Gone Bowfishing with Charles and Justin
Unless something is a pest or a nuisance (hint- snakes and armadillos) I don’t like to kill anything just for the sport or fun of it. If I go hunting or fishing I want to eat anything I hunt or catch. I take a sense of pride in being able to do the “dirty work,” not just go to the grocery store where all the hard work, both physical and mentally, has been done and the meat is neatly packaged to take home. Hunting and fishing really makes me appreciate and value life and the animals that give their lives to nourish ours.
So imagine my surprise when I find out we are bowfishing for alligator gar. I mean, I’ve never heard of anyone eating garfish. However, I was determined to cook this slimy fish and on top of just cooking it, I wasn’t going to fry it, I was going to cook it in a healthy way! Challenge accepted!
I had a blast bowfishing for my first time. Cleaning the gar was unlike cleaning any fish I’ve ever cleaned before. Their skin feels like armor. In fact, Indians used to use their skin to make breastplates. We had to use some heavy-duty nippers to cut the skin and then we cut the filets out.
I called up Charles Soileau, who used to ride bareback horses with Ty and was his roommate when they were younger. Ty knew that Charles would be able to make this gar taste good if anyone could. Charles is from Louisiana and we all know how good of cooks Cajuns are!
Charles and I cooked up a pot of Gar Fish Courtbouillon. It is a super simple recipe that smelled so fragrant. If you don’t have any gar, this recipe works great with catfish or bass as well. Charles said the gar meat is unlike any other fish meat and it took about an hour and a half to cook, whereas other fish only takes about 20 minutes. It is done when the fish easily flakes with a fork.
I really enjoyed the recipe and everyone said it was edible. Ty isn’t a huge fish or tomato based fan but he said it was edible. I ended up finishing off his leftovers. A big thing I noticed was that some of the chunks of meat were much more tender than others. I think it had to do with the different texture of the filet.
If you’re wondering what to do with that gar meat or just feeling like fish for dinner, give this recipe a try!
Gar Fish Courtbouillon
- 2 filets of Garfish cut into smaller chunks
- Olive Oil to oil the skillet
- 1-2 Onions
- 10 cloves Garlic
- 1 bunch chopped green onions
- 1 bunch Parsley chopped
- 3 cans Tomato Sauce
- ¼ cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
- Red Pepper flakes
- Cajun Seasoning
- Lime juice
- Brown Rice to serve over
- Season fish with Cajun seasoning and red pepper and place in lime juice to marinate a few hours or overnight.
- Oil a heavy sauce pot or black pot.
- Place a layer of fish at the bottom of the pot, followed by onions, garlic, parsley, and green onions. Lightly sprinkle flour over fish and spread one small can of tomato sauce over fish. Repeat this process until all fish is in the pot. Cook on a low, low fire. You want the fish to simmer until cooked. Shake the pot occasionally. DO NOT STIR WITH A SPOON.
- 1 oz white rum
- ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- ¼ cup RW Knudsen just cranberry juice
Mix all ingredients well and serve over ice