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Question by Greg23. Uploaded on August 11, 2009
Soak it in a salt water.
Many people have it in their minds that venison has to "season". The fat in venison is mostly subcutaneous, not marbled in like beef, so seasoning it has no effect other than spoiling the fat and tainting the meat.
I have been in the habit in the last couple years to shoot the deer, dress it out and skin it IMMEDIATELY- I bone it promptly and get in on ice or in a cooler. I let it hang long enough to drain the blood- about 24-48 hours and I butcher it and have it frozen inside of three days. Venison will never taste so good... don't beleive me, try it with one hindquarter this year... it will make a believer out of you!
My deer are all butchered the day after they are shot. All fat is cut away. The meat is cut exactly the way that beef is cut. All meat is packaged and frozen very quickly. I have processed 80 or so animals with this method and I can truly say that everyone has been excellent eating. I can't stand the flavor of deer fat and in my opinion it all has to be removed. I absolutely agree with ranger 2 about rapidly tending to the cutting process.
deer fat must never be eaten cold. Otherwise I protest at the idea that venison has a wild taste that needs to be removed. If the venison tastes bad it is for some other reason *usually* that it was badly handled on a hot day
Get all the bone, fat, and white connective tissue (silver skin) out of it, and soak it in salt water. Remember tho, it's still wild game and is not intended to taste like beef.
We have always processed our deer ourselves, skin it, cut the meat off the bone, cut the fat off then get a large pail of some sort and let water run through it for close to 48 hrs. Then when it comes to cooking, let your steaks marinade in Italian dressing for 3-4hrs and throw on the grill! Tasty!
I'm a hanger. I let my deer hang 5 days minimum with the skin on. I cut out all the fat, take each piece of meat and throughly wash it then freeze it in vacum sealed bags.
Gamey or "wild" tasing venison usually results from improper care in the field. The animal should be gutted at once to begin the cooling process and slow/stop enzymatic action in the muscle tissue. The continued build up of cellular waste products in the tissues is one of the chief causes of ill flavored meat. Any gut contents should not be allowed to remain on the carcass. Many of the individuals that I hear complaining of foul tasting venison or the same guys that parade the deer around bragging all day with the guts intact. Even if field dressed this type of treatment will result in less than flavorful meat.
Prop open the cavity and if the weather is warm (above 40 degrees) and the haul is long, several bags of ice in the cavity will aid in the cooling process. I like to hang my deer also as Buck hunter said. 5-7 days at 35-38 degrees being the norm. The deer is then skinned and processed trimming fat and connective tissues.
If in deer camp and no walk in cooler is available the deer can be skinned at once and broken down into quarters and iced down in ice chests (coolers). Remember to leave the drain plug open to drain off water. I do not like to have my venison submerged in water, even ice water. The meat will hold like this until you can get it home for final processing.
Buck hunter also mentioned vacuum packing. I am a firm beliver in this. Meat exposed to air (oxygen)will oxidize (freezer burn) and go bad. Even the best butcher paper can't hold a candle to vacuum bagging. The meat will stay fresh as the day it was butchered for a long time.
Even folks who don't like game meat never complain about eating my venison chops, roasts and steaks!
its venison i dont want it to taste like any thing else . but proper care should be used in cleaning and processing your kill , by removing all the tallow, bone and connective tissue from the cuts of meat.
Forgot to mention I never soak my venison in salt water, sugar water, vinegar, beer, buttermilk, etc. If processed properly all it needs is your desired seasoning or a marinade to add a desired flavor, not to cover up bad taste!
you can get this mixture called krazy salt you can soak it in there for a day or 2 but i have been eating it so long i dont soak it.
The first thing I do when a deer is down is open the carcass from chest to anus and remove all the innards. If weather is warm I too put bags of ice inside the body cavity. When I get home the deer is given to my friend Dan and he does the butchering,etc. It only takes a few steaks to last me the year and Dan eats the rest.
Here's how I do it. Gut it immediately after killing it, get it home and thoroughly rinse out the body cavity, then hang it. If it's cold, I'll let it hand 2 or 3 days, if it's warm, I'll ice it overnight then dress it the next morning. Nothing on a deer contributes to the good taste except the meat. No fat, no bone, no membrane/tissue, trim everything away but the meat. A bit of fat in the burger isn't terrible, but every other cut of meat must be trimmed well. I get 5 buckets, 5 gal. each, and fill them w/clean water. Loins get a bucket, roasts get a bucket, burger meat gets 2 buckets, jerkey meat gets a bucket. Once the meats trimmed, it goes in the bucket. A good cold water soak for an hour or 2 is plenty. Bring it out of the water, pat dry w/papertowels, then wrap the roasts in freezer paper, run the burger thru the grinder and wrap it, cut your loin steaks to desired thickness, and wrap them too, put your jerkey meat in gallon freezer bags. I've fed deer to dozens of 'non-deer' eaters w/o them knowing it until I tell them after they've eaten. I don't soak the meat in anything but clean water, don't use vacuum seal. Just freezer paper and a grease pencil. The secret is in good field dressing, good cavity cleaning, and getting all the tissue/fat/bone off the meat.
Personally I like the taste of the meat the way it is, if I wanted the taste of beef I'd hunt cows. LOL. I really don't do anything special to the meat.
1. DON'T cut into the bones.
2. Bleed and clean it ASAP
3. I do everything into sausage so garlic and pork are always added. That helps.
4. A friend who made steaks out of his soaked them in milk before cooking them.
I also cut the shiny silver lining of the meat off,which reduces the gamey taste. For all of my friends/family who dislike the gamey taste,I generally mask the taste by introducing other cuts of meat into the cooking process.
Such as,if I make deer chili,I will use 1-lb. of pork sausage,and 1-lb. of lean hamburger,and 2-lbs. of deer burger.I always get,"this is the best deer chili I've ever eaten'!"
Listen to Beekeeper! A + for you man.
Agreed with Beekeeper and + 1 for you sir!!!
I have researched the processing of all meat and also the processing of wild game. I have found several reoccurring things that cross over both types of meat / processing and they helped me to greatly improve the palatability of the meat.
1. FIELD DRESS IT IN THE FIELD! It is called field dressing for a reason, its meant to be done immediately, it stops or slows the DETH process. Nature has encoded in everything a death process that starts as soon a any living thing dies. For animals to become food that process must be halted. The sooner the entrails are removed the sooner you start the process of turning it from a dead carcass to a consumable foodstuff.
2. GAMIER FLAVORS are the result of blood, bone, fat and connective tissues being left on or in the meat. This is especially true with wild game. REMOVE IT for the best flavor development, even from ground meat.
3. Delayed processing / butchering will cause bad flavors in wild game. These are foraging animals eating a variety of flora. Because they are not domesticated animals, even if they were grain fed you could only let the meat season little. With wild game speedy processing is a must to maintain good favors.
4. Salt water soaking is a good practice. It removes blood and stops enzymes. It is not a must but it will seriously mitigate gamier flavors. Consider researching Kosher salts, seasonings and processes for handling meat. The info information is readily available online, easy to understand, easy to do and has literally been used for thousands of years to safely handed home butchered meats.
5. This is the most obvious once I saw it. FEMALE animals taste better. The testosterone effects the flavor. That's why bulls are often not slaughtered unless they are rendered sterile as claves. So, processing a buck as effectively and efficiently as possible is that much more critical.
I am not an expert but I have done a lot of research on line and in the library and these 5 key points were consistently coming up. So, that said, I tried them and the meat I have has never tasted better.
For the past 15 years every year we do the exact same thing and never have a problem, gut it immediately, hang for 24 hours, quarter it and soak in salted ice water for 2 days (this brings out all of the blood) then finish processing. I have many of times turned non-fans of venison onto it. But the same goes with a bad experience it takes just once for someone to decided they never want to try it again.
All you have to do is let it soak in a little lime juice for about 20-30 minutes. Works wonders for seafood also. It does not leave a lime flavor in your meat either.
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