Saturday, December 21, 2013

Just call me Sweeney Todd of the Woods

Or maybe the Diamondhead Butcher. That's how I spent my day anyway- butchering. I felt like I was re-enacting a forensics scene. At least I wasn't the killer !!!!

Lots of people are concerned about what kinds of foods they are consuming these days. A lot of factory farms use too many chemicals/drugs in livestock production. Cows eat things cows aren't meant to eat. In the grand scheme of things, you can't get more organic than a humanely harvested deer. Venison is a very lean and delicious protein on top of the lack of chemicals and human interference. The chef and I are not hunters but we do have friends that hunt and share their bounty with us. This week we were given almost a half deer- on the bone still so we have to do our own "butchering".

I am not grossed out by cutting up raw meat, especially since this has pretty much been cleaned up- it looks like the big hunks of beef you see hanging in meat coolers. So armed with my extremely sharp Cutco knife (yes, that is a shameless plug for Cutco but they do make amazing knives), a plastic tablecloth, cutting board, and several bowls, I went to work.

First on the agenda, getting some beautiful slices for jerky. A lot of our hunter friends like the ground meat jerky but I like the real old-style sliced jerky- it has more bite and if sliced right, a nice texture. I got that done and set aside in jerky cure with marinade and continued on. I just used a simple marinade and jerky cure packet for this one- I will get to playing with flavors and cranking up the heat with future batches.

As I cut a large portion of the leg meat off I got a beautiful pot roast- cut perfectly against the grain so it will be perfect in the crockpot. Boneless and super lean this s going to be a real treat.

After that I worked on getting a much remaining meat off as I could. Mostly cubed, I plan on canning some and if I have room- getting some frozen for stews and soups.

Cutting up such a large piece of an animal is pretty hard work, and after about 3 hours of cutting I called it a night. I used a cheap party store plastic tablecloth to cover the table so I just wrapped it back up and stuck it back in the fridge for tomorrow.

I'm excited to use all this delicious venison in many tasty recipes and of course I will share them with you. I'm open to suggestions too! Just post in the comments if there is something you'd like to see, or a favorite recipe of yours- links welcome.

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