Meat from bobcats and mountain lions is white, delicate, and mild in flavor. Just like pork, it takes on the flavors of the seasonings used in a recipe. Another similarity to pork is the meat’s ease of curing. For this recipe, we wet cured a pair of bobcat hindquarters in the refrigerator for four days and then smoked them with a sweet and salty glaze based on honey and soy sauce.
This recipe can be scaled-up to work with a full mountain lion hindquarter. Our bobcat hindquarters weighed about 3 pounds, so multiply the recipe’s ingredients accordingly for larger hindquarters.
Serving the cured and smoked bobcat in thin slices on a charcuterie board is a great way to introduce people to the meat from large cats. Add some sliced cheese, crackers, olives, peppers, and cornichon pickles to give everyone a choice of toppings to pair with the sliced meat.
- 60 grams non-iodized salt
- 40 grams white or brown sugar
- 6 grams Instacure #1
- Enough water to cover the meat
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar
- ⅔ cup honey
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Place the hindquarters into a narrow dish.
- Add the salt, sugar, and Instacure #1 to the water. Use only the recommended amount of Instacure #1. High concentrations can be dangerous. Stir well until the mixture dissolves completely. Pour the brine over the bobcat hindquarters, completely submerging the meat. Refrigerate the bobcat for 4 days, flipping the hindquarters daily so that all surfaces brine evenly.
- After 4 days in the cure, rinse the hindquarters well under running water and pat dry. Place the brined quarters on a sheet pan or platter and refrigerate overnight to form a sticky pellicle on the meat’s surface.
- Once the hindquarters are ready to smoke, blend the glaze ingredients.
- Smoke the hindquarters at 225 degrees for 4 hours or until the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees. Glaze the hindquarters with a grill brush as soon as they go on. Repeat with the remaining glaze every 30 minutes as the hindquarters smoke.
- To serve, bone out the meat in large pieces and slice into thin medallions. Serve with pickled peppers, olives, crackers, cornichon pickles, and sliced cheese.