These methods of cooking bad cuts of venison will change what you think of the deer meat you might have thrown away.
A lot of people shy away from certain parts of deer meat. Shanks, neck, flank, chuck and sometimes even rump or round cuts are avoided because they can be intimidating to cook properly. The first step to good, tasty meat is proper field preparation. Use common sense to keep dirt off of the meat. Clean the body cavity thoroughly and when skinned, clean the entire carcass with cold water.
Another important step in getting great meat is also the most common culprit with meat that is tough, gamy-tasting or stringy. This step is aging. Your deer carcass (cleaned, gutted and without the skin on it) should hang in a cooler at approximately 38 degrees for at least 48 hours.
Most “Deer Processing” services do not have time or space to age your meat. They simply cut it up, wrap it and freeze it. Find a processor that has a cooler facility and will age it properly. If you are going to do it yourself, you can leave the deer in a mesh bag in a garage or shed (if the outside temperature will remain just above freezing and never exceeds 42 degrees.) You can also age your meat in the refrigerator, it just takes up a lot of space.
There are several ways to eat the parts of your venison that you would normally toss and actually enjoy it.
Check out the slide show for these methods.
Grind and Flavor
Grinding deer meat allows you to add seasoning for flavor and changes the texture of the meat. Dry soup mixes, dip mixes, all-purpose seasoning and cajun seasoning all work well. Dress with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and sauce to your taste.
Pressure Cook and Combine
Pressure cooking even the worst parts of the deer will soften the meat so it falls apart. Add beans, tomato sauce, spices and even fresh vegetables like onions or parsley to the pot when cooking. The result is a “cowboy pudding” that is flavorful and forgiving of the meat.
Grind, Mix, Stuff and Season
Making a sausage, snack stick or even jerky is one way to use the meat from the venison you would have gotten rid of. Mixed with pork fat and seasoning, a summer sausage or breakfast sausage that is full of flavor can be produced. Jerky is dry and chewy so the meat is just a vehicle to hold your flavors.
Break It Down and Make It Submit
Marinate your meat in flavored vinegar (apple cider is great), Worcestershire, Dr. Pepper or even beer. The acidic liquids break down the meat and add flavor. Take the marinated pieces and pound them thin with a meat tenderizing mallet. The meat will get soft and stay tasty.
Cut It Up Small
Using meat shears, cut small little cubes and chunks of meat. Sprinkle with powdered meat tenderizer and pound them with a meat hammer. Cook in a pan with hot oil until you see blood come up. As soon as you see it, flip the cubes over until you see blood come up on the other side. Use for fajitas, stir fry and other dishes where small pieces of meat are appropriate.
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