Seasoned Advice is a question and answer site for professional and amateur chefs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What (roughly) does horse meat taste like?

What kind of dishes can I make with it?

share|improve this question
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Back in the late '90s, biologist Joe Staton did a comparative study of the tastes of different animals for the Annals of Improbable Research. His hypothesis was that the relatedness of tastes of animals is correlated to their evolutionary ancestry. You can read an abridged version of his article here. Looking at the phylogenic tree at the bottom of the article, horse meat has the general flavor of beef and is most closely related to deer (venison) and American buffalo (bison). In my experience, horse meat is like a cross between venison and beef.

Edit: In case anyone was wondering, human apparently tastes like pork.

share|improve this answer
+1 great answer – Willbill Apr 21 '11 at 15:01
Memory from somewhere - cannibals in Australasia used to refer to cooked human flesh as "long pig"! – Michael Hetton Apr 29 '11 at 1:23

Horse meat is dark red and usually quite lean. The risk is to overcook it and end up with tough meat. This probably has to do with the fact that most horse meat is "recycled" animals, that's to say horses that were not bread for meat and that spent a part of their life working.

In my part of Italy (Parma), we also eat it in its raw ground form (like a steak tartare). The traditional presentation is ground fine, spread on a white bread, salt, pepper, lemon juice and a drop of olive oil. Garlic also goes well with it. Horse meat is less likely to host parasites that are harmful to humans, so I wouldn't be too disturbed by the thought of eating it raw - and it does taste great. A filet americaine with horse meat would probably taste very good too.

Here is a recipe for picula 'd caval, a sort of horse chili from nearby Piacenza although I would not cook it for quite that long, to avoid having tough rubbery bits at the end. For the same reason, reheating horse meat is usually a bad idea.

Here is also a discussion about the true recipe, but it is in Italian;f=6;t=000843;p=0 of course every family has their own version and of course it is a point of religious faith that that one is the only true one - after all it is Italy.

share|improve this answer

It tastes like whale meat :)

It's a red meat, with a characteristic texture. Personally, I like it a lot, but it's difficult to find if you are outside of Italy and France (as far as I know).

You can use it as a regular steak, instead of pork, for example. Pork is more delicate as a taste, horse is more intense.

share|improve this answer
Horse is also eaten in Japan (and Tonga, apparently). – MGOwen Aug 6 '10 at 2:21
It's also available in Belgium and the Netherlands. – Joe Aug 6 '10 at 2:56
Horse meat is fairly common in Denmark as long as you go to a regular butcher instead of a supermarket. – cyberzed Aug 6 '10 at 7:44
I am not sure if you were joking, but in my experience horse meat does not taste like whale meat. – ESultanik Apr 20 '11 at 19:58
@esultanik: I'm not joking. I had whale meat in Norway, and the closest thing it recalled me is definitely horse meat. – Stefano Borini Apr 20 '11 at 20:47

Like a filly cheese steak. I'd hate to saddle you with a bunch of recipes. Good with stallio-- scallions. Careful, frying it, since it tends to be a bit tempermental. Leaving now.

share|improve this answer
Quit horsing around. This is no time for mare-ement. – dmckee Aug 6 '10 at 1:45
"If wishes were horses, we'd all be eatin' steak" - Jayne Cobb – Tim Gilbert Aug 6 '10 at 3:11

I've had it in Italy as a child - I was actually told it was beef so that I wouldn't ask questions. The big differences are that it is leaner than beef, and has a coarser texture.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.