Handling Harvested Game: Episode 4, Cutting, Grinding & Packaging

Welcome back to the video series about
proper handling of harvested game. Now that you’ve got your carcass prepared
and debone, you’re ready to package and put it in your freezer. You’ll need from
cutting, to grinding, and finally packaging. So your tools for cutting, our
gloves to keep your hands and the meat clean, cutting boards, sharp knives, steel
to keep the edge on your knives, and a meat tub. And if you like ground venison,
there’s a lot of inexpensive grinders out there, in addition to your meat tub.
Now you’re ready to start grinding. Once you’ve got your meat cut the way you
want there’s a variety of options for packaging, and we’ll show you the three
most common with vacuum sealers, freezer paper, and freezer bags. Great! So now
we’ve got our deboned meat, we’re ready to start final trim prior to packaging the
meat. The first thing we want to do, in this example we’re going to use the loin,
or our back straps, and we want to remove any of this external fat that’s still
remaining on here that we left from the deboning process as well as this heavy
membrane or silver skin along the back. It’s going to be much more tender and
enjoyable if we do remove those pieces. We’ll start, simply, we have a lot of this
external part. It’s not even really the loin muscle but there’s a lot of fat
involved. We do want to remove that along with some of that silver skin, most of
that really is not even worth. We have a small piece here we can add to
trimmings. The rest of this really needs to go to the scrap. So once we’ve got
most of the external fat off, there’s a little here that that we can cut off, the
rest will come off during the removal of this silver skin. So here you can see
we’ve got the rounded portion. On this side, it’s a bit more flat. Right here’s
our edge of the silver skin, and this is what we want to start. This is a location
that for me it’s best to start. I really, I take a chunk right off of the
corner is the way I prefer to do it and that’ll
give you a very good starting place for the rest. The connective tissue here
is extremely heavy and it’s easiest to just simply get that out of the way. Now
we’ve got a nice strip in the middle that we’re essentially going to just
like filleting a fish, removing the skin. We’re gonna remove this silver skin. So I
like to simply get the point of the knife underneath and just by making some
small cuts you’ll get it loosened up. So once we get it loosened, we can
really just start to peel away from the skin from the muscle. And it’s seldom
going to come off in one single piece but we want to be peeling it off. And you
can see I’ve left no meat on the skin we have a very good separation between meat
and skin. It peels off extremely easy, if you have a sharp knife. Don’t be
concerned if the first couple times you do this it’s not quite as clean. But as
we peel, we get that removed. Be aware of the direction of your knife blade. You
don’t ever want to cut your arms or your hands. We simply get that removed. Small
pieces like this, I wouldn’t worry about, but for purposes of the video here I
will go ahead and remove it. So what we’ll do with this loin, I’ll
show you the back half we’re going to make a roast. I’d make it as big as you
prefer. I like somewhere here around 8-10 inches, just a simple cut right along the
length. You’ve got an excellent roast, a little bit bigger than your tenderloins
would be. It’s going to be a fantastic piece of a roast. For the second part, we’re
going to start making slices for chops. My personal preference is to make a chop
that somewhere around 3/8 to 1/2 inch. Those cook very nice. They’re very tender.
They’re very easy to cook. And just make simple straight cuts perpendicular to
the length of the loin, and we can make our chops ready to go. So the next piece we want to work on
after finishing a loin. I want to demonstrate the knuckle, or the
quadriceps muscle that you saw in the deboning video we removed from the
front part of the hind leg, or the ham. Just like on the loin, the main goal here
is remove the silver skin and any external fat that you may see. Primarily,
it’s going to be some underneath here, but really this is a clean piece and
then we’ll demonstrate the slicing how we do which to slice it across the grain.
So once we have our piece of meat trimmed and clean, again it’s time to
slice. As I mentioned, we want to slice across the grain with this piece. If you
think of it shaped like a football, you just put it in the end and slice from
one end to the next. In this piece you can use your same knife you have been. I
personally like to use a larger knife, because it’s a larger piece and again
that allows me to make one nice even cut. I like to, as I said before, go about 3/8
of an inch, make a nice simple straight cut. There’s our nice steak, excellent
piece of meat, and you can see, you’ve probably seen beef that looks like this
your beef tips. And you’ll see the multiple muscles in there. Really
beautiful piece, low fat, great eating quality. So we’ve demonstrated the trimming and
slicing process for some of the more choice cuts of meats. Here, we just have a simple piece of trim that’s going to go in our bucket for grinding at a later
date. But it’s the same process, we want to remove this external fat. If there is
any heavy connective tissue, it also needs to be removed. So for trimming, as
we mentioned, it’s just simple finding this external fat, getting it removed,
especially the heavy harder fats that from the surface. You can really just
peel that right off, removing it as much as possible. Additionally, I like to to
look at if there’s some of this loose membrane that we can get off. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing, but it’s not a necessity. And there’s a little bit of
the the silver skin membrane trim here. It really depends on how detailed you
want to be if you want to remove this level of covering or if you want to
leave it into your grinder. Personally, I prefer having as much fat
removed as I can just for a higher quality product, but it’s certainly okay
if you prefer to leave that on there. At this point, you know this piece was
pretty clean to start with, you want to look at be sure you look at both sides,
there can always be something hiding underneath that you did miss. We’ll
cut it off. And at this point, I say this piece is ready to go directly to our
grinder. So here you can see our meat, finished trimming, ready to be ground.
You’ll notice there’s very little amount of fat here. It does take a bit
more time and work on your part, but you’re going to be much more satisfied with the
product at the end if you’ll just put a little bit of time upfront into it. So
the first method of packaging our meat that we’re going to demonstrate is very
simple, but popular method of using freezer paper and wrapping it. The first
thing obviously you need to do is to cut your freezer paper to your desired
length or width. I like to have a square roughly as long and as wide as a freezer
paper. Once that’s done, I keep your wax side up, we’ll place meat on, fold it, wrap
it, tape it, and once you label it you’re finished.
So the first packaging method we’re going to demonstrate is the use of
freezer paper. Very simple, we’re going to demonstrate this with one of our loin
roasts. I like to lay it on the package a little bit crossways, and go from corner
to corner with our wrap. Get one good wrap on there. At this point, you can fold
your edges in. You can continue to wrap around, you keep folding your edges in if
there are some. When it comes around, have a very nice single piece of tape. Be sure
you’re using freezer tape as a standard lasting tape won’t work. At this point,
I’d then like to be sure that we’re labeling what we have in here. In this
case, we have loin roast. And I like to be sure to label the date so that we know
when this animal was harvested and packaged. In this case, November 20th
in the 2016. And here we have our packaged roast, ready to go into the
freezer. The second method we’re going to
demonstrate is the basic use of a freezer bag, in this case we’re going to
put in some steaks. I like to put in about four steaks. It’s one of the
simplest methods we have. We simply put in the meat. Package it as flat as
possible and nice so it’s nice when it comes out. I like to be sure I’m mashing
out as much air as possible, that will keep your product a little longer. Simple
zip, and it is ready. Be sure you are using freezer bags, not basic storage
bags. And let’s be sure that we label our product, in this case we have tip steaks.
And again, be sure we’re putting the date on here, in this case November 20th, 2016.
At this point, ready to go into the freezer. So the last process that we’re
going to show you is the use of vacuum sealing, in this case we will seal a long
single loin roast. Feel free to put two or
three roasts in the bag, whatever fits your bag and your size of your family.
Once you have the product in the bag, now you simply place it into the vacuum
sealer, press and hold until you vacuumed and sealed, label your meat, and you’re
ready to freeze. If you follow this all the way through this video series, you
now have the basics of processing your harvest from field to fork.

2 thoughts on “Handling Harvested Game: Episode 4, Cutting, Grinding & Packaging

  • Good advice. Although I will leave the chunks of meat whole Then slice it up when I thaw it out to cook it or use it whole for a roast. If you do not have a vaccum sealer first wrap the chunks in saran wrap then put in zip lock bags. Alo cutting up deer takes a long time by yourself So I dont fuss with trimming all the fat untill I pull it out for cooking then it is less of a chore. Also it is like spitting into the wind to say but you do not have to hang your deer I shoot ,cut, and freeze my deer on the same day or the next day. Believe me FRESH frozen is best when you taste it next summer you will agree.Good hunting ,shoot straight.

  • pretty much how I do it but you cut off the grinding process. vacuum seal is the way to go if your not going to eat your venison right away

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