Crocodile Burgers – Table Talk

I am a huge crocodile fan, I will watch hours of croc documentaries and never get bored of the Jurassic looking beasts.  So when the Tall Hungry One suggested trying crocodile burgers I balked at the idea, this was the closest to vegetarianism I have ever ventured.

We buy a lot of meat from Muscle Foods (which inevitably means a huge box of meat is delivered to my office once or twice a month, leaving me to traverse the train journey trying desperately to piss off as few commuters as possible as I haul my meat down the aisles.  I must add I work in Manchester so it nearly always rains, and nobody likes a soggy box) and alongside our regular order of 10 tonnes of chicken, mountains of meatballs and a seafood selection, we occasionally throw in some exotic bits and bobs to spice up the dining routine.  Through our meaty experiments we are now huge swordfish fans and find ourselves partial to a wild boar burger or two.

Post New Year’s Eve feast (Beef Wellington) and all the Negronis and champagne we could drink we weren’t feeling quite up to a huge meal.  I took this as the perfect opportunity to test out our crocodile burgers and see whether they had much bite.

In an effort to fill our plates with healthy nutritious greens to counteract the indulgences of the past two weeks, I decided to do a simple yet well loved veg stir-fry of sprouts, broccoli, and woodland mushrooms, sprinkled with a little chilli and my most beloved garlic.

Now to the meat.  It is pink.  Unnervingly pink.  Something close to what I imagine a juiced Barbie may look like, if it had a Pantone name it would be “Mr. Blobby’s Marshmallow Dream”.  Uncooked it has the texture of a putty, which meant the burgers didn’t hold their shape and needed to be remoulded somewhat after being massaged with ground mixed peppercorns and a dash of pink Himalayan salt.

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For burgers and steaks I favour my trusty griddle pan, very lightly oiled (and a tiny trickle rubbed into the meat itself) and hot.  We like our beef rare, our chicken cooked and our tuna a deep red.  But how do you cook reptile?  I panic googled “Cooked crocodile meat” and cooked until the middle resembled the majority of the photos.  But it was still so brightly pink I fluster cooked it a little longer, leading to a slightly more well done exterior than I had originally hoped for.

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Initial reaction was mixed.  A mouthful alone, I wasn’t so keen.  A mouthful with mushroom, a huge fan was born.  Tall Hungry One was surprised how meaty and rich they were.  Overall feelings were mixed, we both said we would eat it again but wouldn’t actively seek it out either to buy or choose in a restaurant.  From a cooking perspective they baffled me, for something so pink to remain so pink and the texture to change so little threw my cooking game off.  There’s a reason why crocodile isn’t a meat staple (apart from the obvious breeding risks).

Overall: 3 table legs out of 5.

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