It has been deer hunting season over these past three weekends. Deer hunting has been slow and quiet, meaning the guys have been seeing very few, if any, deer. I went hunting the first week and saw nothing. Not even a squirrel.
This is our friend, Paul, who was up from Chicago for the first weekend. He didn't see any deer.....
We did get a deer, though, thanks to Wade of Steve's hunting party! We begin processing the deer by taking off the hide and quartering it. Then we hang the quarters in the garage for a few days of aging. Our temperatures were perfect for aging - 20's at night and upper 30's in the day. Tansy thought the whole thing was the BEST time of her LIFE.
Friday night we started taking the meat off the bone. That's the back leg.
Hey! You can see my kitchen. The left side cupboards are open so that it's easy for everyone to just take care of themselves when they visit. Plus, I like seeing my fun dishes. I like to find dishes at art fairs or on our travels, so it's quite an eclectic collection.
Steve takes the meat off the bone and puts the sections into big bowls. We use every bowl we own when we process deer. I then take the sections of meat and cut off all tallow and silverskin. If you leave that stuff on venison, your meat will be tough. Our meat is always so tender, you would not believe it.
Here are a couple of packages of steaks ready for the freezer. We have a vacuum sealer which we use for all of the packages of venison. We make steaks, stew chunks, and ground. We don't have any of our meat processed into sausage or sticks or jerky. If we want those things, we make them ourselves.
I've been experimenting with my new slow cooker and making bone broths. This is a bone broth (bone broths are those slow-cooked broths that are jelly-like when cold). The nutrients including the collagen is extracted from the bones into the water. Very nutritious and super easy to make! This was the broth after straining the solids from that turkey rubbed with harissa. It will be spicy. I put it in this container to freeze, then I'll break the frozen broth in half and have a couple of cups of frozen broth ready to go! (By the way, did you know that gelatin is bone broth? They make it from hooves of animals.)
Here is the pot of venison bones. I added onion, garlic, and water. I want it to be a pretty pure base flavor, so I didn't add any herbs or spices. I can add the various flavors when I use the broth in a recipe. I've never made broth with venison bones, so I'll let you know how it turns out.
Steve is still out hunting today. It's the last day of firearm hunting in Minnesota. If he doesn't get a deer today, he'll be back out next weekend for muzzle loader hunting. Venison and fish are our main sources of meat for the year, so we're pretty focused on getting some venison in the freezer!