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Old February 3, 2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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What meats can you make from hunted animals?

As I was looking into my refrigerator to build a sandwich the other day, I had a thought: If I do one day replace my meat meals with things I eat and catch, will I be able to create similar food items to the ones I'm accustomed to now?

I know that most people don't hunt cows, so London Broil and Pastrami are out, but does anybody go beyond the basic barbecuing to create more gourmet or unique meats? Things like salami, sausages, turkey slices, summer sausages, asian style roast duck, anything really that you've done to widen your cuisine of wild caught/killed animals.

Obviously there are already good eating meats (I've had some venison bits that made the best burger I've ever had) along with the obvious bacon and ribs etc. but I'm curious how far people have gone with that sort of thing.

EDIT: On second reading, I wrote this post far too seriously. I am genuinely curious but most examples are humorous or light hearted
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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Most anything you can make outta beef, you can make outta venison or other game. I've made jerky and sausage outta elk, venison, rabbit, goose and squirrel. Made ground turkey outta wild turkey. Done smoked turkey and pheasant too along with duck. Pastrami is already done with turkey and could just as easily be made with venison as it is with beef. Pastrami was just a way of preserving meat before the days of refrigeration.
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Old February 3, 2014, 06:49 PM   #3
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I've done bear lunch meat... turned pretty quickly.
pretty much here is what we've done with game meat.
round steak
back strap steak
bite sized steak
tenderloin steak
stew meat cubes
german sausage
breakfast links
pepperoni snack sticks(much better than a slim jim)
italian sausage
heart(do it right it tastes identical to deli roast beef)
and assuming that you cook it just right and freeze it when not in immediate need, lunch meat

all of those can be done with any venison type animal(elk, pronghorn, deer, etc).

birds are pretty easy. the only part that's really edible are the breasts.
lunch meat(as long as you stick to the same criteria as deer)
bird strips(like chicken strips without the chicken).
bird nuggets
bird steaks.

if you use a crockpot then turkey legs make a good soup/stew meat but they are too tough for just about any other method of preparation.
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Old February 3, 2014, 07:03 PM   #4
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Personnely I like Uncle Ted (Nugent) advice:
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Old February 3, 2014, 07:40 PM   #5
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Pastrami from Romania was originally based on duck breast. When Romanian immigrants moved into the urban east cost cities they switched to moo cow.

Turkey - well, there is turkey burger and turkey bacon all over the place.

I've had alligator spare ribs. Rattlesnake chili is not unknown.

What round for the wild escargot?
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Old February 3, 2014, 08:05 PM   #6
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This should spring some loose !!

Meat loaf; My wife make the best meat loaf out of venison & pork sausage.
.............. It's better than beef but she won't take a single bite. ....
Wild Duck; Breast stroganoff, lemon duck
Deer Burger; Chili, taco meat with Chorizo, spaghetti and goulash.
Rabbit & Squirrel; Hash, stew and fried, smothered in gravy
Pheasant; Teriyaki over wild rice.
Canadians; Sliced breast, pounded thin, breaded and pan fried.
Snapper; Great soup, fried or chowder.
Quail; Lightly pan fried with butter & slivers of garlic.

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Old February 3, 2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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General Tso's squirrel.

Szechuan rabbit.

Chinese sauces and spices should work well with coon and possum too - it ain't just for chicken anymore!

Venison - anything your can make with beef only healthier. (Only by a slim margin when compared to home grown beef.)
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Old February 3, 2014, 10:47 PM   #8
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A decent grinder and I think you are in business. There is a lot of good advise, there. We bought a cheap grinder and it works awesome. There are all kinds of recipes for sausage, roasts, etc. I am partial to roasts.

The lower backstrap is where I get steaks, which from the diagram appear to be similar to sirloin, and the front end of the backstrap is similiar to prime rib. Kind of simplified. Prime rib is easy in the crock pot, but I haven't tried it on any game meat. There is another topic on here that goes through that. There are better diagrams, but that is the first I found.

Like has been pointed out, the options are pretty unlimited. For burger and sausage I have always added some pork or beef to mix in a little fat. It still comes out pretty lean, but like a 60/40 mix of lean beef to venison seems to work. I am not really sure of the ratio, we just kindof dump some deer in then some pork, not very scientific. There are lots of options. I am lucky to have some beef supply options, too, though. Hopefully I was on the right track.

I don't have the experience with squirrel, rabbit, birds. So I they go in a Whattheheck stew.

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Old February 4, 2014, 12:34 AM   #9
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If you want good smoked sausage. You'll have to get yourself a good smoker. One I would suggest is a Bradley. Not cheap to operate because of having to buy special little pressed disks of wood chips for its use. But it sure does a nice job of smoking.
I have a commercial Ranger smoker w/ separate chip burner. Great smoker made up in Canada. But no longer made. My son has his Bradley. In comparison there is no difference in either when it comes to each's ability to smoke. You can either smoke or slow cook any meat in a smoker cabinet including fish and cheese. Really you'll enjoy making up seasoned meats, brine soaked or not for smoking. Its a whole difference experience in cooking when a smoker is involved. A good smoker, sturdy meat grinder, and a 5-lb. sausage stuffer available, you'll eat good year round and use everything you can catch, trap, snare, or shoot. Nothing goes to waste. Even your dog will like his new smoked & seasoned dog bones his Master provides.
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Old February 4, 2014, 02:39 AM   #10
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What's stopping you from making vension pastrami? You soak it in a brine seasoned to your personal taste for 1-3 weeks, then smoke it. I plan to cut up a hind quarter soon and do this to part of it. In my opinion a smoker is a necessity as far as cooking most wild animals, an iron skillet is the next most commonly used tool.

For squirrel what I do depends on how old the squirrel is. A young squirrel I will fry the front and back legs. The ribs on the young ones have too little meat to be worth it. My general process for frying non fish meats is to soak in buttermilk and crushed garlic for a few hours, drain. Scrambled egg wash. Then shaken around in a bag with seasoned flour. Fried in hot peanut oil. The result is a lot like fried chicken but with a deeper flavor. I haven't tried it yet but I want to turn some pecans to dust and substitute that for flour. Should provide a nutty flavor that will work well with squirrel.

Older squirrels go to the stew pot. Boiled off the bones rendering one of the richest broths I have ever tasted. Just add some of your favorite vegetables in there and you have a really good stew as it is. If you want to impart a nice nuttiness to it, make a roux with an equal volume of flour and peanut oil whisked around in a pan until it turns the color of peanut butter. Do not stop stirring, and definitely don't walk away from it. Once it's done pour it into the stew, it will thicken it a little. I hardly ever measure so amounts are at your discretion. The roux will burn you severely if you get any on you. With the addition of dumplings instead of a roux you would have squirrel and dumplings.

I once stuffed a squirrel full of garden peppers and onions, wrapped the squirrel in bacon and threw it on the smoker for a couple hours at around 200 degrees. Season the squirrel to your taste before wrapping in bacon. Once the squirrel is about done. Take the bacon off and throw it back on the smoker on high heat until it is crispy.

Twice or thrice smoked bacon is pretty delicious. If you ever smoke a piece of lean meat covered in bacon try it. The bacon will pick up seasonings and flavor from the meat it was on and lots of smokiness.

If your an adventurous enough eater to indulge in one of the most delicious things I ever did with a bit of whitetail backstrap that had been in the freezer for like 3 weeks was to cut it into about 1 1/4 inch steaks. Coated it in a mixture of melted butter, and a sauce made mostly of smoked garden peppers and garlic. Got the iron skillet hot and just cooked it for about 30-40 seconds on all sides. Calling it rare would have been a stretch, but the goal was one step above raw. It is important to keep any meat you might do this with frozen for at least a couple weeks to kill any parasites.

We once stuffed the chambers of a cow heart full of peppers and onions that had been sauteed in bacon grease and smoked it. The result was delicious. I would do it again with the heart from a deer or other animal provided it wasn't blown apart by a bullet.

Assume that anything you can make out of cow you can make out of venison, the only difference being that venison has much less fat. It can be made more fatty with a bit of bacon, bacon grease, or both, you could add beef fat if that's your thing. A little bit of bacon grease will make any lean game meat from becoming dry try it with turkey and you will be rewarded with the most succulent turkey you have probably ever had. Other people might not be such big fans of utilizing bacon to this extent, but the deliciousness of it has me convinced.
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Old February 4, 2014, 08:31 AM   #11
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I was surprised to see G.E. Myers response, I started making pastrami out of Deer,Antelope,Elk a few years ago. I take what ever is left over in the freezer and make pastrami.It is my most favorite use of excess wild game.I process all of my own animals and break them down into muscle groups leaving 2-3 lb roast,big chunks freeze better than sliced meat.
Pastrami/Cornred meat is has been used in Romania for hundreds of years,it is regional method for preserving meat,any kind of meat.The difference between pastrami and corned meat is a pepper coated and smoked meat as opposed to boiled..Brining process is exactly the same for both lots of good brining recipes,brine for at least 3-5 days in a refrigerator.One of my sisters is a bleeding heart liberal and is upset with the killing wild animals.She tried the pastrami and tells me I am the only hunter she wishes success.
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Old February 4, 2014, 09:55 AM   #12
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I make a great rabbit with gravy. Pan sear the breaded rabbit parts, put parts in a stone crock, add milk to the pan left over from searing, mix into a gravy, put gravy over the rabbit parts, cover crock and bake in oven about one hour at 350 degrees. Very yummy. I used to raise rabbits and used this recipie for the older ones to tenderize the meat.
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Old February 4, 2014, 12:34 PM   #13
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Starting to Salivate already...

Pronghorn and deer taste a bit like sage, so I found that an Andouille sausage recipe complimented the meat's flavor since it calls for sage anyways. Usually, the meat from the quarters work well for sausage.

I usually save the backstrap for steaks. All you need is a decent marinade recipe, then you're in business.

Also, +1 on the smoker. There's nothing like smoked goose during the holidays.
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Old February 6, 2014, 11:49 AM   #14
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As a youngster we had beaver legs, coon legs, and bunny shake and bake. Porcupine legs are sweet and good for shake and bake. A friend made some Porcupine chilli and it was great. Bear roasts stews and most cuts(like a hog), venison of all cuts(like a lamb), Moose various cuts(like beef critter). Yummie, time for lunch. I'm going to grab the slow cooked and make a 2 shot bourbon venison stew.
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Old February 6, 2014, 12:54 PM   #15
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[QUOTE 2 shot bourbon venison stew. QUOTE]

Hey now that sounds interesting?
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Old February 6, 2014, 02:50 PM   #16
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I have always wanted to try curing my own Antelope Prosciutto. But, I don't have a room that maintains temperature, humidity, and air movement conditions that are conducive to the curing process.

Plus... I don't think I could handle waiting for 18+ months, before I got to taste it. And, if I failed, the loss of a hind quarter would be a huge disappointment.

I've seen maybe a dozen videos and read a few articles about people making deer prosciutto. However, the failure rate seems to be quite high, due to curing conditions that aren't quite right. Most of the experimenters also seem to be like me... after 3-4 months, they want a taste. But, taking that little hunk of meat to get a taste often introduces mold, and ruins the entire leg.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old February 7, 2014, 11:13 AM   #17
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Sure Shot Mc : Regular venison stew, however you make it, but use a cup of bourbon, also a shot for the cook before, then a shot for the cook after every thing's in the pot. Hence "Two Shot" stew. Have fun.
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Old February 7, 2014, 02:09 PM   #18
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Long Ranger, I sometimes buy a corned beef brisket and smoke it for my version of pastrami, and understand the duck pastrami because the fat cap would keep it moist. After curing and smoking does your 'wild' pastrami get dry?
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Old February 7, 2014, 08:44 PM   #19
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Salvador, the trick is simply not to overcook the pastrami and to let it rest after it finishes cooking. Go for as rare as you are comfortable eating, I would take it out of the smoker around 140-145 degrees. Then you take it off, and let it rest, at least until the internal temp hits 120 or cooler. This resting allows the fibers in the meat to relax, and when you cut into it the juices won't pour out into the plate. If you take it off at a "rare" temperature at 140 and wrap it in foil it will continue to cook and the temp will rise at least 10 degrees in the center and will result in medium rare. It will take longer to cool if you wrap it.

This applies to any meat, not just pastrami. For venison, if you want to ensure that it doesn't dry out you can inject a little bacon grease. If your going to take it to medium or more, I would inject it with a bit of bacon grease.
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Old February 9, 2014, 12:20 AM   #20
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Venison can be cured like chipped beef and makes great SOS. Almost anything that beef is good for venison is good for. Hot dogs, summer sausage(bologna), corned beef, and pastrami although it will have little fat.

Save the prosciutto for the hogs and ducks. Wild hogs make great country ham too.

The Livers of any game animal(I have never used squirrel) make great pate when seasoned and mixed with pork fat.
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Old February 9, 2014, 03:02 AM   #21
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This is what we do....
Processed deer....
Everything I can into tenderized steak..for chicken fried steak
The rest ground meat..for chili..spaghetti..etc...
Some deer meat is smoked for sausage...
Also breakfast pan sausage....

It's hard to improve on slow cooked BBQ pig....from 100 lbers on down....
Also make pan sausage....
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Old February 10, 2014, 01:40 AM   #22
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As far as what cuts can be gotten from game. So long as it cooks on y'all's barbeque grate. It's all good!! A couple of Coors a dash of hot sauce everything wild caught always taste even better than expected. Those you catch with their nose in the air don't need to take up space at the table. Folks with that type of shown behavior need to Fast in my book.
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Old February 11, 2014, 09:16 PM   #23
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Lessor cuts such as the neck roast have a dual purpose. I cook the whole neck in a big stock pot to make BBQ sandwich meat. The stock that is left behind makes great soup stock.

Round steaks are great for Swiss Steak or Stroganoff.

Ground that would be ear marked for burger works well for breakfast sausage.

Goose breast mixed 50/50 with pork makes great summer sausage or snack stick meat.
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Deer are amazing please don't burn the sauteed onions and I'll pass on the steak sauce, thank you.
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Old February 13, 2014, 10:12 PM   #24
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Deer burger substituted for ground beef and mixed with pork sausage/veal and other seasonings makes for excellent homemade meatballs for spaghetti's, meatball subs etc.

Mix up a batch of 60-70 and freeze them.

Last edited by shortwave; February 13, 2014 at 10:34 PM.
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Old February 14, 2014, 06:46 PM   #25
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One I like, is to supplement standard ol boring cold cuts..... with carved venison sammiches! Buddy of mine got an electric deli slicer and ran a boneless deer roast off like thin sliced deli ham. Little mayo, tomato, lettuces and onion out of the garden....cant beat it

For months after deer harvest, everything you'd normally make with ground beef (meatloaf, burgers, meat sauces for pastas, chili, taco meat) we make with deer burger.

Feel like going a little south of the boarder? We like to do fried catfish tacos with pineapple salsa, chopped cabbage and some southwest ranch dressing. I'll trade boring taco bell for sitting up till 2am, with good friends, and a cold filtered beverage reel'n ol whiskers to produce said tacos any day of the week
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