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READ ME FIRST: There seems to have been a great deal of misunderstanding stemming to equal parts from the words I chose for this question as well as the human nature of only seeing what one wants to see. In order to make the goal of the question clearer to the user I've spent some time investigating the English language and choosing the proper words accompanied by explanations. Emphasis is always mine.

(to) butcher
1 : to slaughter and dress for market

Butchering means killing and cutting up an animal for further preparation of the meat

(to) dress
6 c: to kill and prepare for market or consumption

The process of dressing involves cutting away undesirable parts which can range from the lower intestines to specific parts of fat and sinew, etc.

Primal Cut
A primal cut or cut of meat is a piece of meat initially separated from the carcass of an animal during butchering. Examples of primals include the beef round, loin, rib, and chuck or the swine ham, loin, Boston butt, and picnic.


Everybody loves dragons. Dragons are super awesome! Albert Einstein[citation needed]

As implied by the quote there's almost no fantasy world that does not include one or another dragon. Be it in the form of actual physical beings, raining terror from above; or as legendary tales of physical beings, raining terror from above in fairy tales.

But there is one thing that bothers me:
If dragons are an inherent part of a world... then why is there never any mention of how to prepare, cook and serve them?

Assuming dragons to be house-high fire-spewing flying beasts of awesomeness terror & destruction, there should be a fair amount of muscle- and fat tissue available for munchies1.

Looking at similarities from our glorious world, it seems that lizards and other small scaly animals are most often broiled or fried which I assume is due to their small overall sizes.


Addendum: After discussions on the chat and seeing it in many answers I feel obliged to provide additional detail on dragons in order to make the question less opinion-based1

Every dragon belongs to the same family, but not everyone sees that Confucius

Thus we this question is asking about what is commonly referred to as the European Dragon:

Anatomical Drawing of a European Dragon
greater resolution | Source: Kate Pfeilschiefter on DeviantArt

The composition and structure of the dragon's scales allows them to conduct heat and radiate them from large surface area of its wings. The dragon's meat is not in any way magically heat-resistant.

A dragon breathes fire in a similar fashion to a lighter; it sprays a combustible substance, stored/generated in a special organ, out of a nozzle located in their snout. The combustible substance is then ignited by means of creating a spark by rubbing special bones/teeth at each other when moving its jar.


Q: What are the parts/cuts of the dragon's carcass?

Bonus: How pleasing would they be to the palate and why?

This question is asking about the parts of meat and similar that come from a dragon. The idea is to name them and explain why these parts have been made from this or that section by mentioning a use for them.

This question is not about finding 1001 Dragon Recipes from Gramma Garnackle. Although nobody will be angry at you including some recipes as long as you try to answer the question itself.

1Assuming dragon-hunters aren't some jacka- will not leave their kill to rot
2Also it seems that not including the -tag is not enough to imply that the answer can be valid without any fancy fantasy writing; I enjoy reading a good made-up account, but the content must always come first.

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    $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Tim B Dec 2 '16 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ Fry them in their own fire... then you sell them whole :) $\endgroup$ – RudolfJelin Dec 3 '16 at 21:09
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    $\begingroup$ What do you think your life expectancy will be if you embark on this path? The correct answer is nobody knows because the dragons have hunted down and killed anyone who tried to figure it out. Eating an intelligent species is not conductive to your survival! $\endgroup$ – Loren Pechtel Dec 4 '16 at 1:05
  • $\begingroup$ @LorenPechtel please elaborate if you don't mind. Dragons are not more intelligent than a Dog or a Lion $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Dec 4 '16 at 7:45
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    $\begingroup$ I'm a dragon, and I strongly disapprove of this question ಠ_ಠ $\endgroup$ – Conor O'Brien Dec 6 '16 at 1:19

15 Answers 15

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It is a common misconception (likely spread by crafty, older dragons) that only young dragons are tasty. Much like their avian relatives (related via the dinosaurs), mature dragons develop a depth and richness of flavor much prized among those fortunate enough to survive to the tasting step. Their flesh has toughened during those centuries of survival, strife and magical combat, so older "stewing" dragons are used for soup or stew. If one has a large enough pot and heat source (volcano recommended), the white vs. dark dragon meat controversy can be sidestepped by cooking the whole thing and inviting nearby allied Shires to feast (and help with the ex-dragon cleanup; don't invite shirkers back for more.)

The major difficulty is removing the skin and attached scales without totally trashing the entire courtyard. We find that a sturdy battleaxe, with a minimum of +3 enchantment is the best compromise. This is truly where those diamond hones you were given for St. Unpronouncable's Day come in handy. Use them; alternate sides consistently and keep the axehead cool with lots of water. Unless the enchanted axe is a veteran of such cooking, there's a slight danger it will become too excited by the prospect, overheat and loose the metal's temper. Don't let this happen! Re-heat-treating tends to remove the enchantment — an expensive mistake.

Internal organs of note: The royalty will, of course, demand all of the heart. A smart kitchen staff knows what happens if they shave off bits — bait for next month's soup dragon. The gizzard should be processed by the chancellor of Coin and Jewels. Be very careful with the stomach, obviously. The Mages will want the liver, probably with onions. (Pate d'Dragone is a topic for another day.) The bones, once boiled clean are classic decorations for a great hall.

Enough with the preliminaries — on to the recipe itself:

Ingredients:

  • 1 stewing dragon (Approx 20 {Metric, please} Tons), viscera removed and handled as noted above, skinned with the bones as intact as possible.
  • Fresh, uncursed water to cover (Yes, don't even think about cooking dragon soup during a siege; won't work. Dragonburgers or dragon sloppy joe is more likely feasible.)
  • Two wagons (assuming a standard, two-ton wagonload) each of:
    • Carrots (the nice fat ones, well scrubbed)
    • Celery
    • Onions

The seasonings:

  • Four stone-weights of sea salt,
  • One stone-weight of black pepper,
  • One barrel of Garlic, peeled,
  • A double handful of Bay Laurel leaves,
  • One handful of Dill weed (not the seed!)

Simmer until tender, probably at least three days — leaving time to send riders to allied Shires to come party.

Accompaniments:

The recipe for a Dragon-sized Matzoh Ball is not yet satisfactory (heat transfer and texture issues), so we recommend noodles instead. Remember to add the noodles only in the last SEVEN minutes (so after the Nobles are all present and also seated.) Mushy noodles will just not do in dragon soup — people would talk...

Hoping this is pleasing to Her Imperial Majesty,

—P

{Parfi of Roundhill}

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Dec 2 '16 at 20:46
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Dragons are heatproof, you have to serve them raw.

We're talking dragon sashimi here.

It has to be fresh young dragon, no more than a few hours dead. Not some tough old elder dragon. Finely sliced on a bed of white rice.

(Please note: the question is now vastly different from the one this answer was written for which was about cooking and eating)

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    $\begingroup$ You. I like you. $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 1 '16 at 18:49
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    $\begingroup$ Fire can not burn the dragon. Nice catch. $\endgroup$ – Mast Dec 2 '16 at 8:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Mast > Fire can not burn the dragon But can fire cure the dragon? Salami is an option too. Bonus points for employing captured dragon cubs to smoke them. $\endgroup$ – Daerdemandt Dec 2 '16 at 12:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Daerdemandt That is a bit too gruesome. Imagine how it must feel for those poor little critters to smoke the meat of their parents. $\endgroup$ – user22732 Dec 3 '16 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ @chell Well, in one of Saltykov-Shchedrin's tales somebody proposes flogging a freshly-caught burbot to make its liver - a delicacy - grow bigger from disappointment. Maybe similar changes could take place here, too! $\endgroup$ – Daerdemandt Dec 3 '16 at 10:15
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The art of cooking dragons has likely not been well-developed, as cooking dragons requires you to produce a dead dragon, which is often the main conflict of the story.

But supposing that you could, what would dragon meat be like?

Poultry is known for producing two types of meat per bird: white meat and dark meat. The two have very different flavor and texture, and the reason that birds have both is because their muscles get differing amounts and durations of activity. In fact, the amount of exercise a particular bird gets has a significant effect on the flavor and texture of their particular meat.

Breast meat is white and leg/thigh meat is dark, because chickens and turkeys spend more time standing and walking than flying. Their legs are designed for sustained use, while their breast muscles are designed for sudden intense use. But this is only part of the phenomenon. The white meat of wild fowl is much more similar to the dark meat of domestic fowl, because while there is no difference in the design of the muscles themselves from bird to bird, they use those muscles more frequently.

But a dragon is not a bird. It would likely be classified as a reptile. So the meat would likely taste and texture more akin to alligator than turkey. The purpose of studying poultry is because it shows us pretty clearly that muscle usage can affect the flavor and texture of the meat. But in fact, alligator meat exhibits the same phenomenon. Speaking from experience, alligator tail tastes vaguely like chicken, but is much more tender and less stringy. Alligator is also low-fat, low-carb and high in protein.

So what kind of muscle usage does a dragon exhibit? Unlike a chicken or turkey, dragons soar great distances, as their primary form of transportation. This is sustained use of the chest muscles, which would seem to imply that dragon breast would be dark meat. Neck and tail muscles are likely dark meat, as holding up the tail (while flying) and head require sustained effort.

Dragons do tend to stand and walk when they come down to attack (which, traditionally, they are inclined to do). The legs and thighs seem like they would be dark meat as well. Of the two, dragon legs/thighs would be more characteristic of white meat, but both would likely be dark.

But white meat enthusiasts may have hope in your world. If your world has dragons, it's not much of a stretch to also include wyverns, which have only two legs as opposed to a dragon's four. A wyvern would have the opposite situation of a chicken or turkey, flying the majority of the time and standing infrequently, supporting a large weight with little muscle. The result would be that wyvern breast would be dark meat while wyvern legs and thighs would be white meat.

Should dragon/wyvern breeding ever become feasible and popular, we would likely find that the breast meat would become more similar to white meat, provided that they are confined rather than free-range (because really...) as they would not fly as much. But they would still be dark meat. We might also see that we've transformed domestic dragons into massive (that is, fat) monstrosities like we have with domestic turkeys.

So to sum up the quality of the meat, dragons and wyverns will both be similar to alligator, which is high in protein and low in fat and carbs, and tastes a little like chicken but is more tender and less stringy. Dragons will be all dark meat, with the legs and thighs being slightly more characteristic of white meat. Wyvern breast will be dark meat and wyvern leg/thighs will be white meat.

As for preparation, the above link ("alligator meat exhibits the same phenomenon") also mentions preparation methods. For the white meat (the tail on the alligator), they can be served in steaks or fillets, grilled or pan-fried. Speaking from personal experience, they're also delicious chopped up and deep fried. It can be further tenderized with a meat tenderizer.

The dark meat portions of the alligator (the legs) are often served deep fried and tossed in sauce, just like chicken wingettes. The link also recommends grinding them up into sausage, mixed with pork or other meats.

The ribs are also smoked, grilled or braised in an oven.

Given that both are reptiles, the procedure for preparing dragon/wyvern is likely pretty similar. If your dragons have scales, you'll need to scale them like a fish first. White meat can be served in grilled or pan-fried steaks/fillets or deep-fried bites. Dark meat might be best deep-fried or ground into sausage but of course anything you can make work will suffice.

And this is speaking personally, but I would find it appropriate and amusing, even if not for purely culinary reasons, to be served dragon prepared with spicy peppers, sauce or spices.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the alligator meat link and analogy. That accords with my memory of having it once, fried. $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Dec 1 '16 at 18:43
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    $\begingroup$ I love your answer, but I'd like to point out that Dragon meat may very well be resistant to heat. How would you cook it at that point? $\endgroup$ – AndreiROM Dec 1 '16 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ @AndreiROM I'm kinda partial to the sashimi idea, in such case. $\endgroup$ – Devsman Dec 1 '16 at 18:58
  • $\begingroup$ Dragons are warm-blooded flying lizards, related to pterosaurs. The late (and, by all reports, tasty) dragonologist Joseph of Asbestosia investigated draconic DNA and determined that their bodies (but not wings) were covered in scutes, similar to those of modern crocodilians, (although draconic scutes contained a high metallic content) which served both as thermoregulators and armor. Further research, and researchers, are needed. $\endgroup$ – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Dec 3 '16 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ "So what kind of muscle usage does a dragon exhibit? [...] dragons soar great distances". Don't forget that dragons are known for sleeping for a couple of centuries every now and then, usually on their amassed treasures. I would guess that this influence their muscles in both texture and taste - there ought to be a somewhat golden flavour to the meat on their undersides. $\endgroup$ – Mrkvička Dec 8 '16 at 10:12
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The main thing I want to point out is that dragon meat will be very low in fat. This is a very large animal testing the boundaries of what is capable of flying, so it can't carry excess weight.

Due to its size, dragon meat should be processed in a manner similar to whale. If the dragon meat is tough and can not be cooked (credit to @Separatrix for that one), I would pickle or ferment it instead and let it age for a long time.

In your situation I would research traditional Icelandic and Inuit forms of fermented and pickled whale. For methods that use a lot of oil or blubber in processing, I would substitute either pig fat or plant oils.

If you do consider it possible to cook the dragon, your best comparison would be low-fat meat. Rabbit is an extremely low-fat meat. In fact, eating large quantities of dragon will probably cause rabbit starvation.

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    $\begingroup$ Dragons don't "test the boundaries of what is capable of flying," as any dragon worth the name is a good deal larger and heavier than even the biggest flightless birds. Rather, they look the Square-Cube Law straight in the eye and say "I'm a dragon. Move!" and physics obligingly gets out of their way and lets them do their thing. $\endgroup$ – Mason Wheeler Dec 1 '16 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Mason The largest discovered flying bird had a wingspan of 20-24 feet, similar in size, if not weight, to smaller dragons. $\endgroup$ – Robert Fraser Dec 5 '16 at 8:54
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Well in some mythologies dragon blood is a super acid, but in some mythologies eating a dragons heart can grant immortality, in Norse stories consuming dragon blood gives you magic powers.

As for cooking and preparation consider directions for alligator and crocodile.They are big armored and widely eaten.They are also archosaurs like dinosaurs and birds so you can cover lots of hypothetical dragon origins at the same time. http://www.fishfiles.com.au/handling/preparing/Pages/crocodile.aspx.

Here is a video guide to butchering alligators.

Crocodile is actually quite good, it is a bit bland but it absorbs seasoning quite well and is naturally very tender. the most meat in crocs is the tail but in a dragon I image the flight muscles would be huge. http://img.21food.com/20110609/product/1305544255906.jpg

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  • $\begingroup$ This seems like the most accurate answer, I went looking for cuts of lizards, but didn't even think of croc. $\endgroup$ – Centimane Dec 8 '16 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ A popular argument among paleontologists is whether dinosaur meat would taste like chicken and crocodile meat (which taste the same) or like ostrich meat which tastes a lot like beef. $\endgroup$ – John Dec 9 '16 at 2:15
  • $\begingroup$ Cut back on lemon, tamarind or vinegar use if incorporating any blood from dragons imported from the former mythologies. $\endgroup$ – rackandboneman Mar 8 '17 at 9:55
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Actually butchering a dragon

Many speak of general dragon recipes, but not the general process of butchering a dragon. While this is okay for those who wish to simply boil, stew, grind, or even deep-fry the creature whole, it is simply unacceptable for purposes such as sashimi, steaks, and roasts, among similar preparations. The process will be broken down from selection to serving.

Selecting your dragon

The very first and possibly most important step is selecting your dragon. While anyone lucky enough to kill a dragon should experience the unique taste of generic dragon meat, if one is hunting the beasts for specific purposes, they should keep this in mind. Each variety has its own unique culinary uses. We'll focus on classifications, then types, then age.

  • Chromatic Dragons
    • Chromatic dragons are generally the best classification to use for general purposes and frying. Being generally weaker than equivalent dragons of other classifications, often very isolationist, and almost always evil, they are frequently the easiest to kill and the easiest to get away with killing.
      • Red Dragons, due to their fiery breath, often have a slightly sulfiric taste, but also a rather spicy and peppery one. They are best used for gumbos, curries, many Chinese-American dishes, and other foods that are traditionally spicy. They are also rather popular for kebabs.
      • White Dragons, being the endothermic sort, have a crisp, refreshing flavor, which has been described as slightly minty and almost chilling to the palate. I've heard it compared to a gingered pork in this regard. They are often used in many traditional Scottish dishes and are frequently added to various Japanese dishes as well. I personally find them perfect for carpaccios. A popular treat among street vendors is to take a White Dragon's unique neck spine, topped with a hunk of meat, and fry that in breadcrumbs, to be sold as a stick-included convenience food.
      • Black Dragons have a gamey, fishy taste, due to their seafood diet, and as such, are great for use in Oriental dishes and otherwise paired with seafood. When doing so, don't bother with lemon juice or similar acids, as black dragon meat is already highly acidic. Their signature frills are also excellent as a wrapping for haggis, dumplings, or sausage.
      • Blue Dragons are very dry and unappealing, and just as tough throughout the creature's life as the meat of the most ancient dragons of other types. Still, they are often eaten by desert peoples due to their convenience in locale, and their black bones ae prized by mages for construction of electricity-based spell focuses. As such, the skeleton is normally twice as valuable than the meat, which is usually sold cheaply enough for beggars to have after nobles have lapped away the organs.
      • Green dragons are generally avoided, due to implications brought forth by their preferred diets of intelligent humanoids. For those more adventurous types, though, they are similarly flavored to venison for white cuts and to snakes for dark cuts, often meaning the breastmeat and flanks are used for jerkies and patties while the tails are excellent bulk substitutes for any serpentine ingredient.
  • Metallic and ferrous dragons are almost always of a Good alignment and tend to have strict, interconnected hierarchies; not to mention, their hides are incredibly tough. This makes killing them a very dangerous prospect in regards to dragonkind and humanoids alike, not to mention preparation is incredibly impractical. They all have a dull, white-meat taste, not dissimilar to a chicken breast, and are often boiled whole due to superior heat distribution and said butchering difficulties. This makes them incredibly dry, bland, and flavorless; they are best used in stews and served to Anglican sorts for these reasons, were you to even want to kill and eat one.
  • Gem dragons have a similar problem to metallics, however can't even be boiled easily due to their tough, crytalline hides. The meat is also incredibly tough, and embedded with what some believe to be microscopic gemstones of the same type as their hide, making cutting one's mouth a frequent occurence. They're best just sold for scrap and not even attempted to be eaten.
  • Age-wise, dragon is generally more tender and flavorful among younger varieties, but much more complexly flavored among the older individuals, as some have pointed out already. Choose your dragon with this in mind.

Cuts of Dragon

We'll be working with this anatomy chart:

  • The platysma (or neck muscle) is best avoided for consumption. A dragon's throat is covered in the incredibly dangerous, and more importantly, extremely unpalatable breath weapon compounds.
    • The deltoids, biceps, and radials are all tough, but flavorful, dark meats. The trapezoid in particular is good for cutting off chunks of roasting, smoking, or corning meats, as well as anything else that is generally cooked at low temperatures for long periods.
    • The trapezoids are similar to pork shoulders. A pulled pork-styled dish, nicknamed "lizard slivers", is incredibly popular for this cut, especially from a red dragon.
    • The alopectorals are, in essence, the breastmeat of a dragon. They're dry and fairly flavorless, but breading, deep-frying, or liberal application of sauces can all improve on the cut.
    • The back abdominal muscles are the closest thing to a tenderloin you'll find. Unlike many other creatures, the abdominals are actually the least used on the dragon(1), and as such, are incredibly tender and prized, yet are one of the most common meats. The best part is that there are eight of these per dragon, each around fifty pounds of meat. They are also unusually flavorful, due to containing the entirety of the dragon's fat stores.
    • The two front abdominals, on the other hand, are tough and fairly tasteless.
    • The ambiens are similar to beef rounds. They make excellent steaks, in both the tuna sense and the bovine sense.
    • The latissimus dorsi is a perfectly well-rounded cut, balancing tenderness and flavor for a perfectly prime cut best cooked rare.
    • The various wing muscles are extremely tough but rather flavorful, and best used for jerkies. Don't bother with the actual wings, just the muscles connecting them to the body.
    • Finally, the erector cadue, or the tail, is a very versatile meat, good for roasts, steaks, fillets, stews, kebabs, and all sorts of other uses. It's also the second-largest section and the very largest cut, containing about ten percent of the meat on the dragon.

In conclusion,

Dragon is an excellent meat. For health purposes it's a red meat, and by red I mean it's not soaked in its own blood. Seriously, long-term dietary issues should honestly be the very least of your concerns when eating dragon, as collection will always be the most detrimental part to your physique as a whole. Enjoy some dragon.

(1): Citation: Have you ever seen a dragon with a six-pack? Okay, now close FurAffinity, clear your history, forget everything you've seen on that site, and tell me again.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is an expansive and nice answer; May I ask why you work with a different anatomy chart than the one provided in the question? (Just wondering, no offense) $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Dec 5 '16 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ @dot_Sp0T I wanted one that shows the individual muscles for clarity purposes. Glad you like it; I didn't expect to spend an hour and a half on researching it. $\endgroup$ – Papayaman1000 Dec 5 '16 at 16:56
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    $\begingroup$ This is the one answer that actually answers the question. +1 $\endgroup$ – X-27 Dec 9 '16 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ @X-27 thanks! That's what I was trying for. Always nice to get high regards from such an esteemed user, as well :) $\endgroup$ – Papayaman1000 Dec 9 '16 at 16:57
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The strong muscle meat would be pleantiful but so very tough. It would have to be braised or boiled for long periods of time, or subject to chemical or mechanical tendorizing techniques.

The other parts would offer many fantastic resources, though! The armored scales are tough lightweight material useful for making armor and protective clothing and many other things.

The bones would be long, lightweight (hollow even) and strong. They will be used to make roofs for buildings, boats, and light vehicles.

The tendons are not special safe for their size. They can make rope and lashings far more easily than using hundreds of cattle and pounding together all the small pieces.

The internal organs including special unique ones will be useful: besides large bladder and stomach, what holds the flammable gas or liquid? Those organs might have special properties beyond being another bag or sausage casing.

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  • $\begingroup$ See also this answer for my thoughts on excrement. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 1 '16 at 9:37
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    $\begingroup$ It's commendable that you expand on uses for the rest of this majestic animals carcass. But I find that your answer might benefit from expanding on the cooking/eating part, as the question is mainly aimed into that direction. As of now only 1 (arguably 1.5) of the 5 paragraphs of your answer are actually answering the question :) $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Dec 1 '16 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ To tenderize said meat: Just get a bunch of drunkards with clubs, and tell them the dragon corpse has insulted their mothers? $\endgroup$ – NZKshatriya Dec 3 '16 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ @NZKshatriya They might spit and / or vomit on it, which would not be good for serving. $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Dec 3 '16 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ too true too true $\endgroup$ – NZKshatriya Dec 3 '16 at 17:11
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Dragon's Tail is apparently a delicacy, if J.R.R. Tolkien is to be believed (Farmer Giles of Ham). It was a traditional Christmas Feast food.

There is not much description of how it was cooked. Interestingly, the substitute "Mock Dragon's Tail" is sweet rather than savory, made out of cake, almond-paste, and icing.

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    $\begingroup$ Mock Dragon's Tail, while not quite as tasty as the genuine article, has two things to recommend it: 1) it is lower in fat, cholesterol, and sulfur, and 2) seldom fights back. $\endgroup$ – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Dec 3 '16 at 14:18
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why is there never any mention of how to prepare, cook and serve them

A dragon contains a large number of chemicals to produce fire. These chemicals leave traces in the tissue making it uneatable because it either tastes bad or is toxic. Or Fugu (Thanks @Lu22) which pumps poison into his flesh when it's scared.

A dragon is some numbers larger than a cow. You cannot process it all in one peace, so you need some sort of storage.

But if you'd ask how: I'd take the mother-in-law recipe for wild boar:

  • Fry it in a large pan on every side

  • Let it rest in a sauce of red wine and spices for a decent time

  • Simmer it until it eatable

Happy cooking,

Alex

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    $\begingroup$ Thinking of the Fugu? $\endgroup$ – Lu22 Dec 1 '16 at 9:55
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    $\begingroup$ Aaah the good old Fugu & Sushi-Chef reference. When thinking up the question yesterday I actually thought about mentioning it as another example due to the toxicity :) $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Dec 1 '16 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ If you ever cook your dragon, I think the best part might be wings or chest, because they're best trained through flying, giving you best muscle flesh. $\endgroup$ – Alexander von Wernherr Dec 1 '16 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexandervonWernherr on the contrary, that makes it tough and stringy. You want muscle that gets little use. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 3 '16 at 5:53
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    $\begingroup$ A quick sanity test via Google confirms «Meat that has been heavily exercised tends to be tough», «The tough meat consists of the muscles that have the most exercise; the tender meat comes from the back, principally, where the muscles are not very greatly used», «muscles with more exercise or which have born the weight of the animal, are tougher because they contain more and longer fibrils.» etc. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Dec 3 '16 at 8:38
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On the Practical Aspects of Field Dressing, Preserving and Enjoyably Consuming Dragon Meat

Pre-kill preparations. Size: even a small (broiler) dragon is the size of the largest terrestrial elephants, so you’ve got to think scale here -- and I don’t mean those tough, armor-like things on the outside of the beast. As General Omar Bradley is alleged to have said, “Amateurs talk about strategy, professionals talk about logistics.” So too is this true of the non-trivial task of (safely) preparing dragon meat for consumption.

Consumables to have on hand, pre-kill:

I suggest a minimum of one barrel of salt and two of beer per ton of dragon. (You’ll need salt and rendered dragon fat to stabilize the hide until you can ship it to tanners experienced with dragonskin.)

At least as important is roughly one wagon-load of firewood per ton of dragon, about which -- and why, more later {0.-1}. Unless you’re dragon hunting in the depths of winter, you’ll want to have this with you when you start your hunt. You’ll also want every watertight barrel you can get your hands on, far beyond the salt and beer barrels. Properly cured oilcloth can stand in (for short term, at least) if you lack barrels, but you’ll need considerably more salt. Some cultures use vinegar-salt brines for preserving brine, but in field conditions I suggest beginners especially use salt or smoking to preserve the meat.

Tools and such:

Tripods, chain and hooks. Dragon primal cuts are big (even excluding the wings, which have almost no useful meat.) The Empress, in her wisdom, had a set of a dozen tripods, twelve cubits tall at the pivot point, made of the best available iron, some human generations ago. They have served her hunting parties long and well -- nor are they IMHO to numerous for handling a big dragon like Smaug. Since stainless steel is so expensive ever since that contremps with the goblins up north, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weathering_steel is probably the best option -- combined with a good washdown and drying in full sunlight after each use.

(I successfully petitioned Her Majesty’s Minister of Coin for funds to make a number of interlocking plates of Weathering steel, to serve as a portable smokehouse. That I am writing this to you is evidence that The Imperial Tastebuds found this a worthwhile use of Imperial funds, but I digress. See {0.-1} )

Chainfalls (if your technology base can produce them) are a worthwhile investment in preventing accidents and processing those many tons of dragon speedily. This is where to spend money on your best, rust resistant steel (I favor full stainless alloy T316, myself.) Ditto the matching-pitch chain and hooks.

Because the dragon (and even resulting primal cults) are so large, you’ll want cutting tools with reach. We find naginatas work quite well; swords (especially heavy cavalry sabers) are OK, but machetes are for hacks.

Cauldrons for rendering the dragon fat and for reducing (thus stabilizing{0.0}) the dragon blood are also essential.


Step 0 (safety):
Make sure your dragon is really, really dead. They are tricky foes and happy to escape and/or avenge themselves by playing possum. Unless you’ve hacked it’s head clean off, I suggest sending a raw recruit to double check. {0.1}

Step 1: (hygene and safety) Dig a deep pit as close downhill and away from open water as possible, for the disposal of the dangerous parts of the dragon {0.2}. The stomach and fire-bladder -- and all of the drained blood, unless you are stabilizing it. Put all this into the pit and keep adding water -- especially if it starts to steam again! Start at least two cookfires. (Yes, now. Don’t wait until masses of armed, dragon-blood maddened men get hungry!)

Step 2: Only when the pit and several barrels of water are at hand, have your most experienced, brave and steady-handed butchers and/or soldiers gut the dragon and put immediately the stomach and large intestines into the pit. Follow with at least two barrels of water and watch for flare-ups for the next day. There are differing opinions on the gallbladder, gall and stones. {0.2}

Step 3. Award the head and heart with suitable flourishes to those persons that Law, custom, contractual obligations or tactical prudence dictate.

Step 4: Separate the wings from the carcass {0.4}

Step 5: Separate primal cuts for draining.
Here’s a suggested breakdown, though regional predilections/health regs. may dictate alternate cuts.

  • Neck (in 3+ sections to fit; best to keep head-end up until well rinsed and drained) {0.3}

  • Tail (in 3+ sections to fit)

  • Thigh/drumstick (2) (Separate the ribs from the spine and breasts, and get those cooking; your people are hungry!)

  • Breast (2, possibly cut into 2 sects each, if you’ve taken a large dragon)

(Spine once drained, start a soup pot; see previous entry, scaled down.)

Step 6: Hang to drain the blood into iron cauldrons. Promptly either stabilize the blood by boiling it, or dispose of into the pit with at least an equal volume of water.

Step 7: Cook enough dragon meat to serve ALL of your friends and allies; they’ve faced a fearsome beast and won the day. Feed them well. Seriously, now is not the time to be a cheapskate. People are watching; important people. Providing BBQ sauce and beer will pay dividends in time. Note also the potential upside for trade (and taxation!) of the trade fair that often pops up to celebrate (and/or make a quick coin) on a dragon kill in populated territory (deep winter excepted unless your technology base is up to it.) I suspect that my suggestion of a default Imperial taxation at such events helped the Minister of Coin view my requests for supplementary funds {for the portable Dracon smokehouse} in a positive light; though the samples for his consideration might also have played some minor role.

Step 8: Preserve as much dragon meat as you can, by smoking, salting, brining or spices (sausage.) Waste not, want not -- even at dragon scale. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist ;-)

~||~

{0.-1} Contrary to the fanciful notions of those writing from less than first-hand experience, I can assure you that some dragons have a wealth of body fat. There are sedentary types in all cultures. Rendered dragon fat is, as you know, a valuable source of both lubrication and long lasting calories. However, the most important type of fat on a dragon is that which is deliciously well marbled into those thin layers of muscle that we can preserve with hardwood smoke and perhaps some maple sugar:

Dracon!

And yes, it should be capitalized. Anybody who disagrees has clearly never tasted it.

-- “A Dracon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the Dracon is nice and crispy and the tomato is ripe, even better than true love!” -- Miracle Max, just before his Witch smacked him a good one, and swiped the sandwich.

{0.0} As history and legend tell us, collecting and stabilizing dragon blood is effectively an all or nothing proposition! Reduction to half volume and sealing in barrels seems to be the safest bet, followed by prompt shipment to somebody who will pay for it. On no account reduce any dragon blood beyond one quarter of its original volume -- even little bits. You can travel to Iceland to see the results if you’d like. Bringing your own drinking water is still advised, even after all these centuries.

{0.1} Exactly how a raw recruit does so can yield valuable info about combat potential. The recruit who walks up and hits the dragon on the nose will be, sooner or later, arrow fodder. The recruit who nails the dragon with a crossbow quarrel in an unarmored spot, from cover and downwind is somebody who’ll last more than one campaign.

{0.2} Some Mages will pay big time for these; I don’t know if it’s a drug or like Kryptonite or whatever. How brave/foolish are you and your men feeling today? On a dare, I did it once; another barrel and salt. I got paid in full, but still not eager to repeat; that color just says ‘evil’ to me.

{0.3} Contrary to other reports, the neck, once properly drained, rinsed and stripped of fire-gall tubing makes a delightfully lean Dracon. Or if you have a brave sausage-maker, there’s a smoked dragon kielbasa that is to die for. If not, I’ll happily advance five gold pieces for the neck, salted down in barrels, free on my dock. I know some brave sausage makers. (Terrible english, but they are past masters of capturing and preserving umami!)

{0.4} And let the tanners and scalers at the wings; there’s almost no useful meat to be had from the wings; though people from the province known as Buffalo apparently feel otherwise. A paste of two parts fine-ground salt to one part rendered dragon fat will preserve the skin for a week or two, unless the weather is really hot and humid.)

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    $\begingroup$ Between our answers, just about anyone could be fully prepped in safe and proper preparation of the deadly drake. You cover safety issues, I cover culinary aspects. Both are very important! $\endgroup$ – Papayaman1000 Dec 9 '16 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ The OP didn't like my original culinary advice, so I've confined myself to the footnotes. IMHO, we clearly need a dragon-scaled recipe for a dragon-suitable BBQ sauce. (I favor a Carolina style pulled dragon haunch myself, though a dragon chilli is also a great crowd/rabble pleaser.) $\endgroup$ – Catalyst Dec 9 '16 at 17:09
  • $\begingroup$ A fine stew is always a plus. Dumplings are also popular, in my experience. $\endgroup$ – Papayaman1000 Dec 9 '16 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ Another important safety consideration: Locate your dragon abattoir where other dragons will not stumble across it. One dragon at a time is sufficient for all imaginable purposes. $\endgroup$ – A. I. Breveleri Aug 31 at 4:17
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Dragon meat is deeply unclean, like grizzly bear. Aside from the fact that their diet consists mostly of carrion, which causes even fresh dragon meat to reek, the fact that most adult dragons have eaten virgins and villagers raises troubling issues of meta-cannibalism.

Aristocrats who cultivate a taste for dragon meat soon exude the odor of carrion, and this has come to be considered a tell-tale sign of degeneracy.

The trouble of raising dragons, with their tendency to riot and murder, has confirmed all lawful and/or good religions in the condemnation of even tasting dragon meat. One cannot control a dragon; the only way to cultivate them is to dedicate a countryside to it, in which all the people are kept as a food source.

Only the foul eat such murderous filth.

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Inspired by Separatrix's answer...

Dragons are heatproof, you have to serve them raw.

Dragon Ceviche!

Ceviche is a dish where the fish is not cooked but instead soaked in lemon juice and the acidity of the lemons "cooks" the fish. It doesn't kill parasites in the fish but it does make it safe(er) to eat.

So just throw the dragon meat into some lemon juice overnight and in the morning you will have some tasty meat to enjoy!

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In consideration of the fact that nobody has answered the butchering question. Let's assume you've crossed the threshold requirement of actually killing one of these mofos, the butchery process will take a large team with fairly expensive equipment. Thankfully there are merchants with the capital to pay for the hunting operation and the butchering operation as the gains are very lucrative.

Requirements:

As a minimum, in order to butcher a dragon well you will need either cranes and pulleys to winch it in the air to help open the soft underbelly and preserve the meat from environmental damage. As most dragons do not live in ideal environments and it's too expensive to transport such a load quickly without the quality deteriorating. A mage with strong telepathic skills can make this much easier on the team and have the dragon up in the air quickly after the kill.

You will need either heatproofed weapons with an enchantment of +3 to bypass the first layer of skin and deal with the high internal heat of the body, but this can be made easier if you have a mage on the team with specialised cutting spells. Most wind mages will have these.

Actually, as a general rule, a team of mages, while expensive, always saves time and manpower. Which can be crucial in keeping the quality of your product high.

If you don't have mages, there is a solid industry of cutting implements, hooks and bladed staves that are made specifically for skinning dragons, gutting them, and scaling them. Don't try to get through their bones. Thanks to extraordinary amounts of magical infusion and natural density, dragon bones are about has hard as stone with a magical resistance that will tire even the most experienced of mages.

While bone dust and marrow are incredibly valuable, even standalone a novice team can make a huge profit on selling just the bones as is. Clean them as you would any other bones. If you want to extract the marrow and make bone dust from them, which are worth more than their weight in gold! You will need to transport them to town in stasis chambers and have industrial bone presses and +15 Adamantite guillotines do the slicing and grinding to dust. If you're new we recommend hiring a facility in town.

Nearly every part of a dragon is valuable, and the fresher it is, the more it is worth, it's recommended that you have a stasis storage and either a bag of holding or a large caravan to carry what will be metric tonnes of matter.

Final Notes:

Prime cuts have been suggested by the other individuals, however we do not recommend dressing dragon meat beyond an infusion of Mage's Bane, which helps preserve the magical qualities and strengthens the flavour. Many buyers will request undressed meat as they will want to prepare it to their preferences. Dragon ingredients are hard to come by so most buyers are specialists and very particular.

You will need a small team, usually a carver, scaler, skinner, and workmen for hoists, moving goods, and organising ingredients. Though most teams are actually made up of between 20 and 50 men to speed up the process and ensure quality. Do not try to have multiple specialisations taken up by one individual. They will simply not have the time needed to ensure good quality results. Dragons are like the whales of the land. Only more valuable, and bigger.

Good luck, and remember. Don't go on the field yourself. You will die.

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I think that the dragons are lizards, which I have heard taste a bit similar to chicken. The muscles would be huge, so it would probably be challenging to have a roasted dragon. Thus I think that it would make sense that the dragons are eaten as small pieces in sauce and soups.

It could be that the fire breathing ability comes from some nasty fermenting process, making the dragons carcass risky to explode or meat taste bad or simply inedible.

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I can imagine a giant crock pot, cooking it over a low heat for several hours, and making Pulled Dragon Sandwiches. Of course, I would be using a honey/chipotle or even habanero sauce to marinate the meat in, as it would only be fitting for the meat to be paired with a spicy sauce.

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