Tag Archives: venison

Deer Season Means Work

The first week of bow season found me bringing in a two year old doe. The second week of the season my bow broke beyond repair but she had been a good one. The third week hubby bought in a yearling buck and our son got a yearling buck. I thought I would share with you what we do to process the meat.

From the three deer we had about 24 pounds of ground meat and around 30 bags of cubed venison tenderloiin.

After Eddie skins and quarters the deer, he takes out the tenderloin and slices it into 1 inch pieces and then runs it through our cuber/tenderizer.  The next step depends on what I need in the freezer.  This year we are very low on burger so he carved all the meat off the bones and cut into large chunks.  Then he runs it through our grinder once but we’re not finished at this point.  We add 10 pounds of ground beef burger to the venison and I make sure it is all mix well and it’s run through the grinder one more time.  We add beef burger to the venison because it is a really dry meat without much marbling.  Without the marbling the meat will be dry and even touch as burger.

I did an inventory of what we have so far this morning and there’s 52 packs of burger patties, 56 of tenderloin and only 12 – 1 pound rolls of burger.  We’ll need at least three more deer to complete the pound packages.  I know this sounds like a lot for two people but the kids don’t have freezers and provide this meat for four households which includes son, daughter and granddaughter.  I can’t imagine what it would cost to buy all of this in our local grocery!!!

When I make the patties I place a sheet of wrap between each burger and then place them in Food Saver (I love this little machine) bags, vacuum pack and seal.  I date the bags and freeze and our meat so far has been as good in two years as it is fresh packaged. 

This little device makes perfect 1/4 pound patties every time!!
We have two sizes of these bags that we fill with burger, one holds a pound and a larger one holds a pound and half.
This machine tenderizes the tenderloin steaks. Hubby drops a chunk of meat in the top and catches it in the bottom and runs it again. YUMMY tender! We use it for turkey, venison, beef, any meat.
This machine is the grinder which has an attachment on the front (not shown) that does all the work!!

It looks like the next two weeks are going to keep us busy which isn’t a big problem since we’re staying close to home anyway!  We’ve done this most all of our married life and now it’s so routine we don’t even have to think about!!

Did I Say Canning Season Was Over. . . NOT!

Nope, canning season is not over and believe it or not I’m glad. I’ve been canning half-gallons of apple juice all morning!

Twenty half-gallons of fresh apple juice canned and sealed.

Twenty half-gallons of fresh apple juice canned and sealed.  There’s only 15 jars showing here because the last batch is just about ready to come off the stove.

Our orchards did not bare much for us this year due to the frigid spring and heavy frost when the trees were budding and flowering. I love a glass of juice when I first get up in the mornings and apple juice is one of my favorites right up there with grape juice.  We decided we would have to purchase some apples to make me some juice.

Eddie and I ventured over to Botetourt County last week and picked up six 70-lb. sacks of their cider apples.  The day we arrived to pick them up they were sorting Red Delicious and they were beautiful  Out of 420 pounds of apples we may have found a dozen with rotten spots.

Six bags of red delicious apples

Six bags of red delicious apples

Beautiful Red Delicous apples for eating, juicing, cooking and baking.

Beautiful Red Delicious apples for eating, juicing, cooking and baking.

On Tuesday, our daughter was off from work and came up to press apples with us.  We cleaned up the cider press, washed the apples, and started pressing all of the wonderful juice out of the apples.

Cider press is cleaned and ready to make some juice.

Cider press is cleaned and ready to make some juice.

Pouring in the first bucket full

Pouring in the first bucket full

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American Cider Mill

American Cider Mill

Sassy watches close by and freezing since she got a haircut and cold air gets in her old bones pretty quick but she won't miss a family outing.

Sassy watches close by and freezing since she got a haircut and cold air gets in her old bones pretty quick but she won’t miss a family outing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finished the seventy pounds with two 12 gallon milk cans full of juice and a bowl full of apples left over to eat and make some apple bars.

We use all of our milkcans here on the farm for cider in the fall, watering our plants as we put them in the garden and for maple syrup in the spring

We use all of our milkcans here on the farm for cider in the fall, watering our plants as we put them in the garden and for maple syrup in the spring.

Heather presses.

Heather presses.

Mom presses.

Mom presses.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family fun

Family fun

We stored the cans in our garage until this morning so it would stay ice-cold and so the settlements squished into the juice would settle to the bottom of the can.

I washed up all of the half gallons jars and sterilized them for the juice.  Eddie went to the garage and  poured the juice gently into large stainless steel pots and brought them to the kitchen.  I heated the juice just to boiling and poured it into the hot jars. placed the lids on and tighten them for canning.  The jars were too tall to fit any of my canners so we used our turkey cooker for the job and it held five half-gallon jars.

Turkey deep fryer hasn't been used a lot but it sure came in handy for this job. I rarely use half-gallon jars for any canning.

Turkey deep fryer hasn’t been used a lot but it sure came in handy for this job. I rarely use half-gallon jars for any canning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After placing the filled jars in the “canner”, I filled it with hot water almost covering the jars, turned the heat up to high and waited for it to start boiling.  Once the boiling started, I timed the process for 25 minutes and when completed I turned off the stove and let the boiling stop.  I then picked up the jars and placed them on a heavy towel on my kitchen table (away from drafts) so they could seal. We have twenty half-gallons which should last through most of the winter.

The difference in the quart and half-gallon jar is shown here.

Half-gallon jar compared to a quart jar.

Half-gallon jar compared to a quart jar.

 

I love these tongs because they're so strong and easy to handle when removing full, hot jars.

I love these tongs because they’re so strong and easy to handle when removing full, hot jars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We saved the sacks the apples were in to use next year when picking our own apples if Mother Nature cooperates, bagging onions, drying walnuts or anything else we may need them for.

These green mesh sacks held 65 - 70 pounds of apples and we save them for other uses. Recycle is a big word at our place!

These green mesh sacks held 65 – 70 pounds of apples and we save them for other uses. Recycle is a big word at our place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The apple peelings filled up one big galvanized bath tub and four five gallon buckets.  We feed them to each of the three herds of cattle and our bulls.  The extra milkcan of juice will harden to cider which we also love.  If there’s any that gets too hard, I’ll let it turn to vinegar and store it in jugs in the cellar.

Leftovers after the juice is pressed out. They're unbelievably dry at this point. I'm sure the squirrels will be raiding the barn until it's all gone. I'll also put some out for the wild rabbits that hang around the house.

Leftovers after the juice is pressed out. They’re unbelievably dry at this point. I’m sure the squirrels will be raiding the barn until it’s all gone. I’ll also put some out for the wild rabbits that hang around the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just put some apple bars in the oven and I’ll share the recipe if it turns out well since it’s a new one for me!

There’s rarely anything that goes to waste on our farm.  This does NOT end the canning season either!!!!  I killed a really nice 7-point buck yesterday and the hams will be cubed and canned early in the next week.

Our chestnut season is over though and we sold 35+ pounds of those this week and saved about 10 pounds for ourselves to snack on.

The chestnuts were few this year but the ones we picked up were huge and so sweet.

The chestnuts were few this year but the ones we picked up were huge and so sweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until next time. . . .

Treats for Sassy

This is Sassy, a blonde cocker spaniel that has as you can see never missed a meal.

With a full coat and she loves the snow!!  We have her sheared three or four times a year.

With a full coat and she loves the snow!! We have her sheared three or four times a year.

We’re trying to cut back on her food a little and I will honestly tell you she eats what we eat.  One of the benefits of having our own farm is being able to hunt on our own land.  We do love venison and use it in so many way but that’s another post.  The reason for this post is to tell you that one of the most nutritious and weight conscious things we feed  Sassy is our own homemade deer jerky with no seasoning or additives.

Finished jerky!  We freeze it as soon as it's completely dry and pull out what we need for a week of treats.

Finished jerky! We freeze it as soon as it’s completely dry and pull out what we need for a week of treats.

Hubby will take a shoulder of a deer and partially freeze it and then thinly slice it on his meat saw.  I then layer it in our dehydrator at 155* for about 6-7 hours until very dry and then pack it in ziploc freezer bags and pop it in the freezer.  Depending on the size of the deer, we usually get three gallon bags of dried jerky from each shoulder.

Our dehydrator is very easy to use and so easy to cleanup.

Our dehydrator is very easy to use and so easy to cleanup.

The drawers are deep and easy to fill.  Half a shoulder will fill it up.

The drawers are deep and easy to fill. Half a shoulder will fill it up.

Packaged and ready for the freezer or be eaten.

Packaged and ready for the freezer or be eaten.

My daughter takes three or four deer hams and has a jerky spice recipe she uses for their own use, not for the dog.

My daughter takes three or four deer hams and has a jerky spice recipe she uses for their own use, not for the dog.

Sassy is a pretty lucky and spoiled cocker spaniel!!  We love her to death!

Sassy is a pretty lucky and spoiled cocker spaniel!! We love her to death!

Sassy get a slice for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacktime, and bedtime, well, she wishes she got it that much but she does love it.

Sassy is our little girl!

Sassy is our little girl!