I killed a large mule deer roughly a month ago with a perfect shot and the deer went right down. None of the meat was damaged so instead of taking the meat to the processor, or instead of bottling it all (like I normally do), I decided I'd try to do some things with it. It is the first time for a lot of things, and I hope my handling hasn't completely ruined the meat, but I'm "all-in" at this point.
Possibly Relevant information:
- Deer killed when outside temp was about 50 degrees (F)
- Left in truck bed overnight, temperature got below 30 degrees within 3-4 hours and stayed that way for 6-8 hours
- Drove to town and hung it in a refrigerated room temperature between 35 and 40 for 3 days
- Hung it. Skinned and quartered it when outside temp was around 45 degrees, was outside for roughly 5 hours
- Wrapped up into a sheet and put on a cookie tray in the fridge (around 35 degrees, coldest setting) left for 4 weeks (28 days) (I know, too long)
- Pulled a hind-quarter from the fridge tonight (left the rest in fridge unwrapped on cookie sheet until tomorrow) and butchered it
- There was a lot of the outer meat that was darker than I like (approaching black at the fat). I trimmed it all of
- Some of the meat in wrapped up with it has begun to have some small patches of white mold (I'm guessing mold)
- Much of the meat had frozen and there was ice crystals binding the pieces together (colder than 35 in there?)
Here's the picture of the cuts I'm planning to cure:
As I'm aware of the time-constraint that's killing me here, I didn't have time to wait for my Pink Cure No.1 to arrive. I bought Morton's Quick Cure at the local grocery store. Quick Cure has 0.65% sodium nitrate and also has salt and sugar in large proportions. Pink Cure No.1 has 6.5% sodium nitrate... That's 10-times the sodium nitrate! I realized that after mixing up this mixture:
- 1 Gallon cold water
- 1 Tbsp quick cure
- 1.5 Cups brown sugar
- 1 Cup salt
Upon discovering the reduced amount of sodium nitrate, I headed to this forum to quickly study up on curing venison. I'm afraid that without pink cure, I won't get the same result. I'm also worried that without dumping my solution and starting over (with 10 Tbsp morton quick cure, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup sugar brown/white mix), that I'll ruin the meat... I disovered instead to add 3 Tbsp quick cure to my current mixture and post on here hoping that someone with more experience with this meat will have suggestions.
So to keep things uniform, I ADDED:
- 3 Tbsp quick cure
And then I added my meat to the mixture and put it in the fridge. Since I'm expecting this meat to take two weeks to cure, I'm hoping that I have time to make drastic changes if folks here think it's a good idea. Or small changes if that's more appropriate.
PLEASE LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!
Thanks in advance.