Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Ramblings – Our Deer Processing Experience

Two weeks ago I told you about a fun little process that I would be experiencing.  I shared this on instagram.  In all honesty, at this point in the game I wasn’t even sure what to think.  You all, though, seemed pretty darn interested so I’m excited to share!

Dan showed us the ropes.  He also taught me that when most people say that they don’t like the “gamey” taste of meat, that what they are really tasting is fat that wasn’t properly removed from the animal…the fat is where that bad taste is.  He taught us to pay special attention to remove as much of the fat as possible.  He is so knowledgeable.  I wish I would have taken notes.

As the night went on, though, I learned so much and truly enjoyed the whole experience.  It was gory or bloody.  It was quite intriguing.  As I suspected, I did much more than watch.  We watched Dan process the first hind quarter (the hip and leg), and then I did my own and Paul did a front quarter (the shoulder area).  Check it out…






Without a doubt, this was a great night.  We enjoyed a dinner of deer steaks after the work was complete.  They were amazing and I loved enjoying a meal in which I knew exactly where it came from.  If you ever have the opportunity to take advantage of processing your own meat, I would highly recommend it.


27 Responses to “Wednesday Ramblings – Our Deer Processing Experience”

  1. #
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — January 25, 2012 @ 9:23 am

    My dad was a hunter when I was growing up, but he always paid to have his meat processed. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Interesting fact about the fat.

  2. #
    Alan Cooke — January 25, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    Congratulations on first deer processing! :)I love venison. So many people make that mistake about the fat & white sinew. Venison is just the opposit of beef in that regard. Cut up stew meat makes a great stroganoff, too. Enjoy!

    • Cassie replied: — January 25th, 2012 @ 9:27 am

      Great idea, Alan! We will try the stew idea, love it!

  3. #
    Kathryn — January 25, 2012 @ 9:26 am

    Thank you for sharing all the photos, it looks like it was a really interesting evening and how nice to be able to eat something that you butchered!

  4. #
    Alexis @ There She Goes — January 25, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    wow! this is so cook- awesome that you took part- my uncle makes a mean deer chili 🙂

  5. #
    Courtney — January 25, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    very cool you did that!! my father in law is a big old hunter and while I dont do it I think its amazing to one have a fresh source of meat and two do so much of the work yourself. that is as organic as you can get if you ask me!

  6. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — January 25, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    you look so cute doing something that’s not so cute!! haha i love it 🙂 thanks for sharing with us!

  7. #
    Jennifer | Mother Thyme — January 25, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

    So interesting! I have only tried deer once and it was a long time ago. I ate it and I didn’t even know it was deer meat (they didn’t want to tell me until afterwards, lol). You are so right, its nice to enjoy a meal and know where the meat came from!

  8. #
    Krissy @ Krissy's Creations — January 25, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    Look at you! I would never be able to do that :/. You look good doing it, that’s for sure 🙂

  9. #
    Jackie @ Domestic Fits — January 25, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    I grew up in a Hunters House, shot guns, shells and camo all over the place! My favorite was always the deer jerky, I’d kill for some of that right now! It looks like you are a pro at breaking down a deer by now, great post 🙂

  10. #
    Lauren — January 25, 2012 @ 4:32 pm

    I would love to have meat in my freezer that was completely as organic and all natural as your deer! Except, I’d have my husband do the hunting and have someone else {like you?!} do the processing! 🙂 Sounds like a plan to me!

  11. #
    Bev Weidner — January 25, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    Haha, you said, “at this point IN THE GAME.” OHHHHH, YOU!

  12. #
    Liz — January 25, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

    Brava, Cassie! Job well done. Good to know the gamey taste is from the fat. My BIL is the hunter in the family…and I’ll let him do his processing up in Wisconsin 🙂

  13. #
    Jenny @ Savour the Senses — January 25, 2012 @ 10:26 pm

    What an awesome experience, I am jealous!! I want to go elk hunting so I can have lots of elk meat to cook!

  14. #
    Ann — January 25, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    Congratulations! My husband’s family is full of deer hunters – he adores the stuff, but I appreciate the fact that YOU know where it came from and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  15. #
    Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) — January 26, 2012 @ 7:26 am

    This. is. Awesome! I’ve been dying to do something like this forever but the opportunity never seems to arise. And the husband seems to not like the idea of trying deer. Unadventurous, I tell you!

  16. #
    Katherine Martinelli — January 26, 2012 @ 11:09 am

    What a great experience – thank you for sharing it with us! So interesting about fat being the cause of that gamey flavor you sometimes encounter.

  17. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — January 26, 2012 @ 5:22 pm

    Looks like a fun night! I had no idea that the fat is what tasted bad!

  18. #
    Miss Meghan @ scratch-made wife — January 26, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    We looooove venison, but my husband doesn’t hunt, so we always have to wait until someone else in our family gets a deer and gives us some of the goods! I’ve never been a part of the “process.” I give you credit!

  19. #
    Cat Davis — January 26, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

    I gotta say, I grew up around a deer hunting dad and coming home to a dead dear hanging from the tree was something I got use to, but I don’t think I could ever do what you did. I was completely content with the deer going from the tree to the dinner table without seeing all the messy bits in between.

  20. #
    Nami | Just One Cookbook — January 27, 2012 @ 2:16 am

    Such a great experience and thanks for sharing it with us! You are right, this is the best way to eat meat in a way. We appreciate where it comes from, and we make sure we process it right, and skipping all the unnecessary process. But I still have to say you are brave! Are you going to share the steak recipe? I’m curious about that too! Have a great weekend!

  21. #
    Jill | Dulce Dough — January 27, 2012 @ 11:15 am

    Thanks for sharing Cassie! My husband and boys are hunters and luckily they take care of all the processing stuff and fill up our freezer. I just do not like dealing with meat. I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy baking so much more than cooking!

  22. #
    Linda Dale — January 30, 2012 @ 11:03 am

    Hi Cassie! The photos you shared looked so much like my house during deer season. We process all of our deer meat. 🙂 My teen boys and husband LOVE to hunt and I like to eat! 🙂 I have numerous recipes that I will be glad to share. Although, really my recipe for good deer-burgers, beef (deer) stew, deer roast etc is treat it as you would just like beef only as you mentioned take out any sinew and fat (usually not a lot of fat on deer) that you see. Thanks for sharing…made me feel right at home. 🙂

  23. #
    Linda Lou — February 24, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    This brings back SO many memories, I’ve participated in many “deer processings” having had the luck for many years of being able to hunt on deer leases in South Texas. My husband would do the initial processing (we have many hide rugs and throws and mounted horns). I would do the cleaning, “muscling” (cutting up along the muscle separations to make big chucks of meat), cutting up and packaging. I made many a pound of “pan-sausage” on my dining room table. I was always on the hunt for ground up pork fat at my local meat market and the guys always knew I was making sausage. It was actually fun, getting the meat all seasoned, then frying up a little sample to make sure the seasoning was right and adding more of this or that if necessary! We used to be lucky enough to eat venison about six or seven months out of the year. Yummm. Good memories! Thanks for the story!

  24. #
    Lauren — October 11, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    My husband is the hunter in the family but I love helping him grind up the meat, etc. We have a freezer full of venison, chukkar, quail, turkey, and pheasant. We grind up the venison about 3/4 lb and 1/4 ground beef to have on hand all the time. I never grew up in a hunting household but being able to partake in the process makes you appreciate the meal so much more!

    • Cassie replied: — October 11th, 2012 @ 8:59 am

      Yes, absolutely! Thanks for stopping by Lauren!

  25. #
    Linda in Texas — December 20, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    Just came across this post and boy did it bring back some memories! We used to deer hunt all the time here in Texas and spent many an hour “processing” the meat! The super lean meat makes excellent little steaks and we made our own pan sausage. Our kitchen table would be piled with venison and pork that we had to be mixed and seasoned til it was just right! Of course the sausage had to be fried and tasted along the way to make sure it was perfect – LOL our neighbors one time called my husband and I “the most domesticated” couple on the block! That kind of sounds like we were domesticated cats or something but I think they actually meant domestic! At any rate, glad you enjoyed the experience. Thanks for the memories!

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