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Venison liver

grabber

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Good morning. It's deer season here in WNY. I try and use ever part of the deer. I've got a few questions on correct way to process the liver.

1.Do you need to skin the liver before slicing or grinding it and how is it done.
2. Are there any things inside that need to be removed before slicing/ grinding-i.e.- glands, etc. and where are they.
3. Is it interchangeable for use in recipes that call for livers in other recipes, as some like pork are hard to come by in our area.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 

smokinbarrles

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Good morning. It's deer season here in WNY. I try and use ever part of the deer. I've got a few questions on correct way to process the liver.

1.Do you need to skin the liver before slicing or grinding it and how is it done.
2. Are there any things inside that need to be removed before slicing/ grinding-i.e.- glands, etc. and where are they.
3. Is it interchangeable for use in recipes that call for livers in other recipes, as some like pork are hard to come by in our area.

Thanks in advance for your help.
Iv never ground liver but in my experience, we skin the liver slice it thin for liver and onions and soak in a bowl of milk for a while. No glands that im aware of. But soaking in milk or water is pretty crucial in my opinion.
 

Misplaced Nebraskan

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Agree with the above. Soaking is key. A good soak in some salt water will help pull some of the blood out. I haven't done it in a good while, but a couple hours, rinse and re-soak if desired. I usually did two rounds. But, no glands in there. the skin we trimmed some with a fillet knife and then cut it into a few pieces prior to soaking to increase surface area. As for interchangeability in recipes, I don't see why not. It may have a slightly different flavor but it'll still fill that Liver profile.

As smokinbarrles smokinbarrles said, a good milk soak is good too.
 

LanceR

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My experience has been that there's no need to skin it. Maybe try it both ways and decide after that.

As soon as possible after taking the deer you want rinse it and flush water through the blood vessels while gently kneading the liver until the water runs clear or nearly clear. Some folks soak the liver in cold salted water to help draw out the blood. You'll find some large blood vessels when you clean and cut it and you may want to remove those although it certainly isn't needed, especially if it will be ground.

I'm not aware of any glands.

The colder it is when sliced or ground the cleaner it will cut. For grinding or chopping in a food processor you will have better results if you chill t in the freezer to what the meat industry calls the "frost crust" stage and if water is called for consider using crushed ice to keep the temperature down as processing introduces a lot of heat.

I'm not a liver eater and most of the livers, sometimes more than a dozen a year, went to friends, family or treats for training tracking dogs. Although I am tinkering with liverwurst due to family requests I'm not ready to share recipes yet.....

BTW, I grew up in Amherst and my wife is from Elma. We sold our CNY farm two year ago and retired to our North Carolina place but I'm sitting at a son's place in Depew right now. Where in the B'lo area are you?
 

grabber

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Cheektowaga and have 23 acres in Limestone, NY. Backs up to thousands of acres of timber company property that they'll never sell and that attaches to Cattaraugus Indian Reservation. Looking off back deck is, 68,500 acres in Alleghany State Park. Between Rt. 219 and Olean is nothing but woods. We pretty much just hunt our land. NYSDEC big game manager called Limestone, black bear central.
 

Bearcarver

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My answers are similar to all the above:
1---The only trimming we ever did was to skin the parts that got a little tough, mostly from exposure to air, and remove some large vessels at the one end.
2---Slice in strips & soak in Cold Salt water over night.
3---I never saw any kind of glands in Deer Liver, and I believe it's close enough to Beef Liver to use in it's place in recipes. I don't think I ever had Pig Liver.

Bear
 

LanceR

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Cheektowaga
Ahh, the son in Depew and his wife just moved from Bahama La. in Ckeektowaga to Como Park Blvd across from Ramstein Woods Nature Preserve....

A nephew lives near Union and Rt 33. He's an avid hunter with land near Attica. This trip involved the wedding of our youngest son in PA and two weeks of family visits in several locations or he and I might have gone hunting. But with all the stops I put it all in the "Too Hard" box and left my bow home.

We have family in Elma, near the inner end of Walden and in Colden where they have 200+ acres. I joined the Army in 1976 and never came back to WNY except to visit. We're in the foothills of the Blue Ridge now and can fill the freezer with the deer under our back yard oaks if I want to.
 

grabber

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My brother lives in Elma on Girdle near Jamison. Thanks for your military service.
 

browneyesvictim

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#1 No. I don't skin it but you do want to trim around any of the large blood vessel's. Smaller ones are ok, but you can get as picky as you want here. It will be easier once you slice it to see. I don't soak in milk, but will let it sit in water and a very thorough rinse is important to work any clots out while gently messaging it.

#2. YES! The BILE gland is attached to the liver! Hopefully that was already carefully removed in the field at the time it was harvested. It needs to be cut out with a wide margin, and any that gets on the liver will make it bitter.

#3. Yes and no. Any purist will tell you "no" as there will be a difference in taste between types of liver. But they all taste like liver. Fresh venison liver is probably the most mild and best tasting of any liver in my opinion if handled and treated right. The diet and health of the animal also plays a part in the quality. Personally, I wouldn't think twice about using venison liver as a substitute for just about anything. No iron taste whatsoever if done right.
 

Bearcarver

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#1 No. I don't skin it but you do want to trim around any of the large blood vessel's. Smaller ones are ok, but you can get as picky as you want here. It will be easier once you slice it to see. I don't soak in milk, but will let it sit in water and a very thorough rinse is important to work any clots out while gently messaging it.

#2. YES! The BILE gland is attached to the liver! Hopefully that was already carefully removed in the field at the time it was harvested. It needs to be cut out with a wide margin, and any that gets on the liver will make it bitter.

#3. Yes and no. Any purist will tell you "no" as there will be a difference in taste between types of liver. But they all taste like liver. Fresh venison liver is probably the most mild and best tasting of any liver in my opinion if handled and treated right. The diet and health of the animal also plays a part in the quality. Personally, I wouldn't think twice about using venison liver as a substitute for just about anything. No iron taste whatsoever if done right.

For #2:
I didn't mention the "Bile", because like you said it should be laying in the gut pile in the woods. I meant there isn't any glands hiding in the liver to worry about.
When I Rabbit hunted with my Dad, back in the 60s, our Dog "Mitzi" loved Rabbit Liver, so every Rabbit we got, my Dad would cut the Bile pouch out & hold the "Still-Warm" Liver in his hand, and Mitzi would inhale it right out of his hand. Then she'd put her nose to the ground looking for another Rabbit, so she could get another Warm Liver. Great Dog!!!

Bear
 

grabber

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Reason I asked about glands was, when I was a lot younger, my cousin was slicing it and I saw a round pea sized sack in the liver itself. Nowhere near the bile sack or around the exterior.
 

Bearcarver

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Reason I asked about glands was, when I was a lot younger, my cousin was slicing it and I saw a round pea sized sack in the liver itself. Nowhere near the bile sack or around the exterior.
Hmm, might have been something that didn't belong there?
Maybe he was a Heavy Drinker, and had a Fatty Liver, with "Lumps".

Bear
 

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