Horse Meat – Yay or Neigh?

Horse cuts
Given the recent horse meat scandal in the UK and the rest of Europe, I decided I would try this taboo food and see why it is so popular in other parts of the world.

The only way I was able to find horse meat was through a company called Great Exotic Foods which supply various exotic foods via mail order. The idea of ordering meat in the mail was about as appealing as a carpet burn. But with a little reassurance from the company’s website and the conviction of a lemming facing a cliff, I decided to go through with it.

In the end, I was pleasantly surprised by the company’s service. The meat arrived within 24 hours of it being dispatched. It came package in a in a polystyrene box, in which there was a great deal of additional padding. The meat was also vacuum packed and was packaged with dry ice to keep it fresh through transit.

Box Lable Packaging
Horse in packet Horse on a plate

To cook the horse I seasoned it with a bit sea salt and pan fried it in butter. I typically have my steak medium-rare so cooking time was about 5-10 minute. To keep the meal simple I had it with some oven cooked potato wedges and some salad.

Horse cooking 2013-04-06 18.14.58 Horse chopped

Horse and wedges

The horse was undeniably delicious. Overall it tasted very similar to beef, so much so that I think I would be hard pushed to tell the difference in a blind food test. The differences were very subtle. Horse is a lot leaner than beef and also seemed to have somewhat of a sweetness to it.

Overall, I liked it. I would definitely eat it again. If I were to ever see it on the menu in a restaurant I would probably order it. However given that it’s not readily available, I probably won’t be buying it again due to the inconvenience. It’s undeniably tasty, has a lower fat content and is even cheaper than beef but it’s simply too much hassle to get something that is so similar to beef which I can’t just pick up in the supermarket or local butchers.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience though and have decided that I want to try more food from around the world. Great Exotic Food supplies a whole variety of different meats, such as crocodile, reindeer, camel, springbok and zebra so I think I will start there but I am open to any kind of new culinary experience. So that’s where you come in, let me know some of the best dishes you have had from around the world and I will give them a try. It can be literally anything and as long as I can get it, I will try it.