I know you were thinking this was going to be a Naughty thread, go on admit it.... Keep it zipped buddy.... this thread is about preparing and
processing game animals...
There is method to my madness... the fact is unless its small game and your going to eat it right away you should always hang your meat...
Most Game is best after hanging - that is leaving or hanging in cool conditions before plucking or skinning. This should be for a minimum two days to
a maximum of three weeks in winter.... as long as it is above freezing but no warmer than say 50F... I would tend to settle on three to 5 days
provided the weather is not hot. Game tends to be tougher than other meat or poultry as the animals were wild and muscles were used more in the
process of survival.... Hanging will help tenderise the meat and develop a characteristic gamey flavour.... This is caused by enzymic and bacterial
action. The longer you hang it the stronger the flavour.... hang it to long and it spoils so you have to pay attention!
For Deer Depending on how cold it is where you hang the deer is the biggest determining factoris temp. You don't want it so cold it freezes the
carcass, really want it the temp to be right around 40 degrees or less. I hang my deer- skinned, head down for a minimum of 3 days to drain a lot of
the blood from the hind quarter. Place a bucket underneath the neck to avoid a mess. You'll notice the deer meat goes from black cherry colored to a
Special Note: Deer fat is Nasty
... so when your ready to make your cuts remove all the fat... trust me on this, if you don't the meat will have
a sour flavor.....if it's going into the freezer it is okay to leave the silver skin on... helps protect form freezer burn...
I'm not going to go into the mechanics of how to field dress a Deer, or make your cuts... that has been covered in many threads before... but I will
take a moment to talk about game birds and what to do with them....
The easiest way to prepare a Chicken, Duck, Turkey or pheasant is to skin it.(Same rules for rabbits and squirrels) is after hanging ( a couple three
days) separate the feathers along the back of the bird and cut the skin along its length, lift and pull it off feather and all....
The disadvantage of this method is that you are left with a skinless bird -ie not suitable for roasting without coating with fat/ bacon to prevent
drying out - but it does avoid the messiness of plucking - the feathers get every where!
1 Dip your hands in water
2 start plucking from the breast working towards the neck pulling the feathers in the direction they grow so that the skin does not break.
3 Turn the bird around and pluck away from you
4. Cut through the middle wing joint to remove it : Stretch out the wings and and pluck the feathers
5. Pull out leg and tail feathers
6. The small pin feather along the back bone are best removed by tweezers.
NOTE: If the feathers are too hard to remove you can try this... boil water then set aside... dunk your bird in that hot water for... 30 seconds or
so... let it rest for a minute then try again... should be a whole lot easier but if you do this you need to cook the bird right away...
Having hung and plucked or skinned the bird/s the next stage is to draw it, namely to remove the innards... yes Innards is a real word...
The object of this exercise is to attempt to remove the intestinal sack intact.... if you don't you risk spreading salmonella... can for say food
Removing the neck & head
If you have plucked the bird place the bird on its back and cut along the neck skin the the point where it joins the body. Leaving plenty of skin to
cover the neck cut through the neck of the bird removing it and the head....
Strip out the gullet, crop and windpipe, insert a finger and loosen rotate it gently to break all attachments and free organs particularly the
Removing the innards
With a sharp knife cut through the skin around the vent (anus) of the bird until it comes loose. Insert your fingers into the body cavity and draw out
the innards. With practice you can pull them out in one, at first attempt you may need to scrape around a bit... No rude jokes please...
Wash and dry the body cavity and salt it.... if you table salt works for this part
The liver minus the green gall bladder can be kept and eaten... personally I like to deep fry the livers but to each there own...
Well there you have your lesson for the week... How to hang your meat... see that wasn't all that dirty
everyone has there own way of doing this... I cant say my way is best... only that it works for me... still if you know an easier or better way... let
me know... I might even give it a try myself!
edit on 8-6-2011 by DaddyBare because: (no reason given)