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Deer legs. What to do, what to do? - Page 2

post #21 of 35

Like plj said the part most people call "tenderloin" is actually the backstrap or loin. Most people just cut it out by itself instead of makin chops, etc.. It is cut out and cooked whole usually from the ribeye to the sirloin and varies in tenderness throughout. The ribs, brisket and flank are most often discarded but are good to eat. I like the heart but haven't got brave enough to eat the liver or lights. Keep your meat dry and it is best aged at 34 to 38 degrees for at least a week. I just put mine in the fridge (the backstrap, tenderloin, or organ meat don't need it). I always braise mine and use bacon fat to keep from drying it out.

post #22 of 35

Ok here is what I did with my front legs this year. Boudin! I stewed 5 pounds of pork shoulder and 5 pounds of trimmed up venison. I did not have the liver or kidneys but was able to procure some chicken livers. I can't get enough of it. it is so good! You can find the recipe at Lets make sausage.com and it is Boudin recipe #1. That is the one I did and it is the bomb. Great way to get your feet wet in the world of sausage making too. I wouldn't expect those front legs to be much good to just cook. You could do jerky but I vote for boudin 

post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 

I kept and cleaned one leg, the other had clearly taken the shot and was pretty wrecked. Didn't feel like dealing with it and not sure what to look for/ what to not worry about. Not comfortable with that.

 

It was clear of almost any fat when I pulled it out of the bag. I patted it dry and cleaned away the silver skin and membrane, cut it mostly down to meat. It's in the fridge on a rack on a pan tented with foil to allow some air but not so anyone who opens the thing has a red leg staring at them...

 

I was going to give it a rub today and back in the fridge, then on the smoke tomorrow following Woodcutters (carvers?) method. 115 deg., then cover with a layer of bacon and cook til 160.

 

I'll give that a taste myself and see what we have, then either offer it up or mince if for chili or the Barbacoa recipe. .

 


That's my plan, am I'm stepping in something I shouldn't here?

 

Thanks all!

post #24 of 35

I want you to try this.......or the Barbacoa recipe.....So "I" know how it goes.

As I said, I had my first Taco with Barbacoa the other evening and it was delicious but it was beef.

Anxious to see how it would be with venison.:biggrin:

post #25 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azbohunter View Post
 

I want you to try this.......or the Barbacoa recipe.....So "I" know how it goes.

As I said, I had my first Taco with Barbacoa the other evening and it was delicious but it was beef.

Anxious to see how it would be with venison.:biggrin:

 

Wellll, that may be enough for me to give Barbacoa a go. haha

 

Reading the ingredients I have a pretty good idea how it will taste and I think it would go over pretty well. I copied it to a blank page and printed it out already, it's sitting on the printer now.

 

We shall see. If I go that route I'll be certain to report back.

 

One question about the ingredients- 1/4 lard. Now, I know what lard IS, but where do you find it? Is that what  Crisco is? Don't think I really have a source for rendered fat otherwise.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backyardboss View Post
 

 

 

dumb question, but backstrap = tenderloin? I know they come from the same area, but trying to glean as much info around here as I can. Don't sound so dumb that way...

 

And this was a 155# Buck, so that may have something to do with it?

 

Now, how about that pellicle, folks?

Backstrap = Loin.  Found on the outside of the ribcage.Think ribsteaks,chops., Loin roasts.

Tenderloin= Venison Filet Mignon.  Found on the inside of the ribcage. Only about 2" in diameter and very fragile and tender due to lack of those muscles gettiing much use.

 

When I get a deer the front shoulders are cubed and canned for later use like in beef and noodles, or quick sloppy joes. 

 

Barry.

post #27 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yea, then these were most definitely the backstraps. They were each about 2 ft long, maybe a bit more and about a 3 inch diameter, maybe a bit more on at the butt end.

 

So, I guess that answers that. It was still plenty tasty, just couldn't figure how a tenderloin of ANYTHING could be tough.

 

But sliced thin, braised for a short while and served au jus it was still a fine meal.

post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backyardboss View Post

Yea, then these were most definitely the backstraps. They were each about 2 ft long, maybe a bit more and about a 3 inch diameter, maybe a bit more on at the butt end.

So, I guess that answers that. It was still plenty tasty, just couldn't figure how a tenderloin of ANYTHING could be tough.

But sliced thin, braised for a short while and served au jus it was still a fine meal.

If an animal is not allowed to complete the rigormortise cycle, while hanging, it will be very tough.... looking at venison... 24-36 hours for rigor to set in and 6-14 days until it is resolved.... temperature is a major factor.... warmer shorter time....

Effect of rigor mortis

Animal Time to onset of rigor Time for resolution of rigor


Cattle 12 - 24 hours 2 - 10 days
Pig 6 - 12 hours 1 - 2 days
Lamb 7 - 8 hours 1 day
Turkey 1/2 - 2 hours 6 - 24 hours
Chicken 1/2 - 1 hour 4 - 6 hours
Rabbit 12-20 hours 2-7 days
Venison 24 - 36 hours 6 - 14 days

Looking at the above data, it becomes conclusive that the aging process is more crucial for animals which are older at the slaughter time (cattle, venison). Warm meat of a freshly slaughtered animal exhibits the highest quality and juiciness. Unfortunately there is a very narrow window of opportunity for processing it. The slaughter house and the meat plant must be located within the same building to be effective. Meat that we buy in a supermarket has already been aged by a packing house. If an animal carcass is cooled too rapidly (below 50° F, 10° C) before the onset of the rigor (within 10 hours), the muscles may contract which results in tough meat when cooked. This is known as “cold shortening.” To prevent this the carcass is kept at room temperature for some hours to accelerate rigor and then aged at between 30-41° F, (-1 - 5° C).
post #29 of 35
Thread Starter 

Now that's an interesting bit of info.

 

I don't think this is the case here, but that's something I hadn't considered. Thanks for posting. Interesting.

post #30 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azbohunter View Post
 

Venison Barbacoa  This is from Hank Shaw, website: Hunter.Angler.Gardner.Cook

This is maybe the best recipe ever for the front shoulders of deer, which can be sinewy and tough to deal with. Cooking with this method really lets nature take its course, and all that connective tissue will dissolve and the meat will be super tender.

But it will still be really lean, so I add about 1/4 cup of lard, bear fat or duck fat to the shredded venison before I serve. You would use olive or vegetable oil. Of course, if you use fatty meats like beef or lamb or pork, you won’t need to do this.

Be sure to have lots of accompaniments for your barbacoa: It’s a base for a meal, the do-it-yourself construction of your tacos is more than half the fun!

You can buy chipotles in adobo in many supermarkets, and definitely in Latin markets or online. One more thing: This stuff reheats beautifully, so make a big batch.

Serves 4 to 6.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, more or less

  • 2 to 3 pounds venison, from the shoulder or legs
  • 2 to 4 canned chipotles in adobo
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 quart beef or venison stock
  • 1/4 cup lard or vegetable oil
  • Smoked salt (optional)
  • Cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocados and hot sauce for garnish

__________

 

  1. Put everything in a slow cooker or Dutch oven and cook, covered, until the meat falls off the bone, which will be between 2 hours (for many domestic meats and young deer) and 6 hours if you have a very old animal. If you use a slow cooker, set it to “high.” If you use a regular pot, put it into the oven set to 300°F.
  2. Pull all the meat from the bones and shred with forks or your fingers. Stir in the lard and as much smoked salt as you want. You want the lard or oil to coat the shreds of meat. Pour over some of the juices from the pot and put the meat in a pan for the table. Serve with tacos, in a burrito or on a bun.

 

 

Okay, update:

 

What I did from beginning to end. Took some Q-views along the way and the finished product came out pretty darn appealing. If I can ever figure out how to post pictures I'll bring 'em along for a show.

 

 

Got the ;leg out of the ice and out of the bag they were stored in. Rinsed them off, discarded the one per the suggestion of watching out for the wounded leg. Didn't want to mess with that.

 

I cleaned the one leg of silver skin and membranes as best I could, patted it dry. place it on a rack with a loose foil tent and into the fridge. Due to weather conditions ti remained in the Refridge (in garage and very cold) from Sunday til Thursday when the weather finally broke. Tuesday I had pulled the leg out and gave it a good rub with SPOG with a thin layer of squeeze butter on there first (trying to impart some additional moistness). Also added some ground Thyme and a splash of cayenne (not needed, at all!).

 

Got the MB XL up to around 250-265 (Santa doesn't bring the Maverick for a few more days...so still guesstimating a bit on temp), mix of hickory and Apple chunks, good looking smoke. Went 1 1/2 hour before checking on the fella, got to around 115 or so, and per WC suggestions laid a blanket of good quality store bought bacon on top for another flavor and moistness. incidentally, water in the after pan throughout. Added a bit more wood and left her alone.

 

4 more hours at around 250, got to an internal temp of 145-150. Removed, foil wrap and into cooler with towels. Allowed it to sit for around 2 hours there. Removed it and while it was pretty late at this point just did a taste test. Actually quite juicy, though a little rare. closer to the bone too rare, and too late for the smoker again. It had a VERY good flavor, though typically strong and a bit gamey (expected). I figured it would be too tough to simply serve as is or with sides etc.

 

So, into the refridge to cool. The following Saturday I finally had time to tackle the beast again, so assembled all my ingredients for the Barbacoa above. I used our trusty 6 QT slow cooker. Added all ingredients according to the recipe EXACTLY. For the one area of choice I used 3 cans of the Chipoltle's. I had cleaned the meat for the lower leg, so I dropped in the shoulder over the beef broth and onion beneath. Layered the lower leg meat and accompanying bacon over top that, covered with Chipoltles, and other ingredients, then poured remaining broth over that to mix.

 

Left it alone for around 4 hours cut off the Crock and left it to cool. Whole house smelled AMAZING. Cleaned out the one large bone and a bit, very tiny bit of leftover

tendon/sinew whatever it was. Gave it a stir and left it to cool completely. Pulled the meat from the pot and shredded,  following the rest of the directions above. Then into the refridge again.

 

Come Sunday, I am out at an event and hadn't even thought about dinner plans  or anything else. I simply received a text from my wife- "Really really good BUT SPICY! As in burn your mouth spicy". She's no wilting flower when it comes to heat either. So a bit of an uh, oh. I got around 6 lbs of this stuff will anyone eat it again?

 

Off to store to purchase some Cacique cream to cut the heat a bit more.

 

To this evening- Kids, what do you want for dinner? (14 YO daughter, 15 YO son). She pipes up- Can we have what we had last night, that Bambi stuff (hahaha, love that kid) you made? (YES, Someone else liked it!) Sure, can you ask your brother if he wants that too? His response- That would be amazing, yes! Thanks.

 

So, a two for two. I would consider this a pretty huge success, on a scale of 1- 10 Id have to rate the recipe and resulting entree around a 7, it's delicious to us, but would be a challenge for many I'm sure. I'd rate the response from my rather typical suburban kids a surprisingly great 8.5!

 

So anyway, long winded, but promised I'd report back. It has the consistency of a pot roast or pulled beef, good texture and a heat that hits the back of your tongue. Not overwhelming and the gamey flavor is actually a lot milder than the smell can be. 

 

I would recommend this as a great alternative for the rather inelegant shoulder portion and I think the addition of smoking the meat made a significant difference to the end product.

 

Many thanks to all for the advice and tutorial on how to deal with this for a first timer- and many Kudos to AZBO for recommending this dish. I can only  imagine it's unreal with pork or beef.

 

Now, to figure out this picture thing... Cheers!

post #31 of 35

:th_What_NO_QVIEW:

post #32 of 35

Glad it turned out well for you, I have had the recipe for a couple years but have procrastinated, now I know I have to try it.

Thanks for the follow up.

post #33 of 35

Backstrap is Loin,  the tender loin is a very small cut on the inside of the body cavity along the spine right before the hindquarters.

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Backyardboss View Post
 

 

 For the one area of choice I used 3 cans of the Chipoltle's.

 

 

 

I may be wrong, but the way I read the recipe, is 2-4 Peppers from A Can, not 2-4 Cans of peppers.  That may be why your heat was off the charts :)

post #35 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepDiver View Post
 

 

I may be wrong, but the way I read the recipe, is 2-4 Peppers from A Can, not 2-4 Cans of peppers.  That may be why your heat was off the charts :)

:icon_eek:      :icon_mrgreen:.

 

 

As that currently famous philosopher would say-  D' OH!!!

 

Wow. That's what I get for using the old glasses. haha. But you know it's not really over powering, at least not for us, but we eat pretty spicy regularly. Not sure 2-4 peppers would have been enough...And it was more than 2-3 lbs of venison too so that probably helped. Some...

 

But, YES, good catch and I honestly must have read that recipe at LEAST a dozen times or more. Didn't catch that once.

 

Note to self-   Pro-tip, kids. You can always add to a dish, it's tough to subtract. Or  the old saying- measure twice, cut once. Wait til the wife hears this one. lol,.

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