Saturday, November 19, 2011

Me, a butcher?

Well, as Grizz is out hunting again (this time for elk), I'm enjoying myself at home. Christmas music playing, money accounts finally updated, laundry and dishes still to do, and let's not even mention the sewing stuff all over the kitchen table and living room floor... but here I am, blogging (finally!)

First story: for two nights a few weeks ago, we were butchers. Grizz got his mule deer (see picture), but do we take the easy way out and spend the money for someone else to cut it up? Nope, we did it ourselves.

We cut a few steaks and a few roasts, but most of it went it to the meat grinder... the old, metal, hand-cranked meat grinder. I took over those duties :)

The deer meat was easily ground, but because deer meat is so lean, we had to add fatty pork-shoulder meat, which isn't as easily ground. I would be turning the hand crank and when the big chunks of fat got in there, it would start sound like bones were breaking! Then some of the fat would get stuck, so every once in awhile, I'd have to take the grinder apart to get it out. Sounds like fun, right?!

So we froze all that stuff, but we kept a few pounds of deer/pork burger out. We added a store-bought seasoning mix and made jerky! We bought a dehydrator just for this purpose. I was super excited to try it out for the first time. However, we didn't buy the jerky gun. I don't know what we were thinking - how can you make ground-meat jerky without something to spread it thinly out with? COOKIE PRESS TO THE RESCUE! Yup, little did we know that a cookie press that is traditionally used to make spritz cookies can work to also make jerky. I felt pretty proud of my little cookie gun :)

After hours in the dehydrator, the jerky was done. Perhaps a little too done, but its edible!

You would think that after all that work, and all that mess we made, that I wouldn't ever want to butcher an animal again... well, guess again! I think I'm more excited than Grizz is to get an elk. More home butchering, please!

PS: the deer antlers are already on the wall... in the living room. I cannot wait to have an actual house where Grizz has his own office/room/thing so the antlers can be out of my living room :)

The Montanan Man's way of bring home the bacon... in bloody game bags on the top of your vehicle.

We let the bags hang overnight...

Grinding, grinding, grinding... and the mess :)

Dark meat = deer. Light meat = fatty pork.

Ready for the seasoning! (Meat for jerky)

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