If you eat enought deer (my kids think beef "tastes funny") you will learn that the different pieces have different flavors and textures. The local river rats tell me there are 13 distinct kinds of meat on a snapping turtle.
Loins are the gold standard. Fine grained, tender and good in any recipe. My next favorite piece is the bottom round. Flavorful, long grained texture and tender. Top round is right in there too. I find the sirloin tip to be tough especially on a large deer, but very fine grained and good in a slow moist heat cooking method. The tenderloins from inside the ribcage - remember I cut them out right away when hanging up the deer because they are not protected from the air - are incredebly tender and great on skewers on the grill. Alternate hunks of tenderloin with pieces of vegetable and mushrooms, baste with a little something and stand back. A fine deer stew with shoulder, rump or other misc. pieces is so good that most visitors will not believe its deer. And I already mentioned braised shanks.
These creatures are not only irresitable fun to bow hunt, but can be the best eating you ever had. I'm still dreaming of that pan seared loin medalions with wine merchant sauce that Chef Dan fixed for us on a recent hunt in SD. You can find his recipe in the most recent Bowyers Journal.
Steve, braised shank is a standard in most big cook books. Braised lamb shanks will cost you a fortune in a good restaurant. Basically, braising means slow moist cooking. Brown your piece of whatever (I joke that an old boot would be good cooked like this) in a heavy pan with some oil. Then add some some root vegies, onion, carrots, celery (OK that's not a root, but put some in) some garlic and spices - brown a little more. Add liquid - water, broth, wine, etc. and then cover. Cook slowly at low temp in the oven for hours till tender. Mmmmmmm
Thanks Shaun. If I ever get to hunt again I am going to try that. I have been out your way all week WORKING and listening to the big buck tales from all the guys at the plant...lots of close calls. Have to go to Mexico all next week, while the orange army in MI puts all the deer underground till April or so .
Posts: 5026 | From: Michigan | Registered: Apr 2003
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Shaun has done a fantastic job, but I'd add one variation. Save the upper leg bones, cut into four inch sections with a butcher's saw, do the same with the shanks, and cook a s-l-o-w osso buco recipe (similar to his braised shank recipe, with half a dozen or ten tomatoes (plum, with some paste or dried tomatoes, and maybe a couple of spoonfuls of A-1), lots of garlic, one or two onions, lots of wine, and some orange rind zest. Be sure to use more liquid than for a traditional braise, set it outside to cool for a night, and remove an ungodly amount of fat the next morning. Tremendous flavor will have rendered out of the marrow, and most of the tendons, ligaments, etc. will have converted into gelatin. This stew will make you very popular and strong like bull, though the sounds of marrow being sucked out of the femur puts off the fainthearted. Probably not the ideal meal for a first date, though if she goes for this you have struck gold.
FWIW, I just tried a jumbo batch in a pressure cooker, which didn't seem to do the gelatin conversion as well.
Shaun, I want to eat a meal at your place sometime. And you're always invited here in Evaro, MT.
Now, a question for the larger group--I see and hear talk about roast or smoked ribs. I've never really found a way to do them that was worth the trouble. Anyone have any ideas?
Though my ex-wife took the cookbook, I know of a heart recipe that's incredible. The recipe requires slicing the heart, so it doesn't matter if it already has a clean two or three blade slice through it...
-------------------- Jock TGMM Family of the Bow Hunting should be hard. Posts: 324 | From: Evaro, Montana | Registered: Mar 2004
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Nice tutorial there Shaun...if you start by pulling the hide on the hind legs down past the tendon, while he's still on the ground or in the pickup bed, BEFORE you hang him on the gambrel, it's a lot easier (and cleaner hairwise) than trying to work around the steel after he's up in the air. Wish I could just pop over and show you how easy it is, but I'm clear up here in the northwest corner, dang it!
JockC...ribs grill good with a little smoke, lots of pepper and a good Bar-B-Que sauce. Be sure to leave the flank on if you're gonna grill. Greasy! Yeah! Good!
Sometimes I bone out the ribs (in between) and smoke the strips for jerky. The tallow makes for some mighty tasty jerky.
Posts: 166 | From: Oregon, west (wet) side | Registered: Mar 2004
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We have a 'regular cut'; which is steaks;roasts;and burger. We take the rib meat and toss it in with the burger. normally we mix in about 10% beef suet; and grind it twice. You can buy suet at the grocery store in the meat section or ask a butcher for some. deer fat is not suet- on a beef it is only found around the kidneys...its not fat from outside the body cavity. I don't like roasts; so I steak all I can and burger some- and make the rest into smoked summer sausage. In the shop; the meat is wrapped as Shaun describes; when I wrap for myself- I use just over the counter freezer paper. In 30+ years I have not had a freezer burn problem. I might be damning luck by saying that- but its true. As a fall professional meat processor I applaud Shauns gift to us here!
bring on the summer sausage recipes !!!
-------------------- THE VOICES HAVEN'T BOTHERED ME SINCE I STARTED POKING THEM WITH A Q-TIP. Posts: 2556 | From: North Fork , Idaho | Registered: Feb 2004
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Very good tute Shaun.I've been cutting up deer this way for 17yrs.It is time consuming but well worth it when it is time to eat it.Also with wrapping that way,I've had venison in the freezer for 4 yrs with no ill effect.(Packages do get lost in the freezer.LOL)
-------------------- Lincoln E. Farr Posts: 2929 | From: Martville,New York | Registered: Mar 2003
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Jerry (Alsea) is right about cutting the leg skin before hanging. This will save some step ladder balancing knife work. I do it unless I am dog tired, beat up and bleeding - which is how I usually am after getting back to the barn with my deer. Often hunting alone and dang heavy deer will wear a fellow out.
A hand bone saw speeds some steps but you can learn where and how to cut the joints with some practice. A good knife kept sharp is a must.
RECIPES - Note: There is a separate forum for this, so lets not get too far off in that direction on this topic & forum. I figure getting them in the freezer is part of the hunt and some future use info is important for cuts and packaging.
Then again - JockC, that osso buco sounds great. I will make sure to stop by your place next time out west. I love to cook. Game dinner at my place just about every day and company is welcome.