Yesterday I read in the newspaper a feature on horse meat that it was healthy meat. That the people in the City of Malabon had it as a staple food. No doubt cooked. Curiosity got the better of me so this morning after dropping off the children in school, I and the driver drove to Malabon City to buy some horse meat.
We arrived in the main wet market (bayan) just behind the Malabon City Hall. We found two butchers side by side selling fresh horse meat. They said the horse meat came from a slaughter house in the town of Obando. Slaughtered in the afternoon and arriving in the Malabon wet market at 4am the next day. Fresh enough for me.
Most common meat is that of the legs, most of the muscles are there, right? The price is a mere 170 pesos per kilo, same as pork. There is a lot of yellow belly fat hanging on the butcher stall and the butcher will add a standard amount of fat with your order of the lean muscle meat that is sliced into steaks about 1/4 of an inch thick. Fat is priced the same as the meat. The fat of the horse is more tender than beef fat and is easily chewed liquid.
There is also the “hard” part of the leg which the butcher said is sold separately for other cooking purposes. Then there are the ribs and bones which can be used for adobo dishes. I also found a horse heart, good raw, and added it to my order. Internal organs you have to order by phone as there are bulk buyers who get those. The butchers say they have higher priced horse tenderloin at 220 pesos per kilo but it is on a per order basis as bulk buyers buy them. Although I see no reason why we should get that tenderloin when the regular steaks I got were already as tender as the tenderloin of beef.
It is not true that a horse is lean meat only. The muscles are indeed lean with hardly any fat on them, but you balance this by buying fat that comes from the belly of the horse. Never eat protein in the absence of fat… that is a recipe to get sick, you get protein poisoning from undigested proteins you get kidney damage… especially from cooked lean meats… so eat your fats, especially raw, its good for you.
In the market I tasted the raw meat, the raw fat, and the raw hearts. All great. I wound up buying 6 kilos total. We then went to a suggested canteen / carinderia to eat some local Malabon city cooked horse meat. We got adobo and tapa. With rice. I had to sacrifice as this is what my children could be eating.
My driver was raving about how good cooked horse was. I didn’t think much of the cooked horse. I thought the over cooked meat made it tough. The fat was cooked into oil. And with rice, my digestion was penalized.
When we got home the kids had already finished dinner. But I announced the fresh horse meat I just bought. They were all excited they wanted to taste horse meat. So we made a batch with some organic coconut vinegar and fresh raw garlic on some horse meat steaks and some fat. Seared the horse meat for some 30 seconds per side and served. Kids loved it, my wife liked it, they raved about it, seared horse is tender and full of flavor. Kids said horse meat tasted really good. They are going to have more of the same for their packed breakfast and lunch tomorrow.
I had my raw horse dinner. It was one of the best raw meats I tasted. Tasted better than raw goat, better than raw carabao, better than raw chicken. I’d say it is on par with beef but with its own taste. Now I know why the Japanese serve raw horse sashimi.
My research on the internet found that in Continental Europe and asian countries and Japan, horse meat is a staple. And historically and prehistorically and paleolithically horse meat was staple food. The cave drawings with horses are there not because the cavemen found them beautiful or wanted to ride them, the cavemen drew horses because they were one of their favourite meats!
What is left for me to do is to investigate by going to Obando and see the horse slaughterhouse for myself to see how healthy and where the horses come from. I know they cull old horses and injured horses for sale, just like they do with carabaos.
I am convinced horse meat belongs as a staple food for my family. Malabon City is near enough as a supplier. And the price is right. It’s cheaper than beef. And horse meat tastes really good raw, it must be nutritious and biologically compatible with my body.