Kill it, cook it, eat it


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gspn
December 28, 2013, 06:13 PM
This week I got great reminder of why I love to hunt. It was a slow season until last week when My 13 year old son and I both killed a whitetail buck. After spending a lot of time together in the truck on the way to and from the hunts, and a lot of time together in the field, it paid off. Two deer were on the ground.

In years past I always cleaned his deer for him. Now however, he's big and strong enough to safely get everything done on his own…so he got a good class on gutting a deer. To keep him proficient in this skill I think I'll let him practice by gutting all of my deer going forward. :)

I let the deer hang for a week in a cooler and yesterday after the morning hunt I got to work breaking them down. I skinned and quartered them before bringing them home to process further. I spent about 6 hours yesterday breaking it all down and getting it cleaned and packed. I don't have a good table for this so I spent all day bent over the cooler…it was a backbreaking labor of love…love for food.

As I worked I thought a lot about how this meat got here. It got me thinking about how much camaraderie there is running through this whole process. Over the years we've created a lot of great memories by spending so much time together in the truck, on the shooting range, and in the field. My wife and daughter don't hunt but they too get to participate through hearing the stories of the hunts and enjoying the meals. There is literally something for everyone here.

I recently got inspired to do a lot more than just the same old routine preparations I've used in the past. I got a new smoker for Christmas and have begun putting it to work in earnest.

A few nights ago I took two venison tenderloin, marinated them in dressing, wrapped them in bacon, and let them do a 3-hour slow dance with Maple smoke in my new smoker. As the smoke gently poured from the vent and the bacon drippings sizzled, I could almost hear "Open Arms" by Journey playing in the background as the tenderloin and the smoke got intimate inside the darkness of my smoker.

When I took them out…oh…my…goodness. I was totally blown away by the texture and flavor of those pieces of venison. I'm a pretty good cook…but never on my best day with all the stars aligned have I EVER produced something so tender, so juicy, and sooooo flavorful. The family was blown away. That was our appetizer…to be followed by smoked chickens for dinner. After being further blown away by the yardbird my son stopped eating to ask "why don't we cook all of our food this way?"

I was also inspired by cook, author, and hunting show host Steve Rinella. He did a show where he let the viewers see how he prepares game meat for guests at his house. One of the cool things he prepared was Osso Buco…which is a recipe that allows you to use the leg shanks (a very tough cut that I've long been frustrated by) and turn them into a falling-off-the-bone-tender meal. I'll be preparing that today as I take a day off from hunting.

Next up is summer sausage. I've long been a fan of making my own sausage, but summer sausage is a first. This will involve all of my sausage making knowledge plus my smoker knowledge…and I can't wait to try it.

What will you do with the kill this year? Same old stuff? Or will you push into new culinary territory?

Good times and food…two of my favorite things.

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MCgunner
December 28, 2013, 07:55 PM
Yex, I guess it COULD be less work and more fun if I had a son to do the work for me. :D

Sounds like you're having fun and eating well. I'm always open to new recipes. I wore out my old grinder (after my ex SIL had abused the heck out of it :rolleyes: ) and need a new electric one. I just finished grinding a bag of venison for chili by hand and I have no way to stuff sausage without my old electric grinder. Manual grinding is purely for back up, a major PITA, but then, like I say, no son to do it. LOL!

Now, you've made me hungry. I have left over venison rump roast for tonight. It's good even reheated. I crock potted it.

Lloyd Smale
December 29, 2013, 07:44 AM
this was a poor year for our crop damage deer shooting so i had to prioritize what i did with the meat. I did a 100lbs of summer sausage which is about half what i normaly do. I did 50lbs of itailain sausage and 50 lbs of bratts. Again about half what i normaly do and had to skip the burger altogether. Nice thing was the farmer whos crops we shoot the deer felt bad because of our poor numbers this year and gave my buddy and I a half a cow for free so i guess ill be eating beef burger this year. For the most part anymore I package the back straps and maybe a few roasts and the rest goes to the grinder.

Liberty1776
December 29, 2013, 03:43 PM
Nice thing was the farmer whos crops we shoot the deer felt bad because of our poor numbers this year and gave my buddy and I a half a cow for free

I've tried... I've really tried to meet a farmer like this... no luck so far.

courtgreene
December 29, 2013, 03:50 PM
fairly sure they only exist on the internet.

gspn
December 29, 2013, 04:09 PM
It helps if you marry his daughter! :D

MCgunner
December 29, 2013, 06:53 PM
I wore out my old grinder (after my ex SIL had abused the heck out of it ) and need a new electric one. I just finished grinding a bag of venison for chili by hand and I have no way to stuff sausage without my old electric grinder. Manual grinding is purely for back up, a major PITA, but then, like I say, no son to do it. LOL!

Just a note, I ordered a Lem number 8 grinder from Amazon yesterday. :D

1KPerDay
December 29, 2013, 10:52 PM
Can I come over for dinner? :D

You describe it so well I'm drooling.

Marlin 45 carbine
December 30, 2013, 06:29 AM
what?? no grilled liver and onions??

Davek1977
December 30, 2013, 07:28 AM
I've tried... I've really tried to meet a farmer like this... no luck so far. They must be as rare as antlered does, because despite a rural upbringing, growing up on a cattle ranch for the first 18 yrs of my existence....I typically saw the opposite occur....hunters gifting ranchers for ALLOWING them to hunt, not ranchers gifting hunters to shoot deer! Dad never charged anyone to hunt our ranch, but I lost count of the numbers of cheese blocks, bottles of whiskey, wine, and even various fish and game he was gifted by hunters over the years who appreciated having a good place to hunt. Nowadays, he simply enrolls the land he doesn't mind being hunted in the Walk In Program. He gets paid a small stipend per acre to allow hunting, but all access is on foot. This works out especially good for him, as he is interested in allowing people the opportunity, but doesn't have to deal with every tom dick and harry drivjng thru his pastures, damaging grass, leaving gates open and making our trails nothing but an impassable, rutted mess. The area is more often patrolled my the GFP then it would be otherwise and has greatly reduced the number of slob hunters who were endangering EVERYONE'S ability to hunt our land.

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