Friday, August 10, 2007
Have The Most Tender and Best Tasting Game Meats
Chicken fried venison was most likely one of the first meats I ever chewed on as a child. It must have made quite an impression as it is still one of my most favorite foods. I have had good venison and some that was so gamey I could not eat it. The main problem that creates gamey tasting wild game is care in the field. I have always said if someone shot a prime Texas steer, dressed it out and hung it in a tree at deer camp for a couple of days before throwing it in the back of the truck for the long drive home it would taste like gamey venison.
There are a few simple keys to great tasting wild game. The first is to dress out your kill as soon as possible and keep it clean. Hang big game to dress as it is easier to keep clean and the stretching of the muscles tissues in hanging helps tenderize the meat. Next quarter and place the meat in a cooler covered with ice ASAP. The faster you get it on ice the better unless the temperature is less than 40 degrees and then you can let it hang until ready to take home and process. Did I say be sure and keep the meat clean. As soon as I arrive at home I drain all the ice water off the meat and rinse to make sure it is clean. I then repack in ice and sprinkle with ice cream salt. This will help keep the meat cold and draw out the blood from the tissues. Place the cooler in a shady place where it can drain melted ice and fluids out of the drain. Keep adding ice until the water draining out of the cooler runs clear. This usually takes about 2-3 days to complete. I will re-rinse the meat and process by the 4th day no matter what. This process will give you a well chilled meat drained of all blood and ready to cut up and process. I think you will find the flavor some of the best you ever tried.
We grind up a lot of our venison into burger. We have discovered that venison burger is a wonderful dish but is very dry as it has very little fat. Here is the solution in our house and one that many others have enjoyed and never knew they were having wild game, not that I would not tell them. Grind your venison and add ¼ ground bacon to the meat before you mix and use or package. We buy the cheap bacon ends in a box at the store since we are going to grind it up anyway. This ground meat product can be used in any dish you would use hamburger. Enjoy, Wild Ed