Slave to the Grind

Monday, January 10, 2011

picklewart.blogspot.com

If you've never ground your own meat, you just don't know what you're missing out on. Once you get passed the raw meat smell, it's a great experience. You have complete control of your ground meat... what you put in it, how fatty it is, how you package it, etc. (not to mention the savings on having someone else do your processing for you.) I am a total and complete process-your-own venison convert.

Well, here's a quick overview on how it all goes down... first, kill something. Then, field dress it, hang it and then fridge it for about a week. Now the fun part... cut the meat off the bone. This task alone can be a few days depending on how many deer you took. Next, round up some fat trimmings from your local butcher... beef is fine but pork is even better!

Now for the real meat of the process (no pun intended)... grinding. Beg, borrow, or steal a grinder (ignore that last option). Before grinding away, consider what you will use your meat for: burger patties, meatloaf, spaghettie sauces, casseroles, chili, breakfast sausage... once you determine what you like best, I recommend the following mixes:
90 % venison/ 10% fat for anything that uses a crumbled meat (spaghetti, chili, etc.),
70% venison / 30% fat for anything that needs to hold together (burger patties, meatloaf), and
60% venison / 40% fat for breakfast sausage (this will use additinal seasonings when you do the final processing on those batches).

You may be thinking, "Oh no. That's too much fat. I want a nice healthy meat." Oh trust me honey, you've got the WORLD'S most healthy meat no matter how you mix it. Very lean venison cuts of meat, no antibiotics, no hormones, organic feed... and mixing in a little fat to add flavor and assist with cooking won't ruin that fact!!

So, once you've decided on your mixes, get going! Sanitize your counter, bowls, and grinder parts with a bleach water mix. I prefer to keep half of my sink filled with a dish soap water with bleach in it... makes cleaning as I go handy.

Sanitized now? OK - put your grinder parts back together and hit that On button! Feed in the proportioned amounts of meat and fat into the grinder. I recommend a first pass on a coarse grinding disk and a second pass on either the same coarse disk or a medium disk. I just find this texture to suit me better. Once you've made some passes through the grinder, you now have a nice big bowl full of ground meat to package up and put in the freezer. I go with white Reynolds wax-lined 150 sq ft of freezer paper purchase at my local big box store. I use a scale to measure out 1 lb portions, wrap them in the paper, use masking tape to secure the ends, and use a Sharpie-style marker to label them (90/10, 70/30...). Once I have a bowl done, into the freezer they go... and on to the next batch of grinding!

In my experience, one deer will take you 4 or 5 hours to grind and package if you're doing it yourself. Buddy up, and it goes even quicker!

3 comments:

Sarah January 11, 2011 at 12:47 AM  

Very interesting. Didn't realize you could add the fat in like that. My aunt and uncle have done deer for years but never put any in theres. We don't grind ours but just use it for roast since Timothy likes having that meal every Sunday! Your such an inspiration.
Sarah

Ginia January 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM  

I'm going to bookmark this for future reference! Thanks, Michelle!

Mobile App Developers July 11, 2015 at 1:02 AM  

What you're saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I'm sure you'll reach so many people with what you've got to say.

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