Since pre-historic time horses have been used for the consumption of food. As shown in the hunting scenes depicted in rock paintings. Horse meat has been consumed as a meal since the prehistoric times, and during Wars fought between countries when there was a lack of sufficient food. The meat consists of the muscle tissue of horses supplied for human consumption. It is this muscle tissue of the horses that supplies the meat for man. Horses can be seen in these rock scenes as being hunted but depict differently according to the country region and the era of the season.
During those times slaughtered horses were eaten depending on the location and various theories show that horse meat was an important source of food. At the site of Solutre, there are large piles of horse bones dating back to the Upper Paleolithic era, representing the hunting traditions and eating of horse meat during this time. It is said that over 20,000 years ago 32,000 to 100,000 horses were slaughtered at the site.
Those who consumed horse meat were the people from Persia, Greece, China, and Rome. It is mentioned that Greeks had meat only during exceptionally important occasions, however, it is noted that they did originally consume horse meat in earlier times. The Aryans also ate horse meat and horses were given as a sacrifice. The Achilles’ are supposed to have sacrificed the four of the best breeds of horses on the Patrocles funeral pyre. The Aryans ate horse meat before they subsequently became farmers. The Hindus are also supposed to have eaten horse meat according to the Hindu sacred texts. All in all, everyone seems to have eaten horsemeat in those prehistoric days.
From the History…
While horse meat was eaten throughout ancient times the slaughtering of these animals gradually declined as people started to domesticate these animals in fields and chose them for transportation, riding, and other leisure’s. The meat-eating trade started to slowly decline and during the 7th Century somewhere during 1739 – 1784 the horse meat trade was prohibited by the Papacy.
However it raised its ugly head again in the 18th Century – in June of 1866, the horse meat trade was again commercialized and authorized for slaughter and consumption. Thus the first horse meat Butchery was born/established in “Nancy” somewhere around June, 15th of the same year. Another Butchery was opened on July 9th in Paris.
In 1845 The Society for Protection of Animals was established to save these animals from being slaughtered. However, it was said that some horses were still being killed for horse meat trade because doctors are said to have acknowledged the fact that horse meat was good for patients suffering from Anemia and tuberculosis. So once again the horse meat trade was back at square one! Which went on from 1870 to 1970?
The benefits of having horse meat
So they say, that it is a proven fact that having horse meat is healthy, and a nutritious meat because of its low fat, (less than 5% in lipids) and unlike its brother” red meat”, horse meat has 60% of the essential fats, acids/omega 3 and 6 in comparison to other meats. It is also rich in proteins with about 20 grams, per 100 grams of meat. Horse meat is high in iron (4mg. of iron per 100 grams of meat).
This iron is called the heme iron, which is found in (hemoglobin and myoglobin) which absorbs well in the body – unlike the nonheme iron which is found in plants, eggs, and dairy products. Horse meat is also high in Vitamins B12, B3, and B6. The Glycogen in it gives the meat a mild and sweet taste.
It is good for asthma patients as it has nutrients such as potassium and other minerals, which can prevent the muscles from getting tightened up. The immunity systems are given a good boost up for those who eat horse meat. It has several vitamins and minerals too, which help to improve the immune system. It is also good for the cure of rheumatism which can play havoc on your joints due to inflammation. Horse meat is good as it has steroids to reduce the pain in the joints. The damage to the joints will be lubricated by the steroids of the horse meat.
It is also good for a healthy diet menu if you are thinking of going on a diet. Because of its low intake of fat, it is recommended that it be taken. The high proteins in the meat will help balance the cholesterol in the blood both in HDL and LDL. Score !!
Horse meat helps strengthen the bones, because of its potassium, phosphorus, and zinc which help the cells and bones to be strong. It can help to produce horse strength!! Muscular growth. Horse meat can improve your body stamina, as the meat has a high level of protein and calories than most other meat products.
Horse meat can be used to replace pork, beef, mutton, venison and or any other meat needed in any recipe. Those who are concerned with eating healthy and look for a low-fat meat product instead of having red meat which is prone to fatty acids linking to coronary heart disease may prefer to have animal products with a low level of saturated fatty acids. Horse meat has a high level of unsaturated fatty acids of a-linolenic (18:3n-3) and monounsaturated fatty acids, which indicate that consuming horse meat may be more beneficial for the health than that of beef.
What is Horsemeat called?
Horse meat name- Consuming horse meat is very common in all European countries and some Asian countries as well. Horse meat is freely available in France and it is known as Chevaline or Cheval. The other countries that this meat is available are in Belgium, Switzerland, Siberia, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Korea. The name Chevaline is very popular in European and Asian countries, as it can be substituted as beef and also it is cheaper than beef.
Horse meat is readily available in France in butcheries, and Chevelalines, which is known as butcher shops. These shops specialize and cater to horse meat sales. It is said that in 1911, 62,000 horses were slaughtered for food consumption. In Japan horse meat is known as ‘Sakura’ means cherry blossom. No idea why a meat product should be named as a cherry blossom!
Horse meat Steak
Pepper and Salt
Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper, this is for flavor so don’t add too much of it. Apply the mustard on both sides of the meat and then sprinkle with thyme leaves. Heat a frying pan with a little olive oil till quite hot, and sear the meat on both sides. Keep meat on rare. When done, add a little white wine so as to make a sauce with the mustard and oil. Serve the meat with a few tablespoons of the mustard sauce.
Some people prefer to eat horse meat because they think that it is much tastier and liked over other meats and has a lot of iron which is an important element in a diet.
Horse meat for Courses
- The Italian’s love having the Rump side cut for a Veronese stew sprinkled with paprika.
- The Japanese prefer the Loin which is called horse Sashimi, the loin which is
- called Basashi is served atop a bed of white rice.
- The Kazakhstani has the neck which is called Zhai. Smoked on hot coal and dried with the fat from the under mane is a delicacy of the people of Kazakhstanis.
Horse Sashimi (Basashi)
The Japanese love having their meat cut into thin slices which are raw (Sashimi) which is then dipped in soy sauce and served with ginger and onions, it is then called a Basashi.
This is another favorite of the people of Japan. This steaming bowl of soup contains horse meat and chopped cabbage.
This delicious dish comes from Kazakhstan, it is their national dish. Thinly cut slices of roast horse meat are served with flat noodles and onions along with potatoes and broth on the side.
This traditional pot roast dish is made with horse meat well marinated daubed with vinegar or wine and kept aside for 10 minutes until it is cooked. Serve with red cabbage and potato dumplings. This is a German specialty.
Sfilacci (Cured Horse)
This dish comes from Italy. It is a typical Venetian dish – raw, and shredded horse meat topped with fresh salads, pasta, risotto or pizza, or eaten on its own, it is a dish by itself with a dash of lemon and a dribble of olive oil. Horse meat sausage and salami is also another delight and favorite of the Italians. These foods are sold widely on the streets of Italy, Lombardia, Veneto, Sardinia, and Sicily.
The above recipe ideas were taken from www.hostelbookers.com
This horse steak and mince is an all-time favorite and comes from Iceland, the horse steak is popular in this country and found in stews and fondue.
More delicious recipes from around the World
Horsemeat Burger with Feta Cheese
60 ml (1/4 cup) of tzatziki
30 ml. (2 tablespoons) of black olives
1 tomato, diced
2 lettuce leaves, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
45ml. (3 tablespoons) fresh parsley chopped
½ an onion chopped
60ml. (1/4 cup) feta, crumbled
450g (1 lb) ground horsemeat
- Mix the horsemeat, feta, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Season to taste.
- Make four hamburger patties. Barbecue on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until the temperature reaches 70◦C (160◦F). Turn over halfway through the cooking time.
- While the hamburgers are cooking, toast the buns. Place each hamburger on a bun. Garnish with lettuce, tomatoes, tzatziki, and black olives.
Horse Rump tataki
400g. Horse rump or beef rump tri-tip, salt, and pepper
- garlic clove crushed
1 tsp. Vegetable oil
Chopped onion, salad leaves, grated horseradish to serve
30g. Caster sugar
150ml. Soy sauce
Two pods of garlic and cloves crushed
To make the tataki marinade, place the mirin, sake and sugar, in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce. Allow to cool, and then stir through the crushed garlic just before using.
Heat a large saucepan of water to 60C, Bring the rump to room temperature and season well with salt and pepper. Rub with the crushed garlic and seal in a vacuum bag (or wrap tightly in three layers of plastic wrap.)
Place the meat into the water and keep at a constant temperature for 20 minutes. Turn the meat over and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Remove the meat and unwrap it. Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Lightly oil the pan, and then sear the rump until it is well browned all over.
Pour most of the tataki marinade onto a tray, reserving a little to serve. Add the horse rump to the tray. Chill in the fridge, turning occasionally for at least two hours.
Slice the meat thinly across the grain and serve on a bed of shaved onions and a few salad leaves. Drizzle over a little of the reserved Tamaki marinade and serve with horseradish.
Taken from www.sbs.com.au
Most European countries and the United States have baked or grilled horse meat sliced into medium to large pieces. The ingredients are very simple and about the same that is used in grilled lamb or beef. Asian countries serve it sliced into thin pieces. The meat is then sprinkled with Asian powdered spices for a better spicy taste. The Indonesians cut the meat into small cubes and put onto a stick with spice and grill on a hot fire. Peanut sauce is served to go along with this ‘Sate’ horsemeat on a stick. Tongseng is also made with horsemeat and somewhat similar to the Sate, but this has more curry and the spice used is different. Sate and tongseng are the most favorite horsemeat dishes in Indonesia.
So go help yourself to some horsemeat and taste the difference!