How to Get the Wild Taste Out of Deer Meat
Watching my husband lug in a whole deer after his guys-only-hunting trip put me in a complete fix. There were many reasons to this first and foremost I wasn’t too good at cooking deer meat and I just dint know how to get the wild taste out of deer meat that I detest. Venison is not one of my strengths and I hate it when it is not handled properly leaving behind a meaty raw taste! My hubby’s friend who walked in turned out to be my solace as he took over the whole cooking process. The venison turned out great and I picked up a few interesting tips on keeping the wild taste out of deer meat!
Keeping the wild taste out starts not in your kitchen but from the minute you get your hands on the wild meat i.e. just after the deer is killed. Later on the phase in the kitchen before you cook the deer also matters.
Treating the deer meat immediately after the kill:
You should never leave your deer in the snow for a long time or postpone the dressing of the deer meat. Once the deer is killed it is advisable to subject the fresh deer meat to quick field dressing. Use your knife swiftly and remove all parts of the entrails without fail.
Open the body cavity to let the warm body of the deer cool down while you are dressing the meat and it would be great if you can skin too.
The next most important thing to do is to wash your carcass thoroughly with water.
Stuff some ice into the body cavity of the deer. Ensure that you do this within two hours of killing the deer.
Don’t haul your deer home on your truck top, exposed to all the elements of nature no matter how great it feels to show off your catch! It ruins the meat and any chance of saving it from having the wild taste.
Preparing your deer meat before cooking:
- Soak your deer meat in a mixture of salt water and white vinegar for close to 72 hours before cooking.
- Cover the soaking meat and store it in the refrigerator. Ensure that you change the salt and vinegar mixture every 8 to 10 hours.
- The blood will keep bleeding out of the meat because of the saline solution. When the solution becomes light pink it is time to remove the meat and add more salt and white vinegar to the water.
- By the time you take the meat out for cooking all the blood should have seeped out. Use a good marinade and soak the meat in it for 12 to 24 hours prior to cooking.
Marinades for your deer meat:
You can marinate the meat in milk for close to 24 hours, or use a fruit marinade made from sliced pineapple, pineapple pulp and juice. Refrigerate the meat with this marinade for a couple of days. You can even use buttermilk.
Deer meat recipes:
Always cook the deer meat thoroughly and never let it be undercooked. Cook till the insides of the meat is brown. You can use your venison in meatballs and spaghetti sauce, lasagna, chili, etc as the tomato helps to vanquish the wild taste. Here are a few recipes deer meat or venison recipes you can try. My favorite is the roast deer witloof.
Process your deer meat within two days after it has been brought home. Aging the deer meat is only going to increase the wild taste.
If you are freezing venison ensure that you double wrap it and remember that deer meat does not freeze until it cools down to below 28 degrees.
Deer taken from agricultural & suburban areas is better for your diet and have a better taste.
If you are using a large piece of meat, like the shoulder or loin, change the saline solution every 6 to 8 hours and remember to cut the meat in smaller halves such that there is a better chance of blood seeping out faster from the center of the meat.
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