I’m a little hesitant to so eagerly endorse beaver meat amongst friends, because I’m worried there won’t be enough left for me.
I’ve written pretty extensively about our first time cooking beaver, but if you need any more encouragement to try it, this recipe is a good place to start. It’s simple, easy to make and everyone likes barbeque. The Korean-style black barbeque sauce is a little different but absolutely delicious. As an alternative you could also prepare this meal with a North Carolina-style pepper and vinegar sauce. If you absolutely must, you can go with some of that sweet, store bought BBQ sauce. However, you will have to make your peace with doing it the wrong way!
If you have time, I’d encourage you to smoke the beaver before putting it into the crockpot to add a true smokehouse flavor. Keep in mind, beaver meat lacks the marbling of pork or beef, which means it will have a dry and lean taste if cooked for too long. The brine helps the meat retain more moisture and improves the overall experience of the dish substantially.
BBQ Beaver Sandwiches
Prep time: 30 minutes active, 24-36 hours total
Yields: 4-6 sandwiches
- 2 beaver front or hind quarters
- 8 cups Carolina brine (recipe below)
- 1 quart light to medium stock (chicken, goose, duck or beaver)
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup salt
- 8 cups water
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp red pepper flake
- 2 bay leaves
Black BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup corn syrup
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ cup rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup gochujang paste
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 cup jjajang paste
- Combine all brine ingredients and bring to a simmer. Then, allow the mixture to cool completely before submerging the meat. Allow the beaver to sit in the brine, refrigerated, for 24-36 hours.
- If you opt to smoke the beaver, go ahead and do so next. Smoke the meat for 1-2 hours over low heat (under 200 degrees).
- Place the meat in a crockpot or dutch oven and add stock, onion, salt and vinegar. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours until the meat is easily pulled from bone with a fork.
- Once done, allow the meat to cool in the cooking liquid until ready to serve.
- To serve, remove the meat from the liquid, shred it from bone and serve with your favorite bbq sandwich fixins. We like brioche buns, a tangy red cabbage slaw, and our black BBQ sauce
Black BBQ Sauce Preparation:
- Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan over low heat.
- Cook, stirring constantly, until all ingredients are well combined, then remove from heat.
- Set aside until ready to use. Sauce keeps well for weeks in the fridge.
Photos by author