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Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

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Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby fatluke » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:56 am

Just like my lack of hunting over the last two years, my meat processing has taken a back seat to major landscaping jobs, home reno's, etc. etc. as mentioned in my first hunting report this fall.

Anyways, my "meat room" is still not totally setup to my liking, but it is functional. My freezer was FULL of game from 2013, and it was time to get 'atter. Three year old meat may gross some folks out, but I'm not one to waste, and if stored properly, there's nothing wrong with it. I had two vacuum sealed bags of duck that had lost their seal and found their way to the trash, but other than that, there was not a piece of freezer burn on any of the meat I had packaged myself. Some was vacuum sealed, and some was wrapped in butcher paper. You do it right, and it's good for years.

Onto the meat processing. I started out with 2 pairs of wild turkey breasts I shot in 2015. This was my first go at wild turkey jerky, and the results were outstanding. I chose ground jerky, rather then whole muscle, as I prefer it this way. The 4 breasts gave me 11 lbs, which I split into two batches. The first batch I created I called it "mild maple". It was loaded with maple syrup we made from my property and just enough heat to know it's there. Second batch was your standard teryaki.

Ready for grinding:

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Mixed and pumped out into strips:

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Into the smoker

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Cut and ready for packaging:

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Next up was goose breast pastrami. This is one of my absolute favourites, as well as most people who have tried my products. I took all 22 breasts from my previous two hunts this year and put the cure to them. Into the fridge for 4-5-days, two 30 minute soaks in fresh water to draw some salt content out, dried off, pastrami rub applied and back in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Cured breasts ready to be rubbed:

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Rubbed:

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Into the smoker and cooked to an internal temp of 155, out to cool, then back in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Smoked/cooked:

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Onto the slicer:
(Note: remove denture before eating waterfowl. lol)

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Just look at the goodness in this fine piece of meat:

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Packaged and ready for the freezer:

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It is a very long process, but well worth it in the end. I like to eat this stuff by it self, cold on a sandwich, hot on a sandwich, basically I just like to eat it. :-)

Now onto the 2013 venison. This past weekend I committed to processing 60lbs. Some of my time tested and proven recipes, and something new to me. I decided on 30lbs of pepperettes, 15lbs of salami, and 15 lbs of corned venison. I have refined my perepperette and salami recipes to perfection over the last 10 years or so of doing this so I knew these would turn out good. My new experiment is the corned venison. Some lads I hunt with have their butcher corn some of their game, and it's to die for. I figured if I can get my meat anywhere close to the way they had theirs done, I would be in good shape.

Here I have two 15lb batches of pepperettes, and 1 15lb batch of salami ready to mix and regrind. (I have to do 15lbs batches as that is all my smoker can handle at once. I use 10lbs of game, 3.5lbs of pork shoulder, and 1.5lbs of pure pork fat. I find this makes the perfect ratio of meat to fat content.)

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Salami stuffed and headed to the fridge for a couple days before the smoker.

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15lbs of pepperettes smoked to an internal temp of 145, and hung to bloom at room temperature for 8-12 hours.

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30lbs of pepperettes cut and ready for packing. I will package half right away, and leave the other half in a paper bag in the fridge for a week or so, to let them dry and harden more. It adds a different dimension as opposed to soft and moist peperettes. Whether you make your own, or have them made at the butcher, I would suggest giving this a try. Just ensure it's a paper bag so they can breath and dry. They will just sweat and mold in a plastic bag.

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Two days after being stuffed, the salami hit the smoker and was brought to an internal temp of 152. Straight from the smoker into a water bath to stop from cooking any further.

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Once cooled to under 100 degrees, hung to bloom for 8-12 hours

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Now they are resting in the fridge. I also prefer to dry these out in the fridge. I will leave them for 3-4 weeks to dry. This part sucks, having all this deliciousness just sitting there and looking at you every day. lol. but it's well worth the wait. I will sample the small piece very shortly.

Last but not least is the corned venison. It's been in the brine since Sunday, and I'm guessing it will need 7-10 days, based on the thickness.... More to come on the outcome of this, once it's finished and I get a sample cooked up.

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It is so great to have a good stash of prepared goodies on hand. I've missed the hunting and meat processing over the last two years, but I'm back with a vengeance. :-)
MEAT - Grind it, stuff it, smoke it.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby Out4trout » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:52 pm

Wow that's awesome. I can appreciate the work as we butcher our own meat also.
However, this post processing is a whole level above. I'm sure it tastes as good as it looks...
Christmas dinner is at Luke's this year.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby Markus » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:55 pm

Holy Hell. I cannot wait for our gar outing next spring.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby Troutskiii » Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:57 pm

Hats off for taking the time to process all your own meat, people don't realise the time put in from beginning to end. Everything looks delicious, great job fella.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby badbass72 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:22 pm

Looks and sounds great. Wild pastrami is an interesting idea for sure...I just need to spend more time out hunting now.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby Wallyboss » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:09 am

Thanks Fatluke, i'm slobberring all over my keyboard( how the hell am I going to clean that up)!!!! That all looks amazing and tasty
When hell freezes over, I'll be there icefishing!!!

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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby Supernova224 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:17 am

Wow, everything looks incredible. And your meat processing room looks absolutely pristine. Sometimes these "other" posts on FH are my favourite, something outside the norm. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby smitty55 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:44 am

OMG I'm drooling. :text-thankyouyellow: That is great that you're into that. That's gonna be some damn fine eating. I've always had custom sausages made locally since I moved out here, and before that they came from a butcher in Cheneville QC, through a guy at work, so I got spoiled early. Always in summer, after wild garlic season :D With game around here Jack wasn't busy anymore and he had a real nice smoker he had made so the quality of his sausages was very good.

I bought my first Big Chief smoker at Laurention Trading Post well over 25 years ago when I really got in to Laker trolling in the early eighties and Carl at Alwaki Lodge would smoke a fridge full for our cabins. It still works. I found another one at a garage sale for the best $15 I've ever spent lol. Unfortunately the one downside of these smokers is the inability to control the temps so I've never gone the sausage route. I still use my smokers a fair amount, specially for pork chops and loins when they go on sale. Twice this year I've done up my own back bacon and it is oh so good compared to store bought.

Out of the smoker and going into the oven to bring it up to 150°
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The finished product
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Again, great post Luke. I already have a meat grinder with sausage attachments so you helped make up my mind. I will try home made sausages this year if i can find some pork fat somewhere around here. Anything that needs smoking I will just finish off in the oven like the back bacon. Tks for the added incentive.

Cheers
Last edited by smitty55 on Mon Oct 10, 2016 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby banjo » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:22 pm

Looks awesome.
I always tend to OVER smoke whatever I do.
Do you go by a general rule for amount of smoke vs cook time?
If it's a cold smoke like Smitty says... How much before it is too much and then does cooking in the oven end up overdoing it.
I do like figuring it out on my own, but info is good to have.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby CBB » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:57 pm

Very nice setup and some great looking eats for sure. Just may try to do some of our geese that way instead of giving them all away. I do a lot of our venison into jerky and used to smoke it but now use my dehydrator with great results.
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby Maple » Mon Oct 10, 2016 2:24 pm

Very nice setup there fatluke. That is way out of my league. And great looking product too.

Every fall I make venison sausages and summer sausage. Not very adventurous but lots of fun.

I have the sausage making book by Rytek Kutas (?), which is supposed to be the bible of sausage making. But, the one thing he completely ignores is making and freezing sausages, which we all do. Not one word of help.

Do you still add nitrates if you're going to immediately freeze it without smoking then cook it?
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby smitty55 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:04 pm

Maple to the best of my knowledge there is no need to add anything if you're just making fresh sausages, only for cured products.
Here's a good site for recipes too. Hank Shaw sure knows what he's doing. http://honest-food.net/2015/04/18/duck- ... e-hunters/

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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby tr21chris » Mon Oct 10, 2016 7:48 pm

Some of that pastrami warmed up with a slice of smoked gouda over top on a fresh kaiser with some bold and spicy mustard!!...drool. Looks amazing!!
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Re: Back in the "other game" - Meat Processing

Postby ShawnD » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:48 pm

Wow! What a process, interesting!!
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