Friday, October 9, 2015

processing wild game - tutorial

Moose!  It's what's for dinner...

So if you have wild game meat to process, here is one way to preserve it.

Bottle it!

Big surprise coming from me right? 

Moose has less of a gamey taste than deer or elk so that's nice and bottling it makes it so tender that it almost melts in your mouth. That's why after a few choice cuts of steak, we (hubby) cubed almost all of it and it went into bottles. We saved some for jerky of course. 


Here's a tutorial for you who want to try this...

*Warning* graphic raw meat photo's.

Proceed only if you can handle looking at raw moose parts.

Okay, this first set of Photo's are of the hubby separating the muscle groups. This is of a moose hind quarter.

Okay, did ya get that?

Yeah, me neither... 


Next for cutting the meat into cubes. 

Take fat and sinew off.

Then slice it.

Then strips.

Then cubes...

 And more cubes...


And more cubes...

 Next, add 1 teaspoon salt (and we added 1 teaspoon beef base also) to the bottles (sorry no pics of that) and fill clean hot bottles with cubed meat. 
That's it!!! Nothing else goes in. Just salt and meat! Quite possibly the easiest thing to bottle to date. ;)

boiled lids

Bottle rims are wiped with a clean wet cloth and the lids and rings go on tight and into your pressure canner.  Add three quarts of water and 1 cup of white vinegar to the canner.
Trust me, if you don't add white vinegar you'll have terrible hard water encrusted on your bottles that will take forever to remove.

Just add it. :)

Put filled bottles in.

Put lid on and turn stove on high until it reaches the required pressure.  We are at approx 5900 feet in elevation where we live so we stayed at 15 lbs of pressure for 90 (count 'em 90) minutes.

Cue Jeopardy music...

...for an hour and a half.

You will have to monitor your pressure gauge and adjust the temperature of your stove. We started on high of course and ended on 3. So this isn't something you can walk away from and forget.

After 90 minutes in the pressure cooker canner, you turn off the heat, remove from heat, let pressure come down to zero before taking pressure weight off and then taking off lid. You do NOT want to try and hurry the process of cooling (trust me) as it could result in loss of liquid in jars, broken ear drums (just kidding) (kind of) or steam burns. Just go sit, put your feet up and relax while the steam escapes little by little until the pressure is nil.

There, isn't that gorgeous!?

Dinner ideas are practically endless now. 

Baked Potato Topping

The list goes on and on.

It's really delicious and tender, tender, TENDER.
I can't say that my family liked it, but what I can say
is that they LOVED it!!!
I'd dare say it's better than beef...'s what's for dinner.

Here's a link to the Idaho Extension office website to answer any further question you might have about time, pressure, elevation etc.