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Gar!

Discussion in 'Messages for All Guests and Members' started by Riflesmith, May 11, 2018.

  1. A while after I got Jeff's Rub recipe, I thought I would try it on a couple of gar that I had caught, and I tell you guys what, that made for some very fine eating!!!

    If you don't mind looking at a couple of pictures, I'll post up a few, and if you have any questions, just ask!

    012-1.jpg 007_zps985b60c8.jpg 014_zps6010e511.jpg 028_zps234e2b17.jpg 028-3.jpg 031.jpg


    After cleaning the gar and cutting it in small chunks, I let it set overnight in cooler full of ice, with a little bit of salt in it...

    After rinsing the gar off the next day, and patting it dry, when it started sweating from the cold water I had it in, I coated all of the fish in Jeff's Rub recipe, and let it sit for a little while in the refrigerator, while I got the fish cooker ready...

    Once the peanut oil was up to temperature, I took the fish out of the refrigerator, rolled it in cornmeal, and fried a batch at a time until it was all fried up...

    After the gar finished cooking, I seasoned some sweet potato fries with Jeff's Rub, and fried up a big batch of them...

    When all was said and done, the gar was the first to be eaten, then the sweet potatoe fries, then salads...

    I never told anyone that they were eating gar, until AFTER it was all gone, and until I showed pictures of the gar, they still didn't believe that they had eaten over 10 pounds of it!

    Thanks for the recipe Jeff! It made a good eating fish even better...
     
    mosparky, texomakid, gmc2003 and 5 others like this.
  2. 73saint

    73saint Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    That looks awesome! I’ve never eaten gar, points to you for turning what most look at as “trash” into a beautiful meal!

    Proof that if you know what you are doing, and you PROPERLY handle what you are preparing, you can make some wonderful, unique table fare!

    Well done!
     
  3. motocrash

    motocrash Master of the Pit

    Nicely done Popcorn Gar/Gar Nuggets!
     
  4. Thank you 73saint and motocrash!

    A gar may be considered a "trash fish" but they are one of the CLEANEST freshwater fish we have!

    The meat on a gar is not flakey, like what most other fish are. The texture is more like that of a pork chop...

    When you remove the two back straps from a gar, there are no bones in it, no nasty red meat that needs to be removed, and no fat. It is all good meat...

    Another way to prepare gar, is to boil it in crab boil, and as soon as it comes out of the pot, give it a light dusting with Jeff's Rub, and munch away! If you like seafood like crab, shrimp, and such, then you would really like gar cooked this way...
     
  5. 73saint

    73saint Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I shouldn’t have called it a trash fish. That was a poor choice of words on my part.
     
  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well I can honestly say that I have never had gar, but I would certainly give it a try after seeing yours!
    Nice job!
    Al
     
  7. dcecil

    dcecil Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Never thought you could make a dinasuar look so tasty. Great job
     
    chopsaw likes this.
  8. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Gar-sh, it looks good.

    So, does the salt water soak take any gamie tastes out of the Gar? (Never seen any, let alone known anybody who knew how to prepare it.)
    I learned from a friend in Wyoming about a salt water bath for Antelope. He gave us a hunk of his Antelope and it was great! I asked him how he handled it to make it taste so good.
    He said he used his bathtub (Cleaned, of course), quartered the Antelope, then filled the tub with cold water. Then added 1 cup of salt. He changed this bath each 8 hours, for a 24 hour period.
    It soaked out all the blood, but especially the scent of the Antelope, which really stinks. (And probably why they are called goats.)
    Antelope have hollow hair filled with a gas that keeps them warm. When killed, that gas has a tendency to go back into the hide, and can permeate the meat.
    At any rate, soaking game in a brine can really improve the flavor. So I wondered if that was why you "brined" your Gar?

    And do you think it could help with Carp or Catfish?
     
  9. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, I'm blown away by your results for gar. We used to catch them, cut 'em up, let 'em get stinky, then use them for catfish bait. Thanks for posting!
     
  10. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Master of the Pit

    Nice cook Rifle, I remember a long time ago when we first moved out of Brooklyn, and into Ithica NY. We were invited to a party on Cyuga lake. To make a long story short, my father who had never eaten any wild animal before - ate and enjoyed squirrel pot pie, venison, bear, moose and a few other wild critters. Well he liked them so much that he went back for seconds on some. About an hour later, our friends told him what he ate and he promptly went into the woods and blew chunks all over. It was the first time I was able to have a good chuckle at my dad's expense. Thanks for the memory.

    Point for sure.

    Chris.
     
    73saint likes this.
  11. texomakid

    texomakid Smoke Blower

    I've seen Gar in Texoma my whole life and never once considered eating them. It looks very tasty the way you've prepared it. I'm gonna tell some of my buddies about this recipe. Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. 73saint - I guess "trash" was the correct word used, because most people do think of the gar as trash fish. No harm no foul...

    Me personally, I have caught many bass 10 pounds and heavier in my life time, and I've caught many catfish on rod and reel that were over 50 pounds, and tons of crappie, perch and other fish. I specifically target gar on spring and summer fishing trips, as I really enjoy catching them AND eating them...

    Of course I only keep gar to eat that come out of cold, clean water lakes. I have talked to many Fisheries Biologist that say that "gar are one of the cleanest fresh water fish we have in America". The only eat live fish, with the very occasional frog or crawdad. Having said that, if you find them trapped in a small creek or pond, they may eat other things to stay alive, but I am not referring to those gar...


    Smoking - Thank you!


    dcecil - Thank you!


    SonnyE - I never really thought of it as brining. I just added salt to the water, and kept it iced down to keep the fish from spoiling. With 100 degree temperatures during the Hoy sunny days and 80+ degrees at night, I did not want to give the meat a chance to spoil, and have to throw it away. I really hate to waste food, and if I cannot take care of properly, in the case of these gar, I would rather turn them loose to fight another day, than to have to toss them...

    Carp and catfish?!?! I do them the same way if it is hot outside and I do not have room in the refrigerator for them. I use salt to help keep bugs and flies out of the cooler or ice chest, and to hold the meat over long enough for me to be able to get it properly taken care of. When I do get ready to finish cleaning the fish, I make sure I get all of the salt rinsed off good, and usually have it soaking in clean cold water while I am filleting the other dish...

    Speaking of carp, one of my favorite fish to catch, I havery only prepared it by canning it, in the pressure cooker. I add about a teaspoon of Jeff's Rub to each pint jar, with a couple of other ingredients, and if you were blind folded, you would know know the difference between carp and salmon patties. No kidding!


    noboundaries - I've never thought about using them for catfish bait. I usually use hand size perch or bluegills for that...


    Chris - sounds like a fond memory of your dad. I've known several people in my time, that their story was exactly like yours. I guess if you don't know what you are eating, then it won't hurt you. :)


    texomakid - you're welcome! I've heard there are some very big gar in late Texoma. Never fished there, but I have passed by parts of the lake many times going other places. Beautiful lake from what I could see of it...
     
  13. 73saint

    73saint Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I just read somewhere that gar have recently been considered a primary defense against the Asian carp influx. Has anyone else heard this? Seem to remember the biologists’ consensus was the gar are helping control the carp population better than anything else, thus far.
     
  14. Ok guys, if you are thinking about catching, cleaning and cooking gar, here is a list of tools needed -

    Hammer

    Old butcher knife

    Fillet knife

    Tin snips / tin shears

    Cleaning board and nail

    Put the gar on your cleaning board, and put a nail through it's tail to you can go to work on it...

    From the top fin back towards the tail, put your butcher knife under the final and use your hammer to drive the knife forward, seperating a thin strip of "armor", like what I did in the picture...

    005-2.jpg


    Now, take your tin snips and cut down each side of the "armor" just in front of the tail and back behind the head. After you do this, push the "armor" down on each side, while using your fillet knife to help seperate the meat from that "armor". Once you do that, you have literally created an armor plated cleaning surface. You cannot truly appreciate this, until you clean your first gar. No kidding!

    007-1.jpg


    There are now 2 "back straps" showing, one on each side of the fish. Fillet each back strap from the fish, just like what you do if you were cutting back strap off a deer. You don't cut into the guts or anything, as it's not necessary. Once finished, you will have two solid pieces of meat, just like this...

    012.jpg


    After the meat has been taken from the fish, put it in ice water until you get ready to cook it...

    Here is something else I did with another gar I caught. I turned it into gar jerky! Yes, that is Jeff's Rub that is coating this gar jerky...

    041_zps2187a82e.jpg


    And since carp was mentioned earlier, these are carp patties that I made from pressure cooked carp. And yes, that is Jeff's Rub that I put on these patties...

    035_zps64dc3e3c.jpg
     
    SonnyE and noboundaries like this.
  15. Gotta give this a like for sure ! To be honest and not necessarily politically correct, I grew up in the south, where "no self respecting white boy" would eat carp or gar. That never set quite right with me. I hate to waste food and if certain ethnic groups prize such fish, there must be a reason. Ribs, Wings, Flank steak and much more were once considered not fit for consumption and sold out the back door. Then someone let out the secret of how to fix it. Now we have $10 lb Flank Steak and $3 lb wings so on and so forth.
    Every year we do a small flathead fishing tournament and often catch small Gar and have Asian Carp jumping in the boat whenever we come off idle. They like to break the jaw on the Gar and throw them back. The carp...just try not to get cold cocked, throw them back. It all seems wasteful to me. Fish on the hook, and dang near jumping on my plate daring me to eat them. Well that was a foolish dare. I'm gonna give these ideas a shot and see who I can convert.
     
  16. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Looks like a no... https://chicagotonight.wttw.com/201...tive-weapon-against-asian-carp-says-biologist

    Or a yes...https://blogs.umass.edu/natsci397a-eross/alligator-gar-as-means-asian-carp/

    or a no... http://www.sj-r.com/news/20160805/alligator-gar-as-weapon-against-asian-carp-no-more-than-fish-tale

    maybe a yes/no? http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/settin...n_alligator_gar_and_asian_carp_msg16_okeefe16

    Hell if I know!
    I do know these types of Carp (Asian) come from man-made carp (switch the r and the a). Moving Carp around the World leads to carping (switch the r and the a) in the waterways.
    Smooth move Ex-lax!

    I know the Carp die off in the Colorado River in and below Lake Mojave was due to Humans using goldfish as bait in Lake Mojave. Sick goldfish transmitted Koi-Carp Herpes to the native Carp, and the epidemic flowed down with the water killing millions upon millions of Carp. The carcasses settled in the low spots and were visible from the surface of Lake Havasu.
    Those rotting carcasses in turn caused the die off of many other fish. In spite of what lying politicians said.
    But here, 9 years later, the Bass and Stripers are coming back finally. Last time at our campground I welcomed the sound, then the sight of Bass top feeding on flying bugs.
    But no doubt some A'hole will break the law, and the ecosystem of the Colorado will again be the victim of humans.
     
    73saint likes this.
  17. I know they are here in Oklahoma, but the only carp I have eaten was the common carp...
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  18. Steve H

    Steve H Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I've had Carp in Germany before. And it was very good. Back in my Arkansas days I've caught some pretty big Gar. But always released them. I have heard of some folks eating them in stews and such. But I've never had them. There are long nose Gar here in New York. These are not as large as the Alligator Gar I've caught before. Perhaps I'll give this a try the next time I catch one. It does look good.
     
  19. mike243

    mike243 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Looks good but have read the row is poisonous and to not be eaten,kinda hard for me to accept that the rest of the fish is safe even though I have read it is lol.Pretty neat how things evolve and find ways to protect the eggs
     
  20. mike243,

    gar eggs are poisonous! I have seen people eat them and some had diarrhea for a week and others had to go to the hospital and get their stomach pumped. Me personally, I don't know of anyone who has died from eating gar eggs, but some of them thought they were going to...

    Like most things in life, it just requires a little common sense!