So I see there is a post on skinning a deer....
In my parts, you waste NOTHING...or you are frowned upon and considered lazy...
I had someone give me a very small first year deer. If I been out in the woods, I would have passed on this one....but the touron that hunts here isn't allowed to take it home...his wife doesn't allow it....and I could make a whole lot of comments on that sentence alone, but that's not what this post is about.
If you know how to process your own meat, you will not only save the processing fee, which can sometimes be quite hefty, but you will also have a lot more meat when you are through.
My deer was skinned and quartered. I am only going to show you one front quarter, that should give you a good idea on how to cut up your meat. The back quarters are larger and have more "steak" meat...
Front quarter-I told you it was a small deer....hahahahah!
Take note of the white lines crisscrossing the meat...these lines delineate the muscles.
Deer meat has lots of sinew on it. I like to take off as much as possible. this will help to eliminate the "gamey" tast that causes folks not to like the wild game. A butcher will not do this...it takes a little work.
Take your knife tip and insert in one of the lines, you can then put your finger in the hole and you can feel where the meat separates into parts. You can then cut the sinew and pull apart sections of the meat.
Along the spine is the "choise" cut- we call it the backstrap. I will use this piece to show you how to remove the sinew.
Lay your meat down and cut a slice about 1/4 inch thick on an angle cut. Cut down until you reach the sinew, then slide your knife between the meat and the sinew. You can see from the pic, a trail of sinew ..
A pan of deer steak. These will be pounded and rolled in flour, and either fryed in the skillet or put in a cassarole for swiss steak.
All the meat cut from the front quarter.
You can see the sinew and tendons that need cut and scraped off the meat. This will take a little time, but well worth the effort.
This is what the leg and shoulder bone should look like when your are done cutting the meat off.
At the bottom of the leg (calf) are a tight little group of tendons and muscles. These are filled with sinew. I HATE this piece....it is very hard to scrape all the meat off of the sinew...so I boil these pieces until the meat is cooked, and the meat will fall off the sinew. Then you pick out the larger chunks of sinew, and then run the cooked meat through a hand grinder with some onions, add diced potatoes and can. Now you have pints of deer hash that is very tasty.
Now for the other chunks of meat that have been cleaned and chopped into pieces. I usually can about 7 pints of stew meat, and grind the rest into burger. But this deer is so Small, that I'm only going to do burger.
While I have a hand grinder, I also have a electric one...and that's what I'll use as long as I have electricity...hahahahah!
Top of grinder - tray feed
Now for the bone and the scraps. These are simmered slowly on the stove for most of the day. I'll through in some onions and salt and pepper. But this year, I will not use the bones. This deer is too young and the bones are not fully developed. If you boil them too long, they will disintegrate into the broth, leaving you with an un appetizing milky mess...Don't ask me how i know this, i just do..hahahahah!
Once you finish cutting the whole deer, all that is left to do, is take care of the burger.
I will bake meatloaf and meatballs and freeze them... Then we will make jerky and bologna (which the directions to do so can be found on separate posts)
The rest of the burger will be packaged and frozen for later use...
There you be....