Doe, A Deer….. An Opportunity to Prep!
Well we didn’t get a deer during the first half of bow season, but my fiance, Brian and his dad got one during shotgun season! Of course this means we had work ahead of us. Stocking up on food is a priority and a deer provides plenty of food if you’re willing to work at it. There is no end to what you can use deer meat for. With this one, we got some freezer packs, canned meat, ground meat, and sausage. I even got bones for broth!
Once Brian and his dad skinned the deer we left her hanging for about a week. We kept the skin to brain tan and butchered her up into sections. We took out two loins and a roast, then boned out the rest. Brian’s daughter and I canned up 6 quart jars of cubed meat. We cubed it up after boning it out and let it “rest” in the fridge for a couple of days. Then we took it and heated it up with a little bit of water to make up a broth. Once it was warm and our canner was ready, we hot packed the meat into our warm jars. We tightened the lids just hand tight and put them in the canner. Then we pressure canned them at 10lbs for 90 minutes. We have already eaten one jar of the venison in a creamed gravy over mashed potatoes. It was amazing!
After we finished the canning, Brian and I took the scrap pieces of meat we had set aside and rough ground it. Then we mixed it with some deer fat and rough ground pork. Once we had it mixed up we separated it into two bowls, one for sausage and one for regular ground meat. Our grinder is a hand grinder and requires some upper arm strength! It works best if the meat is chilled to the point of almost being lightly frozen. Once it gets warm, it gets slimy and won’t work through the grinder. We took one bowl and dumped in the seasonings we had made up the night before for our sausage. Our seasonings consisted of sage, thyme, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, garlic and other spices. We mixed it in and ran it all through the grinder together. After the first run through I took a tiny bit and fried it to see if we liked it. We decided it needed more seasonings and added it to suit our taste. If you make your own, do it to your liking. It doesn’t have to be Jimmy Dean….. And always try it before you package it.
We packed the sausage in 2lb packs. We measured it up and put it in ziplock freezer bags.
Then we repeated the process with the meat that had no seasoning in it. This we also weighed out in 2lb packs and into ziplock freezer bags.
When it was all said and done we got approximately 34 to 36 lbs of meat put up. We got enough to be able to share. And we are now working on our deer hide. We already spread the brain mush on it and we are waiting to see the results. In 48 hours we will wash it and scrape it over and over til it’s good and done. We are even going to use the small, odd bits and pieces of hide for a new hobby we are learning….. fly tying for fly fishing!
We got so much use out of this one little doe. I am grateful for the things we were able to stock up on thanks to her.