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Thread: How do you use your venison?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you use your venison?

    I was lucky enough to get a nice deer during the rifle season this year, and I butchered it myself. While butchering, I decided to do it in a way that would give me more options for cooking various meals. This is the 3rd deer I've butchered on my own, and each time I learn a bit more about how to do it. I'm still a total amateur at this since I don't know any professional butchers who can give me tips, so I figured maybe someone on this forum could provide ideas on additional things to try the next time, both in butchering and cooking options.

    Here's how I butchered my deer (note: boneless for the most part), and what I plan to do with the cuts:
    Ground meat, ~28.8 lbs: I use this in burgers (mostly), chili, pasta sauce, sometimes for jerky.
    Loin chops, 4.4 lbs: These go on the BBQ rare or medium rare at most, salt and pepper or with "The Keg" steak spice mix, but not too much or it overpowers the flavour of the meat.
    Steak (sirloin and top round), 9.8 lbs: Treated the same as loin chops.
    Stewing meat, 10.6 lbs: I've been using a great stew recipe from Steve Rinella's wild game cookbook - it comes out awesome, but his recipe is way too salty, so you have to cut the amount of salt in half and consequently reduce the pepper a bit. I'll also give some to my in-laws since my mother in-law has been wanting to try to a venison stew recipe.
    "Roast", 12.2 lbs: I have a variety of cuts here, and I still have to figure out what I will do with some of them. I tried to put more meat into roasts this year so that I can see what options I like the most.

    • I kept 1.5 blade roasts with the bone in and the plan is to slow cook these. 1/2 a blade roast was lost to possible bone fragments, but I gave the waste to a friend who feeds his dog raw meat. He said his dog eats the bone and everything, but I took out any big pointy shards just to be safe.
    • Eye of round roast: I heard this is supposed to be a great cut, but I've never made a roast with it before. I think I may have put it into stew previously. Comments?
    • Bottom round roast: I plan just a traditional roast for these, or maybe jerky. In the past I put this into steaks, jerky, and one may have gone into stew. Comments?
    • Tenderloin: Not really a roast, but I put it in this category anyway. I usually bbq these, rare.
    • Loin roast: Usually I just make chops out of the loin, but this year I decided to try something new. I cut it so that it can be stuffed and rolled to make a roast. We'll see how it goes. I would hate to end up with some dried out, grey roast when I could have had delicious, rare BBQ chops instead.
    • Shank (boneless, from the hind legs): I saved these from the grind pile at the last minute based on some videos I watched that said this cut is great in the slow cooker. We'll see. The last deer I butchered prior to this one I kept the front shanks for bone-in roasts in the slow cooker, but they are still in my freezer. I'll have to use them before I try the new shank roast.

    Heart: I've kept the heart in the past, but always ended up having to freeze them, then gave them to the same friend with the dog. This time I was determined to use it myself. I cleaned it up then cut it into thin strips and made up a recipe and sauteed it. It came out surprisingly good. Nobody else in the family would try it.
    Liver: I brought it home, as I have done in the past because I really want to use as much of the deer as possible. One year, in preparation for cooking the deer liver, I even ordered a liver dish at a restaurant to see what potential liver has, but I wasn't crazy about it. This year, as in the past, I wasn't adventurous enough to cook it. I gave it to my friend with the dog. Comments on how to use deer liver are especially welcome.

    So, what are your favourite ways to prepare venison? What am I missing out on?

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  3. #2
    Has too much time on their hands

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    I grind the whole deer, 1lb packs.

  4. #3
    Has too much time on their hands

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    I take steaks from all the main cuts in the hind quarters and backstraps, and grind the rest of the deer and store in 1.5lb packs. The big doe I shot back during the first gun season yielded 22.5lbs of steak, and 50lbs of ground.

    I've never been a big roast fan. Nothing like rubbed venison steak in a searing hot cast iron pan -- YUM.

    -N.
    Krete

    Bills n' Thrills.

  5. #4
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    Good on you for doing your own butchering. Itís a great feeling to cut your own meat. You seem to have figured out all the proper cuts.
    Iíve been home butchering for a long time. I always debone everything.
    Most of the time I cut steaks the whole length of the back strap.
    I then make 4 to 6 good size roast from the prime meat that can be cut in steaks later on.
    The rest is all chunks to make Hamburg and/or sausage. Most sausage makers around here need a minimum of 20 lb. for them to do a batch of sausage.
    "Only dead fish go with the flow."
    Proud Member: CCFR, CSSA, OFAH, NFA.

  6. #5
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    Steaks, roasts and burger
    Guns have two enemies................rust and government

    OFAH and CCFR member

  7. #6
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    One recommendation I would make is you mention loin chops - try this the next time, do them as a french rack - basically the loin chop with about 4-6 inches of the rib bone attached. That bone adds flavor if you ask me and will make a tasty part even tastier! You can do it with multiple bones to make a roast style and then slice into steaks or slice each into steaks when butchering.

  8. #7
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    I usually french cut the backstraps, debone hind quarters into sirloin tips, tops and bottoms and eye of rounds in whole or cut into portion sides remove all silver skins (sinew) but kept the shanks in whole so I can either slow roast / braised in whole or later cut into 1 inch disc for osso buco.

    I kept the front shoulder in whole except shanks (same as hind quarters) and can either use for slow roast or debone later to make sausages if I ran out of stew meat from trimmings.

    Will remove most silver skins from trimmings, wash and freeze and will be use for ground meat (meat grinds better when cold or partially frozen) all lymph nodes/ glands will be removed while processing.

    Neck will be deboned and kept in whole, a butcher told me once I can always cut the larger piece into whatever portion I like but I can't put smaller chunks back into a roast.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sierra View Post
    One recommendation I would make is you mention loin chops - try this the next time, do them as a french rack - basically the loin chop with about 4-6 inches of the rib bone attached. That bone adds flavor if you ask me and will make a tasty part even tastier! You can do it with multiple bones to make a roast style and then slice into steaks or slice each into steaks when butchering.
    I don't have a meat saw, but I almost bought one this year to give me more options. Maybe I will try what you suggest next time. Damn, I wish deer had more loin meat, then it would be easier to try more than one or two options with the loin.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spcamno View Post

    Neck will be deboned and kept in whole, a butcher told me once I can always cut the larger piece into whatever portion I like but I can't put smaller chunks back into a roast.
    I struggled with what to do with the neck. I thought about keeping it bone-in, but it was huge, and I could not see getting enough people together who would enjoy it. I tried to debone it and still keep it as a roast, but my skills were not up to the task. Instead I deboned it and put the pieces in the stew and grind piles.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rf2 View Post
    I struggled with what to do with the neck. I thought about keeping it bone-in, but it was huge, and I could not see getting enough people together who would enjoy it. I tried to debone it and still keep it as a roast, but my skills were not up to the task. Instead I deboned it and put the pieces in the stew and grind piles.
    Actually it's easier than you thought just use a boning knife or fillet knife (you will be just using the tip of the blade to follow the contour of the bone).

    The neck bone has a funny looking structure but you will know once you did it it's not that difficult.

    You can cut that into two large roast perfect for family gatherings or Christmas.

    This video shows how this butcher did it:


    https://youtu.be/Q3RZebnrD0I

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