Sunday, December 18, 2016
I was just talking with a guy who owns a deer processing center. It is the rare processor, that has facilities for aging the meat and makes really good sausage. Of course, we got to talking about what is done with the odd cuts and the deer skin. He sells the hides when he can for less than $5, to a tannery. This would be a huge opportunity for anyone wanting to make leather goods, btw - just go to your local deer processor and buy the hides. Your state will likely require... a paper trail, but you could make anything from fine upholstery and jackets to decorative items. But, what really bothered me was the waste of the meat. Most folks field dress their deer (gut) and few take the heart, liver and kidneys home. To not do so is wanton waste of good food. Sometimes a deer comes into his place not gutted..... by then, he has to throw away the spoiled organs. That is such a shame. Of course, the tripe and lights should also be utilized, but convincing folks to eat such things is harder than putting sense in a fool's brain. But it gets worse. People are not using the head meat, often including some of that excellent neck meat that is so good ground for sausage.. The tongue is a delicacy. Boil the tongue, then skin it and let it cook low and slow with lots of onions and whatever else you like. But, the cheek meat is so obviously good meat, just being wasted. Not everyone likes eyes, I get that... but the meat around the eye is very good. The brain is a bit more controversial ... there are a handful of viruses that can infect the brain, but it is very rare for them to present in the brain only, so that the liver, etc shows no other signs... but, if you have a healthy animal, the brain is very good. Breaded and deep fried, or slow braised in cream and mustard...WOW! Thorough cooking should ensure safe eating. The tails can be used in soups and stocks. But, all those bones that are just thrown away -they often have to pay someone to dispose of them! Look up "bone broth", or check out Clint Locklear's video, on the Wolfer Nation channel on youtube. Even the hooves could be turned into gelatin and the intestines used for sausage casings or chitins... but I won't insist on that point. This waste is shameful. There is free food available, and far better than in many restaurants. I urge everyone who reads this, whether they hunt or not, to contact a local deer processor or to talk with deer hunters and to ask for these things.... deer liver or kidneys, grilled or braised, are among of the finest meals to grace any table. If nothing else, use it for dog food. Your dog will be healthy and happy!