Butchering Venison  Hints, Tips and Tricks  1195 reads

The neck is then separated at it's juncture with the thoracic vertebrae and also placed in one of the tubs; later, I cut away as much meat as possible for stew and sausage -- the bones go into the roasting pan with the shanks, as does the remainder of the spine which is separated from the pelvis. The hams are disarticulated from the pelvis and placed in the tubs. The rear shanks, and all of the remaining big bones are placed in the roasting pan with the other stock materials. If you have elected to let the tenderloins remain in place for chops, then lay out the spine section, slice through the tenderloins down to the bone at whatever width intervals suit you, and then finish the cuts with your saw, sawing all the way through the spine. Place the chops in the tubs with the rest of the meat. You could also make a crown roast by splitting the spine lengthwise with a band saw without removing the ribs, but this is stepping into the realm of the professional butcher, and I would not advise a first timer getting this complicated as you could easily ruin the best meat in the world.

At this point you have the dish tubs with two hind quarters ( hams or haunches) which I usually roast whole for a festive meal, two shoulder roasts which can be roasted whole, but is better when cut up (remember to save those bones for the stockpot!) and turned into chili or whatever happens to be your favorite stew, two racks of venison ribs, two backstraps which make wonderful grill fare, two tenderloins for steaking, the brisket for jerky, and whatever scraps you may accumulate here and there for sausage. You also have a roasting pan with the four shanks, the spine and other large bones. All of this is then taken into the kitchen for a thorough washing in cold water, and trimmed of any (and all!) bloodshot meat. At this point, the meat is wrapped, marked, and dated, and *then* popped into the freezer. The stock materials are thoroughly dried with towels, returned to the roasting pan and browned in a very hot oven, preparatory to making a rich brown stock which becomes the basis for sauces, gravies, and stews. Just follow any recipe you may have for brown beef stock, and when finished, freeze that as well in two-cup quantities.

The only remaining task is to saw off the top section of the skull to claim your rack, and clean up. The whole task doesn't take a hell of a lot longer than I've described and you will have done it yourself! In the off chance that you do take the buck of the century, you may want to consider professional butchering as he will have the necessary power tools to provide you with large steaks from the round and an assortment of loin chops, but even then make sure you retain at least one of the haunches whole for a crowd pleasing feast of roast venison.
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