All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

12/19/2015

Meet the Meat Part One

Venison encompass several game animals found in North America.  The characteristics of the meat I'm going to talk about are basically the same, although the flavor changes. 
  • Antelope ~ Strictly speaking, not venison, its antelope not a member of the deer family.  It is the strongest flavored meat of group
  • Mule deer ~ Large bodied deer, valued primarily for its large horns.  Even if you get a smaller Mulley you can mount the horns and pass it off as a large white tail, your friends will be impressed.  The meat tends to be stronger flavored than the whitetail
  • White tail ~ Two basic categories, "Up North Cedar Swamp deer" and corn feed.  In Wyoming we have normal forest run deer.  Cedar Swamp deer are gamier.  All other varieties are mild, with corn feed being very close to lean grass feed long horn in taste and texture  
  • Elk ~ Mid to mild in flavor slightly better than whitetail
  • Caribou ~ I've never had a bad bou, I suspect that "bad bou's" are the result of improperly caring for the meat.  Delicious is an understatement, although admittedly its been 18 years or so since I lucked into an invite to eat some
  • Moose ~ Yum!  Mild in flavor and to a palette accustomed to all I can kill antelope, awesome! 
The number one, most important factor, in having good flavor on the table is care of the meat in the field.  Kill it quick.  Gut it out and cool it off fast.   Preferably hang the meat so it has an opportunity to get as much blood out as possible and age slightly.

Ok, that said, sometimes its not possible to control those factors, if someone is giving you the meat, or if you decided to kill your game in early October.  If that's the case, and even if its not, the best thing you can do is get ALL the blood out of the meat before doing anything else.

What I do, even if its my own kill, properly cooled and aged, is thaw or soak the steaks/roast in cold, non-chlorinated water.  That's right step number one is get the blood out of your meat.  Fortunately this is easy.  Thaw your meat in cold water.  This will draw out any extra blood that is present.  Obviously this is hard to do with hamburg, but for now lets focus on steaks and roasts.  This is also true for eating organs, get the blood out!

Venison has very little fat marbled in the meat muscle.  This is part of what makes it so healthy to eat.  This is also what makes it harder than a rib eye to cook right.  That said, its still pretty easy to cook if you follow Res's Rules for Cooking Venison.
  1. Get all the blood out
  2. Meat must be room temp before cooking
  3. Marinating is helpful, although not necessary
  4. You don't have to over cook it
    1. If you do, and it's tough its your fault
    2. Shoe leather is not toothsome
  5. Mid well (gray with juice) is a done as you want to cook it
  6. Mid rare to medium is plenty (remember you got all the blood out, its going to taste fine)
    1. Exception, the crockpot its going to get well done, that's ok you're cooking with moisture and the meat will be fine
    2. Exception, the Dutch oven, again you should be incorporating moisture with this method so well done is going to turn out fine
That's enough for this post.  The wife and kids are coming back this afternoon so I'll try to fire off the rest latter.

8 comments:

  1. On nights when mom was going to cook liver, dad always put it into a mildly salted brine solution to help get the blood out. My mom always cooked the best liver and onions. I could never understand why none of my friends would eat liver. Good stuff.

    IMO, this post even follows a Biblical principle in a way. God tells us not to eat blood, as it is the life of the creature. So brining not only helps to finish the clean up of the product, but adds a bit of flavor and moisture to the meat/poultry.

    I bet your kids are going to have a lot of stories to tell you over the next week or so about the time they spent with their grandparents.
    You and the Mrs. are good parents Res, and very lucky to have harmony between the grandparents and their kids/grandkids. Too many families out there who don't have this kind of life.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yep, blood is a major issue in the koshering process. Everything from slaughtering the animal to preparing the meat is taken into account. It was also one of the basic requirements for table fellowship with Gentiles coming to faith in the book of Acts, to abstain from blood.

    We use Morton's kosher salt or sea salt to coat the meat and then soak and rinse in cold water three times.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Old Sarge1:00 PM

    (Psst.... Members of the deer family don't have "horns"; they have antlers. I knew you'd want to know. :-) )

    ReplyDelete
  4. We know, Sarge. We tend to use imprecise language sometimes. Sometimes Res even uses imprecise spelling.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Susan9:59 AM

    That is because he is channelling Nate Giraffe. Even Vox is channelling Nate recently.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Somehow, in the last ten years, Nate learned to spell. Must be because he's homeschooling. It's good that somebody picked up the slack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (wipes a tear from her eye), Our little Nate is growing up.

      Delete
  7. Thanks, Res. Looking forward to part II.

    ReplyDelete