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We still have lots of '09 Venison and the past two times I've cooked it, it tasted gamey.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ds wouldn't even finish his chili, which he normally loves.  Now we're wondering whether we need to toss out all that meat.  (We have more from this recent hunt, and we will use it up more quickly; I would like to keep it all, but now I'm not sure.)

 

Any thoughts re: whether it is just taste or whether year-old frozen meat might be getting unhealthy?

 

Thanks.

-Dancy

post #2 of 11
I have eaten deer meat as old as 5+ years with no issues so I dont see how just a year old would be an issue as long as it was kept frozen.

What I learned was to put a few beef or even chicken bullion cubes in with it while cooking it totally takes away the "gamey" taste and gives it a nice flavor. I use the bullion with roast, fried tender loin and in stews/chillies.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Oh, good!  Thank you for posting this.

 

-Dancy

post #4 of 11
Frozen food does not become harmful at some magical time limit. It may degrade in quality (taste, texture, even nutrients), but it is still perfectly safe to eat.

You can also try soaking the meat before cooking it. Milk or diluted lemon juice both will supposedly help, although i havent tried them myself.
post #5 of 11

We rinse all chicken and fish in lemon juice water before we cook it to remove off flavors. I think I would give it a try with the venison. You might also try mixing it with some other meat. I mix ground venison or venison sausages with other meat when I put it into lasagna to lessen the gamey impact.

post #6 of 11

Could it have been what the deer fed on? I know grain fed cows taste differently than free range. 

 

Was the deer really fatty?  OR this meet more bloody?  These things can alter the taste.  If this was ground meat then the butcher could have not cut the fat off as well as he should.  I would see how one of the "whole" pieces taste verses the ground. 

 

My grandpa and dad swear if you don't kill the animal fast it changes the flavor "makes it bad'.  But they both hate seeing animals struggle and hate bad hunters.  

 

My grandpa also skinned his deers fast because he said it made a better taste.  I do think the processing can cause gamey flavors. 

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

AFrozen food does not become harmful at some magical time limit. It may degrade in quality (taste, texture, even nutrients), but it is still perfectly safe to eat. You can also try soaking the meat before cooking it. Milk or diluted lemon juice both will supposedly help, although i havent tried them myself.



I thought I had heard that about frozen food, but I wasn't sure.  I am really glad not to have to throw it out (as extension service websites usually advise).

 

I'm going to try the diluted lemon juice.  Thank you!!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post

We rinse all chicken and fish in lemon juice water before we cook it to remove off flavors. I think I would give it a try with the venison. You might also try mixing it with some other meat. I mix ground venison or venison sausages with other meat when I put it into lasagna to lessen the gamey impact.



I will try the rinse.  We don't really eat any other meat, except chicken, so I've always gone with the straight venison, which, when fresher, is almost indistinguishable from good beef.  (Well, but on the other hand, it has been a long time since I've eaten beef!)

 

Thanks very much!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post

Could it have been what the deer fed on? I know grain fed cows taste differently than free range. 

 

Was the deer really fatty?  OR this meet more bloody?  These things can alter the taste.  If this was ground meat then the butcher could have not cut the fat off as well as he should.  I would see how one of the "whole" pieces taste verses the ground. 

 

My grandpa and dad swear if you don't kill the animal fast it changes the flavor "makes it bad'.  But they both hate seeing animals struggle and hate bad hunters.  

 

My grandpa also skinned his deers fast because he said it made a better taste.  I do think the processing can cause gamey flavors. 


Marsupialmom, these are good points, but the meat was fine all last fall and winter.  Part of it was what my husband shot and part from a friend from where he hunts, but dh processed both deer with his friend and they do a really good job.  (Also, it is an area with both woods and farms, so these are both free-range and to some extent corn-fed also!)

 

I agree with needing to kill the animal quickly.  Dh tells me that this almost always happens, which is why I consider this way of getting meat to be even more humane than a good slaughterhouse.  I guess when my boys start hunting I will urge them to get really, really good at target shooting before they aim at a deer.  I'm glad you made me think of this again. 

 

-Dancy
 

post #8 of 11

IDK, IME you can get a pack or two of extra gamey stuff in a deer that otherwise tasted fine. We've been butchering our own for the past... IDK, several years, and the more time you take and get more of the fat/sheathing/etc off the less gamey it tastes... but if you do more than 1 deer in a day you tend to get lazy (or even towards the end of the first, specially if its a big one!) and not take as much time... so you end up w/ a few packs of much more gamey-tasting stuff. Or of course if you take it somewhere an they just do it chop-shop like. :shrug 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post

IDK, IME you can get a pack or two of extra gamey stuff in a deer that otherwise tasted fine. We've been butchering our own for the past... IDK, several years, and the more time you take and get more of the fat/sheathing/etc off the less gamey it tastes... but if you do more than 1 deer in a day you tend to get lazy (or even towards the end of the first, specially if its a big one!) and not take as much time... so you end up w/ a few packs of much more gamey-tasting stuff. Or of course if you take it somewhere an they just do it chop-shop like. :shrug 


That could be all it is, too.  I was also told recently that skimming the fat off during cooking can help; anything to get as much fat out as possible.  I didn't know that before.  Thanks for the comment.

post #10 of 11

For gamey tasting meat, marinate it for a day in wine, herbs, spices, vinegar, etc.  Then braise it for several hours.  You'll end up with really tender meat that is not too gamey tasting, plus the sauce/braising liquid will cover up the taste somewhat.  That's what spices were originally used for - covering up the taste of "off" meat!

 

I would go with a sauerbraten recipe.  Salt the meat, then sprinkle with black pepper and crushed juniper berries.  Then pour 1/3 cup red wine vinegar and 1 cup red wine over the meat, along with several cloves of sliced garlic.  Multiply the liquid as needed, or marinate the meat in a ziplock bag.  Chill for several hours to 2 days.

Take the meat out, blot dry (but save the marinade), and sear in a hot pan until evenly browned.  Saute a sliced onion or two in the same pan, then add back the venison and the marinade, plus broth as needed.  Cover the pan and place in a 325 degree oven for 2-3 hours (depending on the size of the meat) until it is ready to fall apart.  Season the liquid/sauce with salt, pepper, vinegar, etc.

Serve with braised red cabbage and mashed potatoes or spaetzle.  You'll love it (and we did too, last night, with our homegrown beef - and the week before with our own venison). 

 

Just so you know, we're still working on our own 2006 and 2009 beef, and it's fantastic.  I think you must have a couple packs of meat that either weren't wrapped quite as well, or were fattier or bloodshot.  Long, slow cooking will minimize the off flavors. 

 

Good luck!

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yum.  Thank you for the great ideas and also for 

"Just so you know, we're still working on our own 2006 and 2009 beef, and it's fantastic.  I think you must have a couple packs of meat that either weren't wrapped quite as well, or were fattier or bloodshot.  Long, slow cooking will minimize the off flavors."

That is really reassuring and I appreciate it a lot!

 

-Dancy 

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