We love deer and elk steaks, but you can only get so many off one animal.
That means lots of wild game meat is ground into burger, but there are other options that make tasty meals and snacks.
Trim, Then Trim Some More
You want as much lean, red meat as possible. Trim as much membrane as you can, which is the white or silvery tissue that connects muscle.
Meat you plan to grind can be almost any size as long as it fits into your meat grinder, but chunks about an inch or two in diameter, or smaller, tend to grind more easily.
Now the Fun Part: What to Make With Your Wild Game Meat.
If you’re going to make jerky, you want to thinly slice the larger chunks of meat into strips. The process then involves soaking slices in a brine and smoking or drying them. Drying can be done in a food dehydrator, smoker, or even your oven at its lowest setting with the door ajar.
There are many jerky recipes available in cookbooks and on the Internet. Remember when making jerky the pieces should be dry, but still supple. Too dry and it will be brittle and crunchy, which is overcooked. Although jerking is a method of preserving, it’s still best to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
This is a good way to prepare a large batch of meat that you can freeze and use for future meals, such as tacos, burritos, casseroles and others.
A slow cooker is also great for extra-tough cuts of meat, such as shanks (the lower leg muscles). Cut the meat into roughly even-sized chunks so they will take about the same duration to cook.
This meat also works well for stew, chili and soups and other slow-cook recipes.
If you have lots of ground meat from your butcher, making patty sausage is still an option, and it’s simple to do. All you have to do is thaw the meat and mix in seasoning. You also may want to add ground pork to increase the fat content. This will hold the meat together better, during cooking and make it juicier. Just pop it in your patty press and in a few minutes you will have the best tasting sausage patties ever.
You can make breakfast sausage or Italian-style sausage that tastes great when mixed with spaghetti sauce and other dishes, depending on what spices and seasoning you use.
You can us a meat grinder to make sausage from scratch, plan to add between 10 percent to 50 percent pork to your venison, depending on your taste. Use inexpensive cuts of pork, which gives it a milder flavor, and also gives you more sausage.
This sausage is a little trickier because you have to stuff the meat into sausage casings, but you can also form the meat into logs by wrapping them in plastic wrap, twisting the ends tight and smoothing out the log before slowly unwrapping to keep the shape even.
After grinding a mixture of venison and pork and stuffing the casing or making logs, you smoke the sausages or logs at low temperature for several hours. These make fantastic appetizers, and you can freeze them for later use.
These are tasty and great pocket snacks for your next hunting or fishing trip. They’re a little more work because making them requires mixing the spices and also stuffing them into long, narrow casings, but it’s nothing you can’t handle. You can find the casings at specialty stores, sporting goods stores or online, as well as whole kits for making pepperoni sticks. If it’s too much of a hassle, many meat processors will make it for you