near the Canadian border, and in Canada it is common place and popular to consume horsemeat, I can obtain it there(once the borders reopen) and legally bring it into the U.S., as with other meats purchased in Canada. It has apparently become quite popular in gourmet and high end restaurants even, in the Toronto and Montreal areas as well.

Seems a lot of trouble to go through for a recipe, but as I live close enough to Canada that I have shopped there often, not that big a deal for me.
 

Carbon 6

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it seems that it is nearly unobtainable in the U.S. Not illegal, just unobtainable as the Obama Administration withdrew funding from the USDA for inspecting it (another backdoor move to "fundamentally change" American tradition and culture, and in particular the southeast) and thus, as with any other uninspected meat, it cannot be used in commerce.
That's not what the article you posted said.

It said,
"Up until 2007, the U.S. was home to a number of horse slaughterhouses, but the meat it produced was exported to Europe. Those remaining facilities—in Illinois and Texas—were shut down by laws in their respective states. On the federal level, Congress passed a measure that banned funding for the United States Department Of Agriculture to inspect horse slaughterhouses. (Horse meat production never really stopped, though—American horses were transported to Canadian and Mexican plants.) In 2011, the Obama administration lifted the ban on USDA funding—proponents, argued it would help control the rising wild equine population—but the ban was reinstated in 2014. The law does not explicitly ban the slaughtering of horses, but effectively prohibits the sale of horse meat in the U.S. "


So let's look at the history of horse slaughter legislation.

The timeline below lists some of the key dates in the United States horse slaughter industry.

Nov. 3, 1998: California voters passed Proposition 6 which banned the slaughter of horses, donkeys and mules and sale of horsemeat for human consumption.

June 8, 2005: Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY) proposes an amendment to the 2005-2006 appropriations bill that prohibits the use of federal funding for inspections of horses for meat. The amendment passed on a vote of 269-158.:

Sept. 20, 2005: Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), a veterinarian, and nine co-sponsors proposed a companion amendment to the Sweeney amendment that had passed the House of Representatives. The Senate amendment passed a funding limitation to ban horse slaughter by a 69-28 margin, following a bipartisan House vote of 269-158
in June 2005. Funding limitations remained in place in the federal budget until 2011.

Nov. 10, 2005: The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2005-2006 was signed into law. This appropriation bill included the following paragraph that ultimately led to the closure of horse slaughterhouses in the United States. H. R. 2744—45 SEC. 794. Effective 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, none of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603) or under the guidelines issued under section 903 the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104–127). (full text)

Feb. 8, 2006: The USDA issued a regulation (CFR 352.19) that allowed the remaining slaughterhouses to circumvent the horse inspection funding ban by paying for their own inspections.

Sept. 7, 2006: The House of Representatives passes the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would ban the sale and transport of American horses for human consumption, passed the House by a 263-146 vote. The Senate bill died in committee.

Jan. 7, 2007: Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) reintroduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503). The bill was referred to the House Agriculture Committee and never moved to a full vote.

Jan 17, 2007: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) introduced S. 311, the senate version of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. It never reached a full vote of the Senate.

January 19, 2007: The a three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit upheld Chapter 149 of the Texas Agriculture Code banning the sale, transfer or possession of horse meat for human consumption. This decision was upheld by the 19 judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 6, 2007. The statute had been in effect since 1949 but had not been enforced during the years that the Texas slaughterhouses were operational. This decision was upheld by the 19 judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 6, 2007.

March 23, 2007: The Dallas Crown slaughterhouse of Kaufman, Texas shut down operations. The mayor and residents of Kaufman had fought a long and expensive battle in an effort to shutter the plant, which had a long list of environmental complaints and was considered a public nuisance.

March 28, 2007: U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that it was illegal for horse slaughterhouses to pay the USDA for their own horse meat inspections, closing the loophole that had allowed horse slaughter to continue around the federal law. USDA inspectors were pulled from Cavel International, the equine slaughterhouse in DeKalb, Ill. the following day, and operations were shut down. However, Cavel appealed the decision and argued for an injunction in July 2007, and were able to resume slaughter while the case was still under consideration. April 2007: Senate Commerce Committee passed S. 311, a ban on horse slaughter, by a 15-7 vote.

May 24, 2007: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed H.B. 1711 into law, banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption in that state. The bill had been sponsored by Rep Robert Molaro (DChicago) and Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) in February 2007. The bill was appealed by the operators of Belgian-owned Cavel International slaughterhouse in DeKalb, Ill.

Sept. 21, 2007: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that the Illinois horse slaughter ban was constitutional, putting the final nail in the coffin of the last operational horse slaughterhouse in the U.S. September 2008: House Judiciary Committee passes ban on horse slaughter by voice vote. July 9, 2011: Sen Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and cosponsor Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reintroduced the American Horse Slaughter Protection Act (S. 1176).

Sept. 9, 2011: The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a version of the agriculture appropriations bill that no longer contained the ban on funding for horsemeat inspections opening the door for horse slaughter operations to return to U.S. soil.

Nov. 17, 2011: The agriculture appropriations bill for 2012 was passed by Congress and signed into law without the wording that had prohibited horsemeat inspections since 2006. May 2012: The House Appropriations Committee adopted the Moran Amendment to defund horse slaughter inspections.

March 2013: The Safeguard American Food Exports Act was introduced in both the House and Senate. If passed into law, the Act would declare horsemeat unsafe and ban the sale of horses to slaughter and of horsemeat for human consumption.

April 2013: The White House released a budget proposal for 2014 that would once again prohibit federal funding of horsemeat inspections. June 13, 2013: House Agriculture Appropriations Committee adopts Moran-Young Amendment to defund horse slaughter inspections.

June 20, 2013: Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee adopts Landrieu Amendment to defund horse slaughter inspections.

January 2014: A new federal budget with the horse slaughter prohibition language included was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.

May 2017, The Trump administration proposed easing the ban once again.

Jul 25, 2017 - On July 12, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted 27 to 25 not to extend the current ban on U.S. horse slaughter

March 21, 2018 ...Congress maintains protections from slaughter for America’s horses in the final Omnibus spending bill for 2018.

Dec 19, 2019: President Trump signed into law the omnibus appropriations ... Horse slaughter: Prohibits USDA expenditures on horse slaughter.

Polls show that Americans strongly oppose horse slaughter. A 2017 survey showed 80 percent of Americans – including 86 percent of Trump voters and 77 percent of Clinton voters – oppose the killing and slaughter of wild horses and burros.
 
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TNGhost

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The debate and political fuforaw is over wild horses, on federal land, that are controlled by the Ag department, and there is no law or legislation banning the raising of domestic horses for human consumption, the same as there is none for pigs or cows. What is preventing that, as stated in the article, is the withholding of funding for inspection, thus precluding commercial commerce in U.S. raised horsemeat, yet they can be sent abroad for slaughter, and horsemeat can be legally imported.

So what I stated above is exactly what it said in the article, should one choose to read it.

I am simply trying to recreate a comfort food from my youth, that I was reminded of by a magazine article.
 

Eterry

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Growing up on a farm, having many horses, knowing lots of horse people, it was well known that an old horse could be sold to the "killer" who was at every horse sale, which effected the retail price of horses.
When that ended the price of common (plug) horses dropped. My cousin lived in OKC told me during the drought (2012), people turned horses loose in the city limits, cause they couldn't afford them and there wasn't a market for them.
IMHO, It's just protein, like beef or pork.
I'm reading The Recollections of William Finaughty: Elephant Hunter 1864-1875.
He goes into great detail telling how Giraffe meat was the best dining in all of Africa.
 
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TNGhost

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I don't understand why anyone would want to eat a magnificent animal like the horse.
Same as most disagreements these days, the logical and practical, vs. the emotional and irrational.

Horsemeat was long popular in the South, for a couple of reasons. One, the general population of the South was rural and not well off, so you "et what you could get". Second after the war much of the livestock of the South had been looted or destroyed and the infrastructure for producing it demolished. There were however, coincidentally, a large surplus of uneeded horses that had recently been put out of work (calvary and drayage for the war effort). Horses being not as popular as beef. for food, with not enough to go around, well, the North got the cattle and the South got what was left over, horses.

As I stated above, when I was growing up horsemeat was a regular fixture in the meat case, so the tradition and culture existed long after the war was over until a media campaign (imagine that?), started in California around the end of the millennium, changed things.

As far as magnificent, you could say the same about Swordfish, Canada Geese, Elk, Brahma bulls and many, many other animals. Including the humble pig, which has possibly done more for mankind than any other animal, is on record as the most intelligent domesticated animal, and for my money, having grown up on a farm with pigs, fowl, cattle and horses around, they were the most personable and expressive of the lot.

So saying horesemeat is any different than meat from any other domestic animal slaughtered for food, is a lot like saying one prefers the meat that they "make" for the grocery store meat case, over that from a living animal.
 

bore_butter

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it's always something, my dad got all in a huff when he couldn't find chicken feet anymore. wonder who to blame for that?
 

Nyckname

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it's always something, my dad got all in a huff when he couldn't find chicken feet anymore. wonder who to blame for that?
They're being exported to China. You can thank the explosion in hot wings sales for that. The processors are still trying to figure out how to monetize the clucks.

(And, of course, the marketing people pushed hot wings after the popularity of chicken breasts left the industry with a glut of wings and drumsticks.)
 
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Dave James

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When I worked the docks Russia was the big buyer of chicken feet, Richmond cold storage even built a flash freezer for them, horse is just another meat animal, that should be used if there are excess animals, tried it not bad like mule better, dog is good cat is stringing, and every time I have been offered snake I always have to think twice about it. but thanks to Uncle Sugar have been to a variety of places and have never turned down a meal yet
 

Marshhawk

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I've had horse meat. It was actually good. And of all places, this was in Switzerland.
 

Carbon 6

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Horsemeat was long popular in the South, for a couple of reasons. One, the general population of the South was rural and not well off, so you "et what you could get". Second after the war much of the livestock of the South had been looted or destroyed and the infrastructure for producing it demolished. There were however, coincidentally, a large surplus of uneeded horses that had recently been put out of work (calvary and drayage for the war effort). Horses being not as popular as beef. for food, with not enough to go around, well, the North got the cattle and the South got what was left over, horses.

In the early years of the American Civil War, Texans drove cattle into the Confederate states for the use of the Confederate Army. In October, 1862 a Union naval patrol on the southern Mississippi River captured 1,500 head of Longhorns which had been destined for Confederate military posts in Louisiana. The permanent loss of the main cattle supply after the Union gained control of the Mississippi River in 1863 was a serious blow to the Confederate Army.

The war blocked access to eastern markets. During the Civil War, the Shawnee Trail was virtually unused. Texas cattle numbers grew significantly in that period, and after the war could not be sold for more than $2 a head in Texas. By 1866 an estimated 200,000 to 260,000 surplus cattle were available.

In 1865 at the end of the Civil War, Philip Danforth Armour opened a meat packing plant in Chicago known as Armour and Company, and with the expansion of the meat packing industry, the demand for beef increased significantly. By 1866, cattle could be sold to northern markets for as much as $40 per head, making it potentially profitable for cattle, particularly from Texas, to be herded long distances to market.

Charles Francis Adams Jr., a captain in the 1st Massachusetts Cavalry wrote to his mother that he was sorry for the way his horses suffered. But, he wrote “all war is cruel… a horse must go until he can’t be spurred any further and then the rider must get another horse as soon as he can seize one.”

Confederate horses often fared somewhat better, since Southern soldiers generally rode their own mounts to war. Horses who knew and trusted their riders performed better in the chaos of battle. But the practice of requiring soldiers to supply their own horses had a dark side: a man who wanted a break from battle could sell his horse, allowing him to take a thirty-day furlough to return home for a new one. Some Union officers found their men actively neglected their mounts in the hopes of being sent back from the front lines to refit.

The most significant fact of war, for equines as for humans, was the sheer loss of life. Horses were shot out from under their riders, felled by infectious disease, and ridden to death by desperate or careless soldiers. Contemporaneous reports found that some regiments “used up” three to six horses for every man. Altogether, it is estimated that 1.2 million horses and mules died in active service over the course of the war—about twice the number of human casualties.
 

tenngun

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I don't understand why anyone would want to eat a magnificent animal like the horse.
I had a friend who made a pond on his property. It wouldn’t hold water. So he through a pig fence around it and put a few hogs in to it. Between droppings, straw and constant kneading by hoofs that created a water proof plaster on the bottom. Next year he had a good pound and his own fish farm. Had perch, small mouth bass and enough crawdads for a good gumbo every now and then.
He planned to butcher the hogs.
But.... his wife named them and wouldn’t let him ‘bring home the bacon’.
Before I was born my family paid a visit to grandmas farm. There they befriend a calf they named ‘Blackee’. The next winter on another visit Grandma made them burgers. While eating they asked how Blackee was doing. When she told them they stopped eating their burgers.
Deer, cows, elk, little bunnies, et all are all cute. And I’ve spent many the hour just having a good day watching squirrels in the woods.
I’ve loved a few horses, on the trail and on a plate.
 

Heelerau

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Being a horseman, I choose not to eat them, but I am not starving and neither is my family. I have dogs, I would not eat them either.
They have both been mans' loyal companions since before recorded history. No doubt both have been eaten when absolutely necessary from time to time. I chose not to eat them.
We have one european butcher here in Perth Western Australia that sells horse meat and there has been some controversy about him from time to time. That aside, a stew in an iron pot cooked over a low open fire is a wonderfull thing. I to have considered putting in a crane in our open fire for the same reasons as yourself. We did slow cooked beef ribs in our wood stove just the other nigh, I am still drooling over them.
 

Cobra6

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When I was stationed in Korea, each year both the Us aviation assets and Korean aviation assets have a major exercise known as the CAF or Combined Aviation Forces. It was much like a NATO event but was scaled down considerably. In celebration of its completion, both US and Korean personnel jointed together, and as custom would have it, had one hell of a party. We were bussed into a compound just North of Yong Son and en-route to the party passed the main dining facility which serviced the base. Just outside the dining facility was an enclosure containing five or six dogs. Well....we had a great party but it was learned later that we were eating both beef and dog. To find out, the Koreans thought that dog meat was a delicacy. And as drunk as most of us were, nobody cared. Late that evening we were bussed back to Seoul. On the way out we noticed that there was a single remaining dog in the enclosure. He looked very nervous.




Cobra 6
 

Nyckname

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He planned to butcher the hogs.
But.... his wife named them and wouldn’t let
From Readers Digest in the '70s:

A young family bought a farm, to be closer to the Earth. They got three hogs. So that the children wouldn't get the wrong idea about what they were for, they were named Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
 
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