Yak meat is delicious.
It’s lighter and more buttery than beef. It’s also higher in iron than beef and not gamey like elk or venison.
I bought some ground yak meat from Firebird Farms last week. We cooked it for supper last night. I sautéed the ground yak meat in olive oil with a red onion and garlic from Whistling Duck Farm. Added kale from my friend Liz’s garden, Roma tomatoes from the Historic Dunn Ranch’s gardens, and a liberal amount of home-grown oregano, basil, and rosemary. All organic. All locally grown and sourced.
We ate the yak meat and vegetables over tortellini and enjoyed a side salad made from a garden-grown cucumber and some dill.
There are fires raging around us right now. The air quality is so unhealthy it’s hazardous. But the yak meat and the local vegetables helped remind me how much I love southern Oregon.
I’ve never eaten yak before. I’m not sure I’ve ever even heard of it. My association with the word “yak” had only been a nickname for one of my brothers. (Not because he talks a lot, which he does, but because his name rhymes with it.)
But then I met my first yak! A yearling named Creature who likes to have his head scratched. I met him at Firebrand Farms, where the owner, Sophia Weiss, has over 90 yaks grazing at high elevation on mountain pastures up Dead Indian Memorial Road. Shaggy, enormous, and friendly, Creature likes to have his head scratched. If you stop scratching, he head butts you, like a dog.
Apparently yaks can sometimes be born deaf. Creature is deaf. Which is why he’s a pet and not out with the herd.
It’s common to eat yak meat and drink yak milk in Tibet. But not in America.
After yesterday’s deliciousness, I think we should all be eating yak meat.