Yesterday September 15, 2007 was the day reserved for
cutting up the nice 4 point buck deer that was harvested on opening day of our
annual Archery season here in Anson County. Being able to process my own
harvested game seems to take me back many years when hog killing time came
around and I helped keep the fires burning under the cast iron “wash pots”
that heated the water so the hair could be removed from the hog. I do believe
we processed everything except the squeal of the hog, hair and the hooves.
For a couple decades I had used our local processors to cut
and package most of the deer I harvested especially in the archery season when
the weather was extremely hot and would do a few along during the cold weather
when it was cold enough to hang one outside. However, getting Mother Nature to
be between 35 to 45 degrees was not always possible!
Since I already had a meat grinder and sausage stuffer, the
decision was made to obtain a used refrigerator especially for game and sausage
making supplies after a local game processor’s walk-in cooler went on the blink
whereby loosing a nice
buck I harvested during opening day of the 2002 archery
season. He later said that was a costly mistake since I normally spent several
hundred dollars or more a year with him and has since processed my own.
This week I added a hand cuber/meat tenderizer to my
equipment list and it worked fairly well. The real test will be when I have the
cubed venison on a plate smothered by some mushroom gravy and “sticky” rice.
This hand cuber doesn't flatten the steak out thin as the commercial powder
driven units like Hobart, etc., or even a heavy hand mallet type cuber but
instead pierces a series of slits or cuts into and through the meat which does
help to tenderize the meat. It is no substitute though for a 2000 dollar
production commercial unit; don't waste your money on this item! I have noticed you need
to simmer your cubed steak longer when using this unit versus cubed
meat from a commercial cuber or the old fashioned hand mallet cuber type.
I prefer the hand mallet cuber best!
The cuber/meat tenderizer is easy to disassemble for
cleaning and it works fair. My recommendation is Do Not Purchase this Item or one like it. A hand cuber or meat mallet works better! See the Venison Steak recipe in the
Recipe section of this site for a view of the finished product on the plate. It has fifteen (15) rows of circular blades
on each gear driven roller and will cut meat up to one (1) inch in thickness by
seven (7) inches wide.
Above pix of hand aluminum meat cuber my bride gave
me many decades ago and about as low tech as you can go. There are much
larger versions available with nice fancy handles on them but this one still
works. A larger one might reduce your "mallet" time cubing those
"beautimous" loin straps though. Pix of the little hand cuber in
Below current hand cuber that I use which has more real-estate:
The pix below shows the comparison between the hand cubed venison and the
mechanical cuber at the top of the page:
Equipment set-up is the first stage
of the getting the venison ready to cube and grind. It takes work, effort,
equipment and a little “know how” and the same as with cooking, the clean-up is always
ready and waiting for you. I normally do most of the deer processing in the
basement but I have a ton of turkey box call making equipment and supplies in
the way and it was easier to bring the stuff topside this time. Maybe next
time, I will set up a table to save some stairwell step walking! I need
that walking though!
I will insert a few pictures of a few of the steps in
breaking down the ham or hind quarter of a deer which is very easy to do. The
pictures are graphic so if you are weak or faint, don’t look!
This picture is the hinder quarter minus the rump roast and
which I ground the entire deer except the loin or “back strap” as the ole
country boys call it.
Pix of hind quarter exposing main muscle groups and
bone on 09-20-08.
Below pix of muscle groups which would be called top round,
bottom round and sirloin if beef and the flank gland (popliteal).
Another pix showing the placement of the flank gland.
Pix below of venison shoulder (front quarter) deboned with the scapula (shoulder
blade) and the humerus bone showing. The radius bone is not showing in
this pix since I do not save the lower portion of the leg below the humerus
joint (connection). It is too sinuous and clogs the grinder plate and
blade. Not much meat left for the scavengers on this shoulder.
Note: under the scapula is the prescapular gland which
is nearly identical to the flank gland and needs to be removed as well. It
is buried in fat and tissue and easily recognizable and if left in will give the
meat a bad odor!
Below pix of loin or "back" strap deboning process on
Loin was aged in game refrigerator for a week with temp.
set at about 35 degrees and did not have the loin in a plastic bag....ran out at
an inopportune time therefore the outside of meat is darker and a heavy "dry
crust" on the fascia which is removed anyway.
Below pix with one side of the loin removed from the bone.
Below pix of loin strap sliced and ready for the vacuum
sealing. I will hand cube the loin when ready to prepare some Venison
Country Style Steak N Gravy.
Below pix of grinding and vacuum sealing.
I estimated about 40 lbs. of ground venison from the 3
point buck harvested on 09-13-08. I ground the entire deer except for the
loin aka "back" straps which were sliced.
For those that have never seen a popliteal (flank)
gland which needs to be removed from the hind leg before cooking since if left
in, it will give the meat an unpleasant odor and taste, I will insert a pix.
This gland is sandwiched between the muscle groups and easy to spot.
The gland is gray in color and stands out from the
surrounding tissue. It is easy to get a bad experience with wild game but if
processed properly in a timely manner and prepared right, some excellent table
fare and venison has little if any cholesterol. As far as saving money from the
meat department for burger and cube steak, etc., you had better believe it. Of
course, you would have to factor in a life time worth of hunting and processing
equipment and those that have all the high technology toys, four wheelers,
haulers and special trucks, vans, etc., hunting property leases, special guided
hunts, therefore venison is probably “The most expensive meat in the World”!
Man, I have been eating first class All American for many decades using that
psychology! If you must, go ahead and grin on that statement. And you thought
lobster, caviar, filet mignon, Porterhouse, and T-Bone steaks were expensive. Heck, they are expensive
Got to run, my second pot of coffee should be made and I
heard the bell go off on the timer letting me know it is time to fletch another
LEAVING ON A SPIRITUAL
Acts 10:10 - 13
10And he became very hungry, and would have
eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,
11And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel
descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners,
and let down to the earth:
12Wherein were all manner of fourfooted
beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the
13And there came a
voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.
14But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have
never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.
15And the voice spake unto him again
the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.
16This was done thrice: and the vessel was
received up again into heaven.
Insight to the above bible verses
And there came a voice to him,.... Formed by an angel, or rather by Christ
himself: rise, Peter, kill and eat; he might be on his knees when he fell
into this trance, being at prayer, and therefore is bid to rise; and he is
called by name, the more to encourage him to do as he was ordered; and he is
bid to kill and eat of all the creatures without distinction, which were
represented to him in the sheet; and the design of this was to teach him,
that both the distinction between clean and unclean creatures in the law was
now abolished, and men might lawfully eat of whatsoever they pleased; and
that he might and should without any difference converse with all sorts of
men, Jews and Gentiles, circumcised and uncircumcised, and preach the Gospel
to one as to another, and maintain a church communion and fellowship with
all equally alike.
Bill aka Mickey Porter 09-16-07 and additional pixs