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snowangel

Venison

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In Southern Wisconsin the deer are mostly corn fed by the time gun season rolls around. In Northern Wisconsin, there is less corn and more standing timber but there really isn't a difference in taste. Venison as described with proper field processing, quick chilling, boning and frezzing does not have a 'gamey' taste. Most venison that is given away is from a hunter that probabaly gut shot or penetrated the guts while dressing causing intentinal fluids, bile and feces to spill on the carcass. Couple that with showing the carcass to anyone that will look and then taking the carcass to a commercial processor is bound to yield a 'gamey' tasting venison and the only thing to do is give it away. A good reference: http://www.wnrmag.com/stories/2002/oct02/process.htm

Venison, properly shot in the heart/lung area, properly and promptly field dressed and chilled with ice or in a blast chiller and then properly skinned, boned and packaged is meat that is not given away. One of my Northern Wisconsin friends on whose land I sometimes hunt, harvests at least 3 deer/year. He loves to make poached venison heart. He only gives some to eat at his place and to individuals he knows will appreciate it. It is not 'gamey' at all. New Zealand Venison is a pale comparison of wild Wisconsin venison.

We have our deer tested by the DNR for CWD here in Wisconsin if we request. The results were just posted for my doe and we will have venison backstraps this weekend. They will not taste 'gamey' but will taste like venison.

BTW, backstraps are another name for the tenderloins for you 'City folk' :biggrin: -Dick


Edited by budrichard (log)

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Just read the whole thread- great stuff!

As you can see here, it has been cut up, wrapped, and labeled.

But, my labeling sometimes doesn't indicate what the cut it, but the intent.

gallery_6263_35_677.jpg

The smoking is going to have to wait for a bit.  But, I will report!

Report, please. :biggrin: Did these pieces of meat get any smoker time-- and if so, what were the results?

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I smoked a portion of one of these, and ended up adding it to chili. I don't think venison smokes very well at all. This particular deer was not very well marbled, and what fat was there was sort of like, well, tallow. Crumbly and a very odd sort of fat.

So, I'll stick with braising for venison (preferred, other than the backstrap or some suberb chops), and head to brisket or pork butt for smoking.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Venison backstraps were cut into 2" thick slices and briefly marinated in Dale's seasoning. Seared on a hot griddle served with baked potato and chantrelles. Absolutely no gamey taste at all. Actually I believe one can taste the difference between venison from Northern Wisconsin where the food is mostly browse and a deer from Southern Wisocnsin that is corn fed. -Dick

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After 15 years of marriage my husband who hunts every year is finally "letting" me do other things with the meat besides the usual flour and fry.

Have had great results searing the steaks quickly and most recently with a recipe for Rudolph Pie from one of Nigella's shows on Food TV (a shepard's pie laced with sherry and lots of mushrooms-MMM) and a loin cooked on The F Word (hate the title of that show!) that had a red wine and dark chocolate sauce served over it. My version of the sauce was rushed and thrown together but still fantastic.


Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality. Clifton Fadiman

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Venison backstraps were cut into 2" thick slices and briefly marinated in Dale's seasoning. Seared on a hot griddle served with baked potato and chantrelles. Absolutely no gamey taste at all. Actually I believe one can taste the difference between venison from Northern Wisconsin where the food is mostly browse and a deer from Southern Wisocnsin that is corn fed. -Dick

I think that's true. Up here, in da U.P., venison tastes like gin. So everyone masks it utterly by making sausage. I won't hunt it.


-Paul

 

Remplis ton verre vuide; Vuide ton verre plein. Je ne puis suffrir dans ta main...un verre ni vuide ni plein. ~ Rabelais

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<p>As usual, my photography leaves a LOT to be desired (mostly lighting), but here's what I wound up doing with the first batch of venison. I called these "Schwarma-Inspired Venison Wraps." </p>

<p><img src="http://www.homewitch.net/pix/venisonwrap1.jpg" /></p>

<p>I really liked the way this came together, although I wish I had had yogurt on hand to use in the sauce instead of sour cream... it needed to be lighter. The fried potatoes & sweet potatoes were nice, although I did miss having pickled vegetables in there, too. Oh well, next time I'll plan ahead a little better... and what really made these, I think, was the meat itself and the bread, which is easy to make and is more like a chewy tortilla than pita.</p>

<p>Recipe, more pics, etc. are over on my <a href="http://www.homewitch.net/2007/01/10/schwarma-inspired-venison-wraps/">food blog</a>.</p>

<p>Next, I think, I really need some stroganoff...</p>

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Here on the Delmarva Peninsula, the massive herds of whitetails spend much of their time (to farmers' curses) munching on soybeans and corn. I've never felt they tasted very gamey at all. I did taste some in college that came from a friend's home in West Virginia, where the deer eat lichens and whatever else they can get, and it was gamier.

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HI All-

I need some help. I asked a hunter for a piece of wild venison. He actually brought me a piece of frozen shoulder. I am thrilled but not quite sure what to do next.

He says that he boils it in vinegar water for 30 minutes and then fries it. In his words, "Powerful good stuff". I had something else in mind, more like a ragu with cherries and wild mushrooms over pasta.

Do I need to par-cook this piece of meat in any fashion? As I think about it, I've never tasted game that has not been farm raised, so I really curious. Does wild meat have to be handled that much differently from farm raised?

Any observations or suggestions or recipes would be appreciated.

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Gaah. Boiled in vinegar water, then fried? That sounds like a travesty to me.

I'd go for a good marinade (this happens to be my favorite), then either grilling it in kabobs or cooking it in a pilaf, or doing a slow braise. I agree with dockhl: go look at the One Dead Deer thread for ideas. You could do a nice stroganoff with that venison, too.

ETA: Thanks for merging the topics, Susan. Now thecuriousone doesn't have to go looking so hard!


Edited by Smithy (log)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Gaah.  Boiled in vinegar water, then fried?  That sounds like a travesty to me.

I'd go for a good marinade (this happens to be my favorite), then either grilling it in kabobs or cooking it in a pilaf, or doing a slow braise.  I agree with dockhl: go look at the One Dead Deer thread for ideas.  You could do a nice stroganoff with that venison, too.

I have merged the topics, but current favs in our family are gumbo with kao soi and chili running second and third!

Edited to add: the boil in vinegar and then fry sounds odd, and I sure wouldn't experiment with that combo!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM..............stroganoff !

Mushrooms and sour cream? What else could you want ?

K (maybe for dinner tonight? :wink: )

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First ask the hunter when this particular venison was processed, who cleaned it and who processed it to get a sense of whether the venison was prepared properly. Boiled in vinegar sounds like an attempt to mask an unpleasant flavor. Properly harvested vension should not smell objectionable. What it will have depending on origin and what the animal has been feeding on is a taste from the browse(deer do not graze like cattle). Some refer to that taste as 'gamey' but much vensison is 'gamey' due to inadequate care in processing.

For a shoulder, I would marinate for a day or two and then slowly braise. Good luck!-Dick

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HI Budrichard- i'm beginning to have my doubts. I showed him a copy of the field dressing instructions that I found on this site and his response was, "Wow, thats interesting, I just start cutting.........."

OK...........

Secondly, how is a browse different from a graze?

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HI Budrichard-  i'm beginning to have my doubts.  I showed him a copy of the field dressing instructions that I found on this site and his response was, "Wow, thats interesting, I just start cutting.........."

OK...........

Secondly, how is a browse different from a graze?

Yiikes! (about the field dressing).

As to the browse. I could be wrong, but when I look at the island across the lake from our cabin, I see this "shear" line on the trees. The browse would be higher up than a graze, I think. I think of a graze as more on the ground, and the browse higher up.

But, the field dressing. That is hugely important as to how it is done, and how the meal tastes. I'd be thinking something more like chili, or kao soi, or another Thai curry, or you could be in for something really gamey. Proper field dressing involves stuff that makes you not want to eat dinner (or leave your breakfast in a patch) according to Paul, who has field dressed a bunch of them. Gotta get rid of the innards, and in fast order, too.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Browse is the shoots, leaves, twigs, buds from trees and shrubs. Graze is the herby stuff: grass, for instance. (Do apples and corn qualify as browse? I've never thought about it.)

If your hunter wasn't just winding you up, you should figure that there may be a gamey taste. Marinade (but NOT just a vinegar water boil, fer cryin' out loud) appropriate to your final flavor choices will help. Depending on how it smells after you thaw it, you may want to consider cutting it into small chunks first and marinading those, and giving up on the idea of a roast.

Somehow this all reminds me of a guy I used to know who swore he had THE BEST venison recipe ever. He went through some long-winded explanation of the cooking process and the sauce that went with it, complete with cherries and rum and who knows what-all. The details have faded with the decades, but I still remember his enthusiastic endorsement: "It's wonderful! You can't taste the venison at all!"


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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By the way, they're absolutely right about the importance of proper field dressing. You'd have to read up a ways to get the discussion about a quick kill, but that's also very important.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I think I'm going to cut it into cubes marinate those and make some types of braise to go over noodles. I've waited a long time a piece of game and would like to introduce some fruit, but will browse (vs. graze) some recipes and let you know which I choose. Thanks again for all the support!

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I have a doe Roe deer hanging in my shed, she is far from a youngster(5+ y.o.) and I would like to pick your brains ! This gives you an idea of the size of beast - http://www.britishdeersociety.co.uk/PageL3...&PageNameL3=Roe

I tend to just remove the haunches/saddle for roasting, tenderloin/backstraps for frying, bone out shoulders for braising/stews and neck/ribs for stock.

I would like to smoke some cuts and try a bressaeola(sp)/carapaccio(sp)/tartare but don`t know which cuts to use and after that I would like ideas for the rest of it.

I have about another week as I shot it last week and the only offal left is the kidneys from this animal and kidneys and heart from another young animal.

Many thanks in anticipation :smile:


"It's true I crept the boards in my youth, but I never had it in my blood, and that's what so essential isn't it? The theatrical zeal in the veins. Alas, I have little more than vintage wine and memories." - Montague Withnail.

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When you guys say backstraps are you talking about the loins? Just curious, I was taught that the backstrap was that massive piece of elastin that helps the deer hold it's head up...you guys know what I am talking about? They are two thick, rubbery pieces of connective tissue found at the top of the loin...I always thought that was the backstrap.

Hopefully you guys all mean the loin, otherwise I don't see how that could be edible :)

Anyone ever try dry aging the legs, a la southern ham or proscuito? I have not really worked with too much venison, but it seems like it might work...

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The term backstraps here mean the long muscle that runs on the outer side of the spine from the saddle to the start of the neck and slowly tapers. I like it fried until just pink MMmmmmm.

Remember I have another week to leave it aging.......temptation is getting too great and I`d like nothing better than a Steak dinner tonight.

I`m hungry now :hmmm:


"It's true I crept the boards in my youth, but I never had it in my blood, and that's what so essential isn't it? The theatrical zeal in the veins. Alas, I have little more than vintage wine and memories." - Montague Withnail.

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One large doe is the present to me this year of my FIL, but given that his shoulder and my sked prevent our butchering them ourselves, we are going to our fav meat market, and they will give us a special price (I have plied them with a lot of smoked meat in the past).

But, next year, I hope to get one of my own. I have done gun safety training, have been doing some target practicing (more this weekend), and just hope that next year I will get one (and that the field dresseing of said animal doesn't make me swear off venison forever).

But, back to the gifted deer. I am going to ask for roasts and stew meat, with a few steaks or chops tossed in. Vension chili, kao soi, me oh my. Time to make sure there's room in the freezer for the Big Doe!

Anyone else filling their freezer this fall, and if so, what do you plan to do with it?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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My neighbour is an avid hunter and sometimes gives me some venison. Last batch was last year and I did an east west theme and made a terrine mixed with pork and some were used to make a Filipino dish called Kaldereta. I marinated the venison in red wine, instead of the vinegar that the recipe calls for. The recipe also calls for goat and I used venison. I hope I get more this year.

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But, next year, I hope to get one of my own.  I have done gun safety training, have been doing some target practicing (more this weekend), and just hope that next year I will get one (and that the field dresseing of said animal doesn't make me swear off venison forever).

If you take up deer hunting with the same enthusiasm as you have all your other projects I urge the deer of Minnesota to make sure their insurance is paid up.

Susan, growing up in Pennsylvania deer hunting was a right of passage. The single most important thing one can do to protect the meat is a proper field dressing. As Paul has told you, it ain't a pretty sight. The description linked to above gives an outstanding primer on it.

For lots of reasons I no longer hunt deer. I know if you do, you will do it well with safety four most in mind. Please also respect the deer. I have seen too many left in the woods with just the antlers cut off. Or just left altogether. If a hunter chooses to harvest a deer they ought respect that deer by taking the meat and using it to feed their family. One of the reasons I don't go out anymore is I started wanting to shoot some of the yahoos posing as hunters.

Keeping on topic, I never cared that much for venison. As you stated above, it is not good for smoking, and, as you know, I like to smoke EVERYTHING. Sausage is fine but only due to it being given enough fat to taste good.

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I live in Manhattan. I love venison. I have lost my contact. If anyone knows where to find some or is willing to part with some, please PM me. I am happy to remit and part with my venison sauerbraten recipe.


Edited by pups224 (log)

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