By Montana Grant

Posted: November 29, 2020

Many hunters Grind Up much of their harvested Big Game. The Grind is perfect for bologna, sausage, jerky, and other meat treats. Hopefully, they also saved the roasts, steaks, loins, and stew meat. Chili, Burgers, and Sloppy Joe’s are fine, but a broader menu of Big Game recipes is even better.

Butchering your own wild game is important. Taking responsibility for prime, healthy, cuts is important. When I share wild game with friends, I want to know that the meat is clean, healthy, and delicious. I also supply a recipe or two. This learned skill is way easier with the modern cutting and grinding tools available. The money you save by not paying a Butcher can be directed at the equipment and gear needed to cut up your meat. You can also have your meat tested for CWD through your local FWP office.

Not all Grind is the same. Make sure that you trim off any fat or silver skin. Avoid bone chips and dirt/hair in the meat. When you grind the meat, cut it into smaller pieces that will easily fit into your grinder. Run all the meat through the grinder for a first grind trip. Use a large Grinder plate for the first run. Usually around 3/8ths on an inch hole.

Now is when you can Mix it Up! Some folks just want lean grind. Others prefer some fat, that will add flavor and hold the grind together. A 75-25% mix is a good place to start. This is important if you are making a wild game burger or meatloaf. Consider some Grind options. You can add beef fat, pork fat, Bacon, or even blend other wild game into the grind.

My favorite is a cut up Pork Shoulder. These roasts are cheap and are easily cut into grindable chunks. Now that your grind has been cranked up once, you can now run the Grind through again. This time add chunks of the cut-up Pork, Bacon, or whatever else you prefer. Usually, the second Grind trip is enough to mix and blend the meat. I have seen some folks add tomato, or vegetable, juice at this time for color or flavor.

You can wrap the meat into 1 or 2 lb. portions. Use a vacuum seal bag, zip/ twist bag, or plastic wrap. If you use plastic wrap, also wrap a layer of freezer paper. Label, date, and allow the packs to evenly freeze. You may need to spread the packages out so that each will freeze consistently. Just throwing a box full into the freezer will insulate the inner packs and not freeze quickly and completely.

Now it is time to discover some new recipes! We all get tired of the Same Old Grind!

Montana Grant

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