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Old December 8, 2010, 11:50 AM   #1
Morgoroth
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Just got my first deer, now what?

I just got my first deer and the guys I went with helped me field dress it.

So now I have several sections of meat I am not sure how to process.
I think I have figured it out accept for the hams and the front shoulders.

I can cut all the meat off of the bone and I have found some interesting recipes, but what about trimming the meat.

The guys that helped me field dress it said that I should cut off all the fat and glands and stuff, which makes sense, but there is another skin or membrane on some of the meat and I am not sure if I need to cut that off or not.
It seems like that would be pretty difficult and I would lose a lot of meat.

Also, it seems like it might be unnecessary for the parts I am going to run though the grinder. But, I have never done this before so I am not really sure.

So finally my question is: what do I trim off of the meat to prepare it for cooking?
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Old December 8, 2010, 11:55 AM   #2
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Everything that isn't meat
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:10 PM   #3
Brian Pfleuger
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You'll want to trim as much fat, tendon and the "rainbowy" stuff as you can. Other than that, eat it.

My favorite marinade is 50% A1 sauce, 50% italian dressing and a dash of liquid smoke.

The number one thing with venison is DON'T over cook it. You want it JUST barely past pink.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:15 PM   #4
Morgoroth
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Thanks!

For the help and the recipes.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:22 PM   #5
sc outdoorsman
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Congrats on the kill.
The silver skin will trim off with a sharpe filet knife easliy when the meat is chilled. I like to let mine sit in the cooler a couple of days before working on it. It makes everything easier to cut up.
If it is a young deer I like to cut it up into steaks to batter and fry or cook on the grill. For grilling I put salt. pepper and a little garlic powder on the meat and let it soak in olive oil for about 8 hrs, turning it a few times while marinating. The oil will help seal the meat to keep it from drying out. Get the grill hot and cook medium-medium rare. Sometimes I wrap it in bacon too.
Older deer usually get made into cube steak, sausage and burger. I keep some chunks for stew meat as well. I still keep the back straps for the grill.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:24 PM   #6
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Trim off as much silver seam material that you can.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:42 PM   #7
Morgoroth
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That is what I was trying to find out about. The silver skin. Is all that connective tissue silver skin or is it just a certain part.

What happens if I don't get it all off?
It was not a huge deer so I don't what to loose to much meat trying to get it off if it is not going to make a difference.

On the other hand I don't want a bunch of bad meat because I did not take off enough.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:43 PM   #8
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First, Congratulations!

Second: On butchering:

1. Keep meet cold while working with it, as much as possible. Bacteria grows quickly above 40 degrees F. Refridgerate the stuff you are not working with at the time.

2. Remove all the fat and connective tissue that you can, especially from steaks (from rump/hind legs) and chops (backstrap). I bone out meat from neck and upper front quarters for "stir fry" and trim out all the connective tissue from that-it makes for "chewy" stir fry if you don't. Shanks (lower portions of the legs and stuff with too much connective tissue gets ground 5 parts deer meat to 1 part beef tallow.

Third: on cooking:

1. Don't over cook venison. Low heat, and moisture conservation are key. Venison does not have the intra-muscular fat (marbling?) that beef and elk do. I does not-self baste. Keep it covered when possible. Brining helps, I have heard.

2. For roasts, the crock-pot is your friend. Cook tougher roasts (neck or ribs) in tomato juice- the acid breaks down the connective tissue- six hours in a crock pot on high and the meat just falls off the bone.

3. Try quick stir frying, with onions, peppers, venison and mushrooms. Med. high heat, a little oil, add the onions first, the peppers next, then the venison (cut in 1/4"x1/4"x2" strips) and the mushrooms last. Make a curry sauce of curry powder, a little sugar and miracle whip.... serve in flat bread or on tortillas.

4. 80-90 % lean ground venison can be substituted for hamburger, but I find it works best in spaghetti sauces or taco meat......
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:44 PM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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You want that silver skin off. It's nasty. As others have said, if the meat is cold it's a lot easier to get that stuff off. You shouldn't lose hardly any meat. That stuff will filet off easily.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:46 PM   #10
Morgoroth
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So the silver skin is the rainbow like stuff?

What about the stuff that is not rainbowy but not red meat?

Sorry I can't think of a better way to describe it.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
It was not a huge deer so I don't what to loose to much meat trying to get it off if it is not going to make a difference
Larger, older deer will have more (and thicker) connective tissue. Button bucks/ fawns are pretty tender, due to less of this stuff.

You won't get it all ..... the stuff you can't trim it out of goes in the "burger bucket".
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:49 PM   #12
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Removing the "rainbow-ey" stuff....

Sharp knives help. Shaving sharp.
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:49 PM   #13
Morgoroth
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Ok I have a pic.

http://www.eckrich.org/images/wrap1.jpg

What is the white stuff he left on the meat in this pic?
Should it have been cut off?
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Old December 8, 2010, 12:50 PM   #14
Brian Pfleuger
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You've basically got fat, which is pretty onbvious, tendons which are like... well, sort of like ropes I guess, or bungee cords, pretty obvious too, and you've got the rainbowy, silvery stuff. I have no idea what it's actually called.

The fat and tendons are not that big of a deal. You can more or less eat around them, though I remove as much as possible. That silvery stuff is nasty but it does remove fairly easily once you get the hang of it.

My dad literally filets it like a fish. I find it easier to hold the edge of the stuff and swipe the knife under it in small motions.

Either way, you'll figure it out with a little practice. It's not hard, but there is a bit of an art to it.

I am forbidden from viewing your picture....
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Old December 8, 2010, 01:38 PM   #15
sc outdoorsman
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This is a good pictorial of fat and silver skin removal on beef, but deer is the same. The tendons and fat are obvious. If you didn't get every little speck of it will not make that much difference. You want to get as much as you can. After you work with it some you will get the hang of it.


http://goodeats.dyndns.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=39403
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Old December 8, 2010, 01:56 PM   #16
Morgoroth
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That is a great episode. I am a huge Alton Brown fan. My wife got me an autographed book for my birthday and a ticket to one of his signings. Very cool.

I guess since I have a button buck the huge hunks of silver skin I was looking for are just not there so I will try and get as much off as possible and see how it goes.
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Old December 8, 2010, 02:11 PM   #17
sc outdoorsman
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It will be real thin and translucent on deer. You just take a filet knife and remove as shown in the link.
Be sure to try grilling with the olive oil on that tender meat. You can leave back strap whole or cut some 3/4" thick steaks from the shoulder or hams. Spinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder first. It needs to be in the oil for at least 6-8 hours. Brush a little of the oil on while grilling as well. You want to leave the center pink. If it drys out it gets tough quick.

You can do the same thing with thinner slices for kabobs on the grill as well. You need a little oil to help keep it from drying out.

Last edited by sc outdoorsman; December 8, 2010 at 02:17 PM.
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Old December 8, 2010, 06:55 PM   #18
jal5
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that silver skin will come off pretty easily:

really sharp knife- I like a small blade knife for this
get the point under the silver skin at one part making a place you can grab
then while gently pulling up on the silver skin by the handle you just made move the knife along the meat but underneath the silver skin.

Only thing I can compare it to is if you have ever fileted fish, you are skimming the skin off keeping the flesh intact.

Joe
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Old December 8, 2010, 07:56 PM   #19
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spent many years butchering deer and have made plenty of sausage, jerky, burgers, and roasts(some good and some not)... lets get real here... venison is not prime meat because the fat tastes like crap and the muscle is so lean its hard to cook without turning it into a hockey puck...

you get back straps and inner straps, those are the best cuts...

i have made slow smoked whole rear leg venison hams with good results but that is an artform...

grind up what you can from the rest and mix with pork trimmings, 70% venison to 30% pork trimmings and add 3.5% to 4% salt by weight, you can use that for burgers and most ground meat recipes...

you can always do the thin sliced jerky thing if you like it chewy

good luck

cheers
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