Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Yak Yak Yak

I have a new found fascination with the yak. Some people like frogs, elephants, trolls, and the like. Me, I like yaks. Maybe it's because they are rare here in America. Or maybe because they are much healthier to eat than cows. Hell, it may be that I like to say yak. Yak's a good word. It's more fun to say than cow, or buffalo for that matter. I really can't wait to actually see my first yak. Hopefully I'll get that chance when I visit China in May.

My interest in all things yak has led me to a whole new world of fun facts. Thanks to my curiosity and the world wide web, I have discovered that yak farming is a fledgling enterprise here in the U.S. and, if one aspires to start a herd, their dreams are only a click away. I highly recommend yak-man.com . The Yak Man owns the largest spread of yak in Eastern North America so he knows his stuff. He also sells yak meat from his website. Angie bought me a whole big box of yak jerky for Christmas and it made my holiday complete. Yampa Valley Yaks is another good source for yak info. Did you know that there was even a yak rescued from Mississippi following Hurricaine Katrina? A yak farmer in Nebraska went down and saved what was probably the only yak in Mississippi, took him back home and now keeps him as a pet that follows him around the farm like a dog. How many stinkin' cows will do that?

I can't wait to order some yak steaks. Imagine the look on your guests faces when you hoist a lip smackin hunk a yak off the grill. Now there's a cure for the common barbecue! Check out the following recipes:

Chipotle Yak Chili

2 T. olive oil
6 cloves garlic
2 lb. ground yak
1 large onion
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2 t. black pepper
1 can black beans (optional)
1 t. salt, or to taste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 t. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro

Brown the garlic, onion, and ground yak in the olive oil. Add the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro. Simmer partially covered for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Yakburger Cashew

1 onion, chopped
2 T. butter
1 lb. ground yak
8 oz. egg noodles, cooked
4 oz. can mushrooms
1/2 c. stuffed green olives, sliced
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 c. cashews
1/2 c. chow mein noodles

In an ovenproof skillet, brown onion in butter, then add yak meat and brown. Add cheese and let it barely melt. Mix rest of ingredients except cashews and chow mein noodles, and pour over meat and cheese. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Top with cashews and chow mein noodles, and bake 15 minutes more.

I don't think I'll rest until the whole fruited plain is covered in yak. This country needs a change. Screw a bunch of boring cows. Just think. If we would have started this movement 200 years ago, there may have been no cowboys! They'd be Yakboys! We might be watching the Dallas Yakboys play every sunday. Catchy huh?

So please, go to the website link and buy some yak. You will be amazed how good it is. Hell, if your backyard is big enough, buy a whole yak. Give Fido someone to play with. And when you do, tell the Yak Man, Mephisto Phil referred you to him. It won't get you any discounts yet but who knows. I'm in this for the long haul.

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