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Aging meat after/before butchering

14 Jan 2019
@ 09:43 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Hi all,

Just wondering if any one can offer some advice on butchering animals?

Not so much technique but time advice. How long do you wait to butcher an animal after harvest? Or is it perhaps wait to eat it after butchering if you butcher straight away?

What methods do you use?

Would love some advice. The hare we ate was very tough, had to throw it in the pressure cooker to get it soft enough to eat.

Replies

14 Jan 2019
@ 09:43 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
I realise this is probably different for different animals so please throw a method out for each animal!

If you have a general or blanket rule you follow I'd love to hear that too!

Cheers all.
14 Jan 2019
@ 11:56 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
Hey Andrew. Get your hands on a copy of this book
THE GAME BUTCHER "WILD ABOUT MEAT"

https://www.huia.co.nz/huia-bookshop/bookshop/the-game-butcher-wild-about-meat/



Do you have access to a meat chiller to hang your gutted animals in for 7 to 10 days?
Ask the local butchers if you can hang a beast for a box of suds or bottle of mash?



As far as the Hares consumption goes. Ya don't boil them! I remove the back straps and rear legs. The back steak I slice into little eye steaks I get the cast iron skillet really hot drop in a lump of good kiwi cows butter. NOT BLOODY MARGARINE!!!! And then drop in the fillets of Hare and fry till browned turn once cook again till brown
It's about 2 minutes each side in a good hot pan. Add salt n pepper to taste. Serve with baby spuds and a fresh salad if you want to impress your missus. Or stacked on a fresh slice of bread with a slice of real butter for you and your friends.
the legs you can stew in the slow cooker. Or look at a recipe called JUGGED HARE
https://www.greatbritishchefs.com/recipes/jugged-hare-recipe

15 Jan 2019
@ 08:53 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
Cheers Warwick, always on hand with the goods. I'll get that book and get into it.

Unfortunately butchers here cannot have wild meat in their shops. I have asked a couple and get the same answer. Even if they wanted to they can't due to the regulations and so forth. We are a very regulated country and NSW is the king of regulations and rules in Australia.

We actually did the jugged hare recipe last night and very very tasty. I had the meat resting in milk for 2 days before then in wine for another day before we cooked it but bot the 7-10 you mentioned. I will keep this in mind for next time. 20 mind in the pressure cooker did the trick. The legs were the softest meat.

Am going to need to find a solution however. I have seen old fridges converted to hanging space for animals do perhaps that is a viable opion for me. A single animal cool room.
15 Jan 2019
@ 02:13 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
Find some freezer panel 2nd hand. make a walk in room with a hanging bar and a door. Fit in an A/C unit
adjust the thermostat to 3 deg and have your own . Put shelves in and keep other stuff in it or rent it out to other hunters to use. We pay $120 a year to use one here. Its great to have access to it 24/7 365. The guy who owns it has over 80 people paying yearly fee. It covers running costs and maintenance plus. It might be a great side line for you mate?

https://www.nzhuntingandshooting.co.nz/f53/building-chiller-13640/
15 Jan 2019
@ 06:07 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
two 20ltr buckets...drill 8-10 holes of about 10mm in base of one bucket...slide that bucket inside the 2nd undrilled bucket...put meat in and place in domestic fridge.... turn/move meat every day of so to allow any fluids to drain out through holes into bottom collection bucket.....its the fluid that turns meat/taints/makes it go all funky...keep it dry and you have half the battle won.
with your hare....take out back straps and slice ACROSS grain the same as sawing a log...you will end up with bite sized pieces quick fry in pan with salt and whatever other seasoning takes your fancy...mine is always masterfoods mild steak seasoning.
we have found by leaving our venison in the fridge for about a week it is much tenderer.
15 Jan 2019
@ 06:09 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
as for how long...a good rule of thumb...eat it for FIRST 12hours after death then leave it alone for next 36 hours or it can be as chewy as an old jandle. good to go after that.
16 Jan 2019
@ 03:21 am (GMT)

mark korte

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
I age everything 5-7 days - I've gone as many as 12. If birds they are drawn and placed in a spare fridge (or if the right temps hung in the garage, but they can't freeze if you want to pluck them, which I do). If deer/elk/antelope I generally have to pack them out on my back, so they are boned in the field and meat is placed in garbage bags and aged in above fridge like birds. I haven't been able to tell the slightest difference in meat aged this way as opposed to meat hung whole. And its a whole lot easier to get the boned meat to the truck than packing out an entire critter.
I agree with Mike - eat anything between that 12 and 36 hour point and you'll be chewing leather.
16 Jan 2019
@ 11:47 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
All great advice guys! The ks for being such an awesome. Community.
16 Jan 2019
@ 03:26 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
I'm too dumb, stubborn,stupid, great full, stingy,proud,resourceful and I feel to guilty too leave any more than the gut bag behind. And then I cut it open and spread out the contents to quicken the decomposition of it. We use the whole thing for steaks , roasts, sausages, patties. Offal and the bones get chopped up and frozen. The farm dog gets them for a hot summer doggy icedbone block. Lol. I cracked open a large leg bone and tried the bone marrow. It's yum so I'm looking for a use? It might be good for in the sausages? The bone I'd like to make a nice sounding flute called a Koauau
https://youtu.be/0vY-ZfvVWdw
There's something about carrying a deer out of the bush that builds character and resilience. Hard physical deer relocation technique teaches your mind a different kind of strength n determination. Giving personal value to the sacrifice of another beings life. The hard won meat always seems to taste much better than brought meat?
16 Jan 2019
@ 04:12 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
I hear you Warwick. You're connected to that meat. I always feel loved by friends when they share meat they have caught. I try to bless others with the meat I catch.

As for the marrow I think it would great in a sausage or burger patty to add a fat content that may be missing from the muscles. It is tasty stuff. Very rich flavour.

On the flute note the world's oldest instrument is a bone flute. Found to be from about 43000 years ago. Made from a cave bear femur. It's called the Divje Babe flute.
16 Jan 2019
@ 10:43 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
This article says its just a hyenas chew toy?
https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150331-neanderthals-music-oldest-instrument-bones-flutes-archaeology-science/

And yet this guy has mastered its beautiful sounds.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DAZCWFcyxUhQ&ved=2ahUKEwjH8J3msvHfAhUpzYUKHULKAgcQt9IBMBJ6BAgPEFM&sqi=2&usg=AOvVaw3GIxSjLZTVogJDsBpsnALX

Oh well never mind. I guess we'll never know because none of us were there to see..........
17 Jan 2019
@ 03:40 am (GMT)

mark korte

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
You guys must be younger, have stronger backs and/or shorter distances to pack out. I respect what you are doing, but I figure zero goes to "waste" out there. Scavengers got to eat too. Now you know why I am so adamant about using copper - that and I don't want to be flat on my back for 3 days. Its a win/win :)
17 Jan 2019
@ 07:55 am (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
In New Zealand we only have wolves, fox's and bears in Parliament to feed. They're consumed with eating one another not deer carcasses! Only wild domestic cats here, that I'll shoot whenever I see them. I'm 50 now Mark. My brain thinks I'm 24 and still in the fire service. The day will come when I won't be able to carry. I'll just have to bone out the meat and carry it out like you do. Or find a young n keen hunting apprentice😊
17 Jan 2019
@ 06:30 pm (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
Hi Amdrew

Most of my hunting is done on or near the Sonoran Desert, so most of the time its pretty warm so we have to butcher our kills the same or next day, no time for aging. We butcher them and place them on a cooler with ice. When we get home 1 or 2 or 3 days later we vacuum seal the meat and to the freezer it goes.

I use deer meat just like I would use regular beef, for everything and anything. We do have some special recipes just for venison, but we use it for everything.

Javelina is a little different, when you kill them, right away you need to remove a gland that is in their backs towards their tails. The gland releases a liquid that has a fowl smell used to scare away predators, so when you kill it you have to remove it right away before it stinks up the meat. Their meat is also a little tough, so most meals are made on a slow cooker or slowly roasted in the oven. Backstraps and loins are very tender and delicious.

There have been a few cases when hunting Coues deer that we have been able to age the meat for 3 days before butchering it and we have found no differece on the meat's flavor or tenderness.

Many hunters shy away from grilling venison because it's too tough and dry, that's because they just dont realy know how to cook the meat. I'll take ane Deer or Elk meat, even Javelina's back straps over a medium rare juicy rib eye steak any day of the week. All these meats when grilled on high heat and left medium rare are just simply delicious. I sometimes marinate them and also taste great.

If you ever want a special recipe for venison that'll make you want to lick your fingers, just let me know.

Best regards,

Luis
18 Jan 2019
@ 03:34 am (GMT)

mark korte

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
Warwick - I was about 50 when I decided that boning out was the healthy alternative. I also lucked into an "assistant" at about the same time so now even an elk boned out can be a one trip carry for us if need be. You may read that age has nothing to do with the force of gravity, but I'm here to tell you that it does. Age accelerates time as well. And results may vary.
Luis - Thats interesting to hear about javelina. I have often seen them when I was quail hunting in the Sonoran desert in Arizona and always wondered how they would taste. Most of the people hunting them that I have talked to behaved as if I was crazy for suggesting they might be eaten. It always left me wondering why they were out trying to shoot them if they weren't eating them.
And I agree with you about venison. My guess is that the people who say that about venison are the same types that would shoot a javelina and leave it in the desert to rot. They should stick to punching paper.
18 Jan 2019
@ 07:24 am (GMT)

Luis Vazquez

Re: Aging meat after/before butchering
Hi Mark:

Javelinas are like pigs, the meat is almost white like pork but lean, no fat at all. It's not as gamey a deer. The quarter can be cooked slowly in the oven so they get a little tender. Ypu can cook them bone in for better flavor. You can debone them and on a slow cooker roast with vegetables are awesome, you can also make Birria or Barbacoa with them. The ribs are best grilled, plain or you can marinate them with adobo sauce and they come out better.

Andrew, for the cotton tail rabbits we have here we marinate them in olive oil and salt free seasoning and then we grill them, just be careful not over cooking them. Jackrabbits are better on slow cooker, roasted with spices and with or without vegetables they are very good.

If we dont eat it we dont kill it.
 

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