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Kevin J Legg

Processing deer

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I like to cut up my deer whenever possible. I take my time but know I get every scrap of meat and it's all beautiful. Last week the morning after I shot a buck I skinned and boned out all but the front shoulders and put it in my refrigerator. Today I boned the front shoulders, trimmed it all and took off the silver skin, fat, blood spots, and grizzle. Then I cut it up into steaks, loins, tenderloins, sirloins, sirloin tips, jerky and grinding meat. I put it back in the refrigerator for a few more days of aging and will then vacuum seal it, label it and grind the burger mixing in some pork and fat. I'll make some into breakfast sausage, some into Italian sausage and leave some for plain burger.

I even save all the bones and roast them and then boil them with onions, carrots, garlic and garden herbs. After picking the meat from the bones I freeze the stock and meat in gallon zip locks and can use it for an quick soup or stew. That's my afternoon project.

I may not be fast but the results are worth my time. It generally takes me two or three sessions but that way I don't get too tired and careless.

Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United

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Love me a good venison stock. Do just about the same exact thing you do. Got one in the fridge now. Just finished my favorite parts, liver, heart and inner loins.

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I process my own too.  I like to combine my youth days when I worked under a trained butcher and also when I went to school as biologist dissecting animals.  It takes me longer to process them now because I am more meticulous.  I could never make money at deer processing because I am too slow.  When my roasts are finished they are just red - no membranes or arteries.  I pack them away as roasts but these can be thawed and sliced into steaks which is what I usually do when I keep them as such.  Never tried venison stock but I am a firm believer that the bones in the neck make the neck roasts taste better.

 

Last few years, I have kept the neck roast, the loins and the heart for myself and processed the rest for hotdogs since this is the only thing my kids will eat and I feel better knowing they are eating organic...  I do not (over) harvest like I use to.  If it was just me, I wouldn't care.  I'd rather fish more now than hunt besides.

 

 

Kevin, I hope I live long enough to enjoy retirement like you are demonstrating.

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Nothing like processing your own, not having to worry how the guy in front of you took care of his deer. I have heard some nasty stories of some of the processing places around the area. Also a good time to have a few beers and shot the breeze with those who enjoy the same hobies.

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I agree nothing like processing your own deer. It is time consuming to get good quality meat. Never heard or tried the stock idea.

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I also froze the heart and liver and have even taken the tongue on occasion. I got 4.2lbs of meat off the bones and few gallons of stock. I'll take the tallow off the top of the stock tomorrow and freeze it up with meat. No waste which I like.

Sent from my iPad using Lake Ontario United

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Wish I still had the space to process my own deer :(. Just moved this spring to a home with no garage.... I also enjoy the methodical process of butchering my deer. My wife has a different opinion on the matter, lol. Much of my deer ends up in thick steaks as I like to cook in a pot roast fashion and also stew meat as I can quite a bit as well. The canned venison is a great treat while ice fishing with your buddies. Congrats on all of your deer gentlemen. Still working on mine.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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Like the rest of you guys I do the same, my hind quarters I cut all the different ways the meat grains run, I get 5 different shapes and sizes out of the hind, that way you get the glands out also, since my girls love pepper sticks and love jerky it easy to tell which way the grain runs and I run the pieces over the slicer. First I freeze them just till their crystallized and firm, then I run over the slicer about a 1/4" when I pull them from the smoker their about a strong 1/8" and I use a sweet hot mix, usually in 3 1/2 to 4 hrs it's done, nice and playable. I hate when guys make it like beacon and it snaps off, the other hind get done in the same manner and the front blades get made into sausage and pepper sticks, the kids eat at it till its gone!! They love it. The loins, I cut off all the blue and slice into 1 inch discs and I peel and slice 2-3 nice size onions, melt butter in a big cast iron pan and get the onions like simmered down then a can of beer and the loin chops in together till it makes its own thick gravey, mashed potatoes and my own corn I blanched and froze and a jar of my pickled red beets. Now that's a meal fit for a king!! In my own little mind anyway!! LOL great to hear all the differant ways that people do up their own deer!

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Sounds amazing - would love venison stock.

 

Just as an FYI- if freezer space is ever an issue stock can be pressure canned and store at room temperature.  Even venison itself can be stored this way as well. (Fish too - you will never buy Tuna again if you try this yourself.  Lake trout is fantastic)

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