Goon is the best hockey movie ever.
It captures the profanity, skill, camaraderie, beauty, violence, toughness and tenderness inherent in hockey.
As the coach proclaims at one point: We’re not playing baseball here (the real quote is far too vulgar for a family-oriented blog).
Co-written by Montreal-native Jay Baruchel, the dude with the Maple Leaf tattoo in Knocked Up and the lead in She’s Out of My League, Goon is full Canadianisms and cultural touchstones, especially when the team travels to Quebec from the home-base of Halifax for a game.
And nothing says Quebec cooking like squirrel sushi and confederation beaver (pics below).
As reported by the National Post, Montreal celebrity chef and in-your-face carnivore Martin Picard, who withdrew as the star of an Ottawa food festival last year rather than bow to pressure to drop foie gras from his menu, is creating new clamour with a cookbook containing eye-popping recipes for squirrel and beaver.
The ode to Canadiana and its Québécois traditions includes recipes for “Confederation Beaver” — stripped of its sacs, stuffed with its own tail and steeped in hot water — and “Squirrel Sushi” — with the paws, tail and head saved for presentation, as if diners want reminding of the dish’s origins — come near the end of his book on the traditional sugar shack by the self-professed “wild chef.”
“I’m a cook. I’m a chef. I’m not political,” he said Friday, after launching his book Sugar Shack Au Pied de Cochon, insisting nothing subversive should be read into his beaver recipe.
Who can’t like Maury Chaykin-lookalike chef Picard, in his John Deere cap, and his book, focused on the Quebec cabane à sucre, or sugar shack, where maple syrup is made.
“(Beaver) is just the meat you can find at a sugar shack,” he said.
The squirrel dish took him five hours to prepare, he said.
The beaver dish required six pages and more than 30 close-up, step-by-step photos, including how to remove the tail meat from inside its tough skin to make the stuffing. (As Mr. Picard discovered, the outer skin of the tail could be used as a unique, but thumb-less, mitten.)
Ingredients include foie gras, maple-smoked ham, oyster and button mushrooms, pig’s blood and cream. The most important step, however, is carefully removing the animal’s castor sacs, gland-like pouches attached to the tail.
“If you cut them or damage them, it is going to contaminate the meat,” he said. “It is something most people will have to just read about. It is more of a chef’s recipe. I made it to please myself as a cook.
“I can say beaver tastes a bit like chicken, but it is unique.”