Butchering wild game is not rocket science. It does take some direction and learning to master the cuts. Much of the best cuts come from the hindquarters or butt of the critter.
Several prime cuts come from the critters butt. When the meat in the rump is separated, you can have sirloins, rounds, shank, rump, and a tri tip. The size of these cuts will vary depending upon the size of the critter.
Most hunters, that process their own meat, are familiar with basic cuts such as loins, and grind meat. Other cuts depend on experience and identifying where to make cuts. Check out some You Tube videos on precisely how to do this. You will discover videos about the whole deer cut to just the hindquarters.
Before I begin to butcher any deer, I allow the deer to hang a few days to a few weeks. This depends on weather and if you have a walk-in cooler. If you quarter and skin the meat, you can place the sections into a spare refrigerator, or outside in a cool space. Place the skinned quarters in a cotton meat sack and allow air to envelope the sack.
Dry aging the deer allows the rigor mortis to end and meat tissues to become more tender. The meat will also be easier to cut. Normally, I prefer temperatures between 35-45 degrees.
Proper cutting tools will allow you to make smooth cuts. Sharp knives are critical. Ise a boning knife to separate the large muscles. A smaller pointed knife works well to remove silver skin and connective tissue. Wear plastic gloves and keep your work surface clean.
Use a cloth or sponge dipped into salt water to remove any blood, dirt, or hair from the quarter. Once the area is clean, fat, and silver skin are removed, you can see the natural separations between the muscle groups.
Start by removing the shank. This means a separation at the knee. Now that the shank is separated, you can trim and cube it for stews or grind.
Once you see the femur, use your knife and fingers to completely remove it from the rump. Once this bone is gone, you can easily separate each muscle group. I rarely use a saw. This creates fine particles of bone and marrow that can contaminate the cuts. De-boning is a safer way to prepare meats.
The cuts are now separated and have different uses. The Tri-tip is a small cut that is found at the top of the sirloin tip. This a great grill cut. The sirloin can be cut into steaks. Cut the steaks across the meat grain. The sirloin butt or rump is a great pot roast cut. Your top and bottom rounds can also be cut into steaks. The eye of round looks like a smaller tenderloin. It is best grilled whole or sliced into medallions.
Wrap your clean cuts in 2 layers of freezer paper or a layer of plastic wrap and then labeled and dated freezer paper. You can also vacuum seal the meat. Always date the packages. Meat will keep for 6 months. After this time, it begins to turn rancid. There are many great recipes for your meats.
If you plan to share meat with friends, include some specific recipe selections. They will love the meat treat!
No Butts About It!