If you were a trapper back in the frontier days, a beaver tail was something that would have you licking your lips. Long, hard winters were filled with lean, wild game meals, which led to a scarcity of fat in a trapper’s diet. One of the more sought-after sources of high-quality backcountry fat was beaver tail.
“As this was my first time cooking beaver tail, I deferred to the trappers who were so fond of this meal and cooked it the same way they did: fire roasted. To improve on the original slightly, after roasting the tail in this recipe, the fat was seasoned and re-grilled to toast the outside. Under the scaly skin, a beaver tail is made up of a spongy fat with a tail bone running down the middle. The flavor of the fat is very mild with only a hint of fishiness if you go searching for it, but it is in no way off-putting. The biggest hurdle to eating beaver tail is coming to grips with the idea of eating a rodent’s tail—and the texture, which is unlike anything else out there.”
Connor Gabbott, Hunter & Backcountry Chef
- Trap a beaver according to your local game regulations and remove the tail.
- Build a rock fire ring with a channel off-shoot that will fit a grill across the channel.
- Start a fire in the main fire ring and create a base of coals.
- Pull coals from the fire into the grilling channel and place the beaver tail onto the grill.
- Roast the tail for approximately 20 minutes, rotating it every couple of minutes to get an even roast. Some charring on the skin is okay.
- As the tail roasts, the skin will bubble and pull away from the tail.
- Remove the tail from the grill and cut the skin off.
- Run a knife down either side of the tailbone and remove chunks of fat.
- At this point, the fat can be consumed as is, or it can be seasoned and grilled to crisp the outside.