Monday, December 23, 2013

Butchering Venison

SO!  After I shot my FIRST DEER (I still can't believe I managed to accomplish that) and aged the venison in our fridge for a weekend, it was time to butcher it and package it for the freezer!

Luckily, Jack has this DVD that shows you how to do it.  It's called "Kentucky Afield", and there are parts of it on YouTube, like this 9 minute segment.  The nice thing about this video is that it emphasizes using cuts for steaks and roasts, and then the scraps are ground.  Personally, my go-to cut of meat is stew meat chunks.  Stew meat can be turned into SO many things - soups, stews, stroganoff, pasta dishes.....  I don't usually use much ground meat.  We don't have a grill, so no burgers....  I guess we could do meatloaf?

Anyway, the other thing this video shows you how to do it butterfly the back-strap into steaks.  We did this the first time we were given a deer, and let me tell you - VENISON STEAK IS DELICIOUS!

I'm sure they would be WAY better if we had a grill to put them on, but oh well!  It gives us an excuse to suggest venison-steak-dinner-parties to our lucky neighbors who do have a grill. ;-)

Above you can see how I set up my (cramped) venison workstation.  I had a cutting board for the piece I was currently working on, a baking sheet to hold the pieces that were waiting, and a bowl for stew meat (at the top) and another bowl for scraps to grind (to the left).

The pot in the background is the venison stock that was barely simmering.  I roasted the big leg bones and the ribs in a 400° oven, then added water and let it simmer all day.  I cooled it overnight so I could skim the fat off and then pressure can the stock.  The stock is good, but the color wasn't as dark as I thought it would be.  I think I should have roasted the bones a bit more aggressively.  Something to try next time!

Here you can see 2 roasts and 2 butterflied steaks.  Yum yum!

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