I knew when I got married that my husband was a hunter. Years ago when he would shoot a deer, we would take it to a processing plant. After some years of wondering if we got our “deer” back, we decided to process our own. We found a suitable meat grinder from Northern Tool about 11 years ago. On average hubby will get at least one deer a year, sometimes two. We don’t add any beef suet to our ground meat due to the fact that we don’t want any added fat. Some people don’t like the taste of straight venison. I also like the fact that it is in it’s most natural state. No additives or anything is in our meat. I also like the idea that the meat came from the “backyard”. Hubby will go out the backdoor and walk into our woods, and get the meat for our freezer.
Here is a picture of the doe that he got.
She was a good size doe. Over the years we have had some that were small and I thought that we wouldn’t get much meat off of her. One year hubby got his largest buck he ever shot. We managed to get 70 pounds of meat off of him. He was a beautiful buck! He is now on our wall.
As soon as hubby drags up the deer to the house, we hang it up to skin it. Once skinned hubby will cut it up into quarters and tenderloins. They are then put into coolers on ice for one to two days to get some of the blood out. Generally if you do this, you can get rid of the “game” taste. Last night we sat down to cut up and grind the meat. Me, hubby and our daughter cut up the tenderloins into stew meat and six little chops. The rest of the meat went into the grinder.
Some people use foodsavers to freeze their meat. When I first got mine I loved it. But it didn’t take me long to realize that those darn bags were so expensive. I now use either name brand freezer bags or freezer bags from Aldi. I find that Aldi bags work just as good. I will then put meat into the bags and weigh them on a scale. I like to stick to one pound packages. Easy for us that way.
All of the years we have been doing our own meat, we have never had a problem with freezer burn. I always make sure that the air is out of the bags before they go into the freezer. I have thought of canning it as they say it is really good, but I would have to buy a pressure canner. I have heard of some people that can deer meat in the oven, but I feel uneasy doing it. We ended up with 30 pounds of meat this year so far. Not too bad considering the price of meat anymore. It is work, but I enjoy it and so does hubby. I would rather work a little for my food and know where it came from. I also like the fact that this is the leanest meat. I am thinking that later in the week I will have to make a stew with our homegrown veggies. Might even have to make some biscuits!