John’s Note: If you take a deer this season, don’t miss out on some of the most-delicious meat ever. Researchers have proved that venison, a heart-friendly meat, contains fewer calories than the same size serving of chicken or turkey and one-half the calories of ham or ground chuck. Venison also has more protein than freshwater or saltwater fish and one-tenth as many fat grams as ground chuck. A rich source of trace minerals, including calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and iron, venison has a cholesterol content comparable to chicken and turkey.
The Cabela’s Catalogue (www.cabelas.com) offers several items for the do-it-yourself venison butcher. If you live somewhere that you can’t find many of the items you need for butchering venison, then you can see these online or in a catalogue. Cabela’s Wüsthof Eight-Piece Butcher Kit, an easy-to-carry kit in your hunting vehicle, includes a butcher saw with two blades, a 6-1/2-inch cleaver, an 8-inch utility knife, a 4-inch skinning knife, a 5-1/2-inch boning knife, sharpening steel, a gambrel and 74 feet of rope and a hoist. The items come in a sturdy, hard-plastic case to make keeping your tools together and skinning your big game easy. The gambrel and hoist supports up to 525 pounds.
The Outdoor Edge Game Processor available from Cabela’s also has a design that will let you care for and prepare your game easily in the field. This kit includes a 3-inch caping knife, a 4-1/4-inch skinner, a 5-1/2-inch boning/filet knife, an 8-inch Bowie-style butcher knife, a 10-inch double-ground wood/bone saw, a 5-1/4-inch carving fork, heavy-duty game shears, a 10” x 14” cutting board, three pairs of surgical gloves and a tungsten carbide V-style knife sharpener as well as the new Outdoor Edge Steel Stick Spreader to keep the body cavity of any medium- to large-sized big game open for easy field dressing.
Cabela’s offers three styles of manually-operated, heavy-duty, cast-iron meat grinders that feature double-tin plating to resist stains and corrosion. The No. 10 meat grinder grinds 2 to 3 pounds of meat per minute, the No. 22 grinds 3 to 4 pounds of meat per minute, and the No. 32 grinds 5 pounds of meat per minute. These meat grinders each contain a knife, two grinding plates and a sausage-stuffer tube. If you butcher more than one deer each year, you’ll enjoy the convenience of Cabela’s Commercial-Grade Electric Grinders. Built to handle large quantities of meat, these electric grinders feature large-capacity meat trays with enlarged throats to ensure optimal performance, maintenance-free, sealed, lubricated, air-cooled motors, sausage-stuffing tubes, massive AISI 1045 steel gears, a patented head design that increases meat-grinding capacity and stainless-steel necks, augers, blade, plates and trays. Each grinder, available in 1/2-hp, 1 hp, 1-1/2-hp and 1-3/4-hp, comes with a grinder dust cover to protect it and keep it clean. You may want to consider buying a quality electric meat grinder with some friends or members of your hunting club. My family enjoys getting together with friends and having a venison-grinding party.
Cabela’s Stainless-Steel Butcher Saw – available in 16- and 25-inch sizes, these stainless-steel saws each have a trigger mechanism that controls the blade tension, a durable plastic handle for comfortable cutting and dishwasher-safe, contamination-resistant blades. You also can purchase replacement blades. Cabela’s also offers handy items for cooking your venison and making it tender. The Jaccard Super Meat Tenderizer, designed to maximize the flavor of marinated meats, reduces cooking time. The Jaccard Super 1 Meat Tenderizer has a row of 16-retractable, dishwasher-safe blades, and the Super 3 has three rows of 16-retractable, dishwasher-safe blades each.
Moultrie Feeders has introduced a new gambrel/scale for ease of handling your deer – the 440-Pound Big Game Scale. This scale allows you to accurately weigh white-tailed deer and other game animals and features a large, easy-to-read dial, an all-steel frame construction and two steel S-hooks for quick attachment to the hoist and gambrel system. To learn more about this product, visit www.moultriefeeders.com, or, call (205) 644-6700.
Teriyaki Venison Steak with Onions
If you enjoy eating Japanese food, which we love, the flavor of this dish certainly will appeal to you.
1/2-cup soy sauce
1/4-cup dry white wine (alcohol will dissipate during cooking)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2-pounds venison steaks, sliced thin
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Combine soy sauce, wine, brown sugar, ginger and garlic as a marinade. Place steak in plastic bag; add marinade, turning at least once. Drain marinade from steak; reserve. Grill steak over medium coals 10 to 15 minutes, to desired doneness (rare or medium); turn once. Meanwhile, cook onion in butter in frying pan until soft. Stir in 1/4-cup reserved marinade; cook 4 to 5 minutes. Carve steak diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with onion. Makes 5 to 6 servings.
Fajitas are favorites of everyone in our family from ages 2 to 88.
2 pieces of venison (6-ounces each) – that have been soaked overnight in heavily-salted water in refrigerator and rinsed thouroghly.
Half of 1-ounce package fajita seasoning
1 large green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 ripe Haas avocado, peeled and seeded
1 cup store-bought fresh salsa
1/2-cup chopped fresh cilantro
8 (6-inch) low-carb, high-fiber tortillas
1/2-cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Heat grill pan over high heat. Season the venison steaks with half of fajita seasoning, then coat lightly with cooking spray. Grill venison steaks, turning once, for 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Venison tastes best if not overly cooked). Transfer steaks to platter, cover with foil, and let rest. Combine onion and pepper in large bowl, and coat lightly with cooking spray. Season with remaining fajita seasoning and place on grill pan. Grill vegetables until charred and crisp-tender, for about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, and cover with foil to keep warm. Mash avocado with fork in bowl. Stir in 1/4-cup salsa and half of cilantro to make guacamole. Holding them with flameproof tongs, char tortillas on each side over open flame (or toast under boiler). Place on plate and cover with a towel to keep warm. Cut steaks into thin slices. To assemble, spoon some guacamole on each tortilla and place venison steak and pepper-onion mixture on top. Top-off with yogurt and remaining salsa and cilantro.
For more venison recipes, get the new Kindle eBooks, “ The Best Wild Game & Seafood Cookbook Ever: 350 Southern Recipes for Deer, Turkey, Fish, Seafood, Small Game and Birds” and “Deer and Fixings.” by John E. Phillips. “Click here to get these books.”
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (AMA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.