Wild Meat: Far North Food Guide

The fashion for Nordic cuisine has captured the world since the beginning of the 2000s, but the Russian Far North has remained aloof from the global trend until recently. And it’s completely in vain, as the leading Moscow chefs found out, who visited Norilsk this spring at the first gastronomic festival Sever and returned to their kitchens delighted with the specialties of the Taimyr Peninsula. Some of them have already introduced Norilsk venison and smelt on the menu, and in the meantime, a summer street food festival was held in Norilsk. Life around talked with participants in a quiet gastronomic revolution about where to find Taimyr products besides Norilsk, and what are their features.


Muksun, nelma, whitefish - this is a delicious white fish. Char (it is so called because it does not have scales at all) is a red fish with rather fatty meat, insanely tasty and even rarer, and it is not so easy to buy it from us.

Ilya Makarenko

Manager and co-founder of the English Channel restaurant (Norilsk)

I live in Norilsk from birth, only left for Moscow to study, but then returned here again. In the restaurant "English Channel", which is located in the central hotel of the city and is primarily aimed at guests from the mainland, northern cuisine is 30-40% - it makes no sense to surprise them with some imported products. In addition, with imported products there are often delays in deliveries due to non-flying weather, and dishes simply fly out of the menu. Like all permanent locals, we, of course, give preference to fish and meat - venison, partridges, sometimes there are hares. And of course, it is difficult for Norilsk residents to surprise with river fish from the central part of Russia after muksun, nelma or char from the Yenisei or the surrounding lakes. But it happens that all the usual gets bored - and you have to come up with something from the same northern products that is something new and tasty. It’s also difficult to find local berries and mushrooms in restaurants - the season is very short, the end of August - the beginning of September, residents collect everything themselves, and they rarely buy restaurants from them.

The venison we work with the most is environmentally friendly and healthy meat. In the Far North, there are not enough trace elements, but there are many of them in deer meat. I don’t think it’s true that a large amount of venison during the polar night greatly affects the immune system, as they say in Norilsk - after all, nutrition is diverse now. But if you compare it with other types of meat that are now in the city and in general in Russia, venison is without a doubt the best choice.

The deer shooting season is already underway during active frosts, so venison is always sold frozen. Even when a deer is brought directly from slaughter, it is already all fresh-frozen. The main thing is to look at the quality so that it is not frostbitten or windward. It is better to pickle and fry or bake the tenderloin, you can also make carpaccio or tartar. Locals always ate deer stroganina. From other parts of the carcass - turn the meat into minced meat and make dumplings or even stuffed cabbage, why not.

As for the special properties of other northern products - in the North it’s good already when you just eat food ...

But our fish is also very clean and healthy. In general, I think that dishes of local fish in moderation should be included in the diet of every resident of the Far North.

On departure from Norilsk Airport, I think, about 70 percent of local residents stand in line for registration with some box, right up to the box from under the TV. There probably lies a cold smoked muksun, yukola (dried venison), whitefish, maybe smelt of the same cold smoked or dried. I myself can’t fly out of Norilsk without such a box - I simply will not be able to meet me without fish from the Far North at the airport in Moscow or St. Petersburg!

Raw smoked sausage "Polar" Venison Salami

Anatoly Kazakov

Chef Selfie

Norilsk has very cool local products, but in many restaurants they cook like sushi and pizza at gas stations. And they work a little with the stunning fish and meat of the local production. When asked why, they usually answered me: well, we all eat it at home. After the Norilsk Gastronomic Festival, I take the local smelt and whitefish to my restaurant.

In supplies from Dudinka there is even a fish caught on a fishing rod!

I also introduced dishes from Norilsk venison to the menu and now I offer our guests. I also tried local venison sausages - very good. Of course, you have to add pork to them, because venison itself is lean meat.

In Norilsk, I prepared completely from local products - a few months before the trip there, he asked me to supply them. So I met Viktor Konovalov, the owner of the Norilsky meat processing plant, which produces all these sausages and now delivers fish and venison to our restaurant. I was particularly impressed by the greenhouse that he built in Norilsk - fully automated, with greens and lettuce, when around minus 60. As a result, the fresh vegetables from which I prepared in Norilsk were also all local.

Yukola (dried venison) Marinated deer filet Venison balyk

Yuri Aguzarov

Chef Mos Restaurant

In Norilsk, I first tried yukola - dried venison with spices. I was impressed with the quality of fish, venison, partridge, which tastes more like duck, and I liked working with these products. For example, I was preparing a salad with venison roast beef, a dish of fresh muksun. Used all smoked fish as possible.

I especially appreciated the local pike - it does not have a taste of mud at all, since it lives in running water.

But Mos, unfortunately, did not introduce any of these products - complicated logistics for constant deliveries to Moscow. I have to replace smoked pike with smoked herring. Some parallels with northern products can be drawn, but no more. For example, the fresh muksun that we used in Norilsk is very different in quality from the already frozen and friable that can be found in Moscow.

There are peculiarities of working with local meat. The partridge, like the venison, has a strong taste of the liver, so before cooking they must be kept in the marinade for a long time. Venison roast beef, for example, must be marinated 12 hours before cooking in salt, garlic, rosemary, black pepper, mustard and a small amount of vegetable oil. In color, such a roast beef is much darker than beef, but if cooked correctly, it turns out very tasty.

George Troyan

Chef of the restaurant "Northerners"

I have never met a fish of such quality as in Norilsk - it is completely different from the one with which we are used to working in Moscow. Of the local specialties, I now regularly use yukola - I rub it in the form of chips and sprinkle some dishes on the menu.


Victor Konovalov

entrepreneur, owner of MPK "Norilsk"

The territory of the Taimyr Peninsula is 400,000 square kilometers: 900 kilometers long and 500 kilometers wide. Norilsk Nickel enterprises negatively affect nature within a radius of 50-60 km from Norilsk. Everything further is a more or less clean territory. The deer are brought to us 300 kilometers from Norilsk, and sometimes even 900, so Norilsk Nickel does not have a strong effect on it - that is why the deer is still found in the tundra. Its livestock is estimated at approximately 600,000 individuals.

These are absolutely wild animals, they roam the tundra themselves, the indigenous people do not tame them at all. In season, in December, shooting begins.

Refreshment and cutting of carcasses takes place directly in the tundra, on special shooting points or in the wild.

Further, this venison is processed both in Norilsk - we make a lot of products from it, from sausages and pastes to uncooked smoked sausages - and also at one of my productions, in St. Petersburg. So the venison kebab, which is sold in the "Ribbon" - this is actually Norilsk meat.

In general, our venison sausages - Taimyrskaya, Polyarnaya and others - are delivered throughout Russia to 30 cities. And recently, with my partner Eduard Muradyan, I opened the Iskra pizzeria on Rubinstein Street - and of course we will also have pizza with venison there.


The fish from Norilsk is also completely wild - whitefish, chir, muksun, omul, vendace, smelt; before the ban on fishing, sturgeons also caught sturgeons in the Yenisei. She is also brought to Norilsk for 300 kilometers. In spring, fish are caught by nets under the ice, both in the sea and in fresh water. Less often with fishing rods, as in the case of smelt, which Anatoly Kazakov liked so much. In the fall they catch nets, like everywhere else. It happens that from the Kara Sea to the Yenisei seals comes in and breaks the net.

As for deliveries of Norilsk specialties to Moscow restaurants, everything depends on logistics here - the main difficulty is that delivery is possible only by plane, and they may not always fly due to weather conditions. We made a test delivery at the request of Anatoly Kazakov from Selfie and are ready to continue if products from the Far North are in demand among Moscow restaurateurs. Unfortunately, there is no constant demand for high gastronomy from local products in Norilsk itself.

Watch the video: Cooking BEAR MEAT in Bear FAT in SURVIVAL CHALLENGE! Ep10 (December 2019).

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