Alligator Sausage and Crawfish Casserole

10/23/2013

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After numerous attempts, Gary and our friends Jason and Sam were successful in hunting their alligator! Thus, the game of finding tasty alligator recipes has commenced.

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Referring back to my post when we made sausage, I have to reiterate here that although I am no fan of guns or killing, and I never thought I’d become a proponent of my husband’s hunting hobby, I am a devout omnivore and absolutely love the taste of meat. Thus, if I’m going to consume something that was once living, I may as well look it in the face.

That said, let’s get on with the hunting story. Sam, Jason, and Gary have been after the elusive alligator all season. They’ve spent numerous evenings out on the lake in search of the big one. Sam and Jason caught two eight-footers two years ago, but this year they were much harder to find, so they were only able to get a 7-foot guy.

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None of the three had skinned an alligator before, but because they’re all DIYers, they brought the gator back to our carport and attempted the task. How do you skin a gator, you ask? Well, YouTube has all the answers you need. Mr. Deermeatfordinner posted a great tutorial video explaining how to extract the jelly roll and jowls, among other parts. (I have to admit, I think we all had a slight crush on Mr. Deermeatfordinner after watching it. The Allman Brothers music in the background was the perfect soundtrack. And it’s pretty cute when his pet pig chases around his dog.)

Alligator looks like chicken, and tastes similar to it, yet it’s a touch more rubbery. Truthfully, I’m not the biggest fan of gator meat, but I’ve found when you spice it up right, it’s a good source of lean, organic protein.

The casserole we made has two parts: we made alligator sausage first, and then we put that into the casserole.

Alligator Sausage Ingredients and Instructions:

1 pound ground alligator
1 pound ground pork
1/4 c chopped onions
1/4 c chopped celery
10 cloves diced garlic
1/4 c chopped red bell pepper
1/4 c chopped parsley
1/4 c sliced green onions
1 t sage
S&P
Hot sauce to taste

We first put the alligator in a food processor. Once shredded, we added all the rest of the ingredients. If you have a sausage maker, you can put this in casings. If you don’t, you can leave it ground.

For the casserole, you have to brown the meat. This recipe made twice as much sausage as we needed, so the remaining went in a ziplock in the freezer for later.

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Alligator Sausage and Crawfish Casserole Ingredients and Instructions:

1 pound alligator sausage; crumble, brown, drain
1 pound Crawfish tails taken from their shells (if you don’t have this, you can use shrimp)
2 c cooked or instant long-grain rice (the recipe I used called for “converted” rice. I didn’t know what that meant, so I used regular rice, and it didn’t cook all the way through. That night, Gary remembered that “converted” rice meant “instant” in his dream!! Too crazy. Live and learn.)
1 10oz can Rotelle tomatoes with chiles
1 c beef stock
1 bunch green onions
5 cloves garlic
1 lb mushrooms (we used our shittakes)
1 t Creole seasoning (I didn’t have this, so I used a combination of paprika, cayenne, cumin, and chili powder)
S&P
1/4 c butter

Mix alligator sausage with all ingredients. Put in a covered casserole dish and cook at 350 degrees for one hour. After half an hour, take out and stir. Put back in and cook for the remaining time.

Of course gator can always be amended by using chicken or shrimp, or any other creature you hunt from the land or swamp. But you have to make sure to toast the animal and give homage to it for its life before you eat, like we did.

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