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More Bang From Your Buck
I used to butcher deer all the same. Basically make steaks and roasts out of what I could and the rest was stew. I didn't do ground. Moose were butchered more like beef because the chunks of meat are so much bigger.
Over the years that has evolved and mostly from exposure to better ways gleaned on Bowsite. The most recent "Shank" thread got me thinking what all I do different now.
Well, shanks for one. And I now make two rolled string roasts from the neck and crockpot or slice across the grain and treat like shanks. Spend two hours picking three pounds of so-so meat from fifteen pounds of neck or in twenty minutes get fifteen pounds of delicious meat.
I take the front leg off differently now, leaving more meat on the ribs and less on the blade. Now I have bone in ribs. The bottom goes into bone in brisket. I now cut a bone in prime rib roast as well. Total meat usage and way less time trying to salvage little bits of meat. I'd rather pick it off the bones on my plate, and then lick my fingers!
The backstraps come off as usual except not going as far forward to leave meat on the prime rib section.
The hinds get treated pretty much the same as before, being mostly steaks and a couple of roasts. One great tip form Bowsite, and I think it was Brotsky, is Chislett. The first time I tried it was while butchering a big bodied mule deer with some new immigrants that had never experienced anything like this. I had the deep fryer smoking hot and when I had a good handful of cubed meat into the oil it went for 45 seconds, out onto a paper towel and a good shake of garlic salt. I saved a lot of wrapping paper that day because my helpers were constantly "finding" meat that could be cubed!
Are there more ways to get more bang from your buck or more sizzle for the pan?
The next deer I get will definitely NOT have the shanks boned out for ground meat!
I can't wait to try the shank recipe, as well as the same idea for neck meat too!
My crock pot will be busy!!!
I do mine pretty much the way I have been for the last decade.
Shanks. I get them all and cook them exactly the same way as I always have.
Rear quarters are cut into steaks, roasts, grind, canning cubes, fajita meat, or sliced for jerky.
Flanks are used for steaks. Usually run through a tenderizer once and cut into steak sandwich size.
Back straps are trimmed out whole and froze that way.
Front shoulders are trimmed out on the blade. Both sides and used for grind. From the knuckle down to the shank it’s left whole for a bone in roast.
Neck is cut for a roast or grind.
Tenderloins are self explanatory.
It’s just the way I do it. I buy a 1/2 a beef every year now and started doing my deer this way since then. It allows me to cut the deer for maximum yield based on what we need it to be. Plus, maximizes the way I like to cook particular cuts of the animal.
And if I may, this is my new all time favorite roast recipe. Put the finale on some soft tortillas with your choice of toppings. OH MY LAWD!
We have never kept venison bone-in, always boned out. If doing the shanks do you see any risk of bone-carried problems?
Embry: I've made a version of that over the years, and "Oh My Lawd" is putting it mildly!
It tastes a lot like the Chicago style "Italian Beef"!
The biggest bang for my bucks was when I stopped taking them to a processor. I was shocked at how much more meat I got when I started processing them myself.
Ron, I don’t know what you are asking. But, the only thing I’ll suggest is to cut the shank bone to reveal the marrow while processing.
Rick, we cook a lot of venison roasts like that with the peppers. It’s delicious.
GG: And the meat you get is actually FROM YOUR DEER!!! You know, the one you gutted right in the field and got all the body heat out of, cleaned it up and got it hung.
WW bingo!! Not somebody else’s gut shot, hair and dirt covered deer that was left guts in and hide on overnght.
I've often heard people saying they don't like venison because it taste's "gamey". I've butchered close to 100 deer, and NOT ONE of them had any taste that was even remotely close to being gamey. I think people are confusing SPOILED with gamey.
The only strong flavored deer I've ever had was one time and it was a deer that I had processed. Never again. Hell, I don't even have deer that's tough! I get them cleaned and then cooled out, and then they get hung for a minimum of 5 days....and more like 7.
I just finished making jerky out of deer killed 3 weeks ago.
When the weather is right, I’ll age them for weeks instead of days. They melt in your mouth. Once the blood is out of the meat, it takes a lot to spoil it.
X2! I also do that with game birds. I gut them of course and then I'll hang them for a couple of days. TENDER!
Keep ‘em, nope no worries about bone in. Cooked at high temp so kills everything! I now use an instapotmbecause it’s quicker but even with a slow cooker no worries.
Neck roasts were a big surprise for me. Braised or crockpot similar to shanks. I also like to make gravy from the juices, shred the meat, then make hot beef sandwiches. Don't know if that's an Iowa/midwest thing or not but it's roast on white bread with mashed potatoes and all covered in gravy.
Another piece I like to leave whole on smaller does or antelope is the front shoulder. I hate boning out those shoulders and it's a great piece for braising as well.
Hey everyone, hope y'all are having great success. One point I'd like to make is that in over 30 years of professional game processing, and I have worked for several meat shops, I have never seen anyone mix animals together or take any of the meat. With the exception of making sausage. Even at that only when a single customer didn't have enough for a single batch. All of the cutter's I know pride themselves on getting the customer the greatest yield possible off their own animal. If there's a special cut you would like just ask your processor and I'm sure they will save it for you. However, too many times a customer will bring in a 50 pound deer and expect 100 pounds back!Not to mention what kind of condition the animal is in. I'm sure there are dishonest meat shops out there, but you can also find dishonesty in any profession. As a great personal friend of mine and the man who taught me to cut carcass meat would tell his customers ''I don't want your meat, I want your money ''.
Bohunter……mixing seems to be the norm (with deer) with the processors around here anymore. Seems to me to be a fairly recent chance, too. I’m not too keen on it either. I know how my animal was cared for vs one that possibly rode in the back of a pickup for 3 days. The only things I get made at the processors is sticks, salami, brats and the specialty type stuff. The burger, steaks, roasts, etc. I do myself. A buddy and I would combine our deer grind meat together to have enough pounds to take in to get the sticks, etc, made.
I just took in some moose to get the specialty stuff made, and they kept it separate. I might have to start bringing my meat in marked “elk” from now on!
I agree with Bohuntr a million times over! In my plant we have never mixed any wild game together. The only times I have was from the same hunting buddies that were combining their animals together and then dividing equally and they asked me to do it that way. I would never take someone else’s animal or parts of one. We would have a name tag on every animal before it went into the cooler and never checked one in until the previous one was tagged and in the cooler. Processed one at a time then sent to the wrapper. I’m sorry some of you feel that all processors are crooks and do shady things. Won’t be long now till the next thread about processing starts and it turns into another bashing on processors. Good grief! I almost miss the political threads. Lol
Butcherboy……I hope you didn’t take my post as bashing on the processors. Been taking my stuff to one of them for the past 12-15 years, and they have always done a great job, but they started combing everyone’s deer last year, plus they just started charging a pretty hefty surcharge on each different wild game product this year. I took some moose meat to a different processor this year because of the surcharges and the new processor is much closer to my house. Just got the meat back this week, and have only tried it once, but so far, it was excellent. Several more lockers in our area, no longer take wild game. Can’t say as I really blame them. They definitely aren’t making a killing doing it!
No, t-Roy, my post wasn’t for you. Just seems like there are always those that have to chime in every single time about hunters never get their original meat back, you never know what you will get back, never got enough back, etc. There are a lot of shops that combine specialty sausages and snack sticks but they usually have a statement saying they do but keep all steaks, roasts, hb, etc separate. I have always kept everything separate. I do have a minimum amount. If it goes below that then it won’t be made until customer decides where the rest will be made up from or just not do it. It is a pain in the butt and super hard on the equipment. It’s not designed to do small batches and start stop constantly. If a good processor is combining specialty items they will generally keep elk with elk, deer with deer, etc. they should also say that if there is a bad, dirty, spoiled, animal then that one will be kept separate and done very last. I appreciate folks like you that use local processors and appreciate what we do.