A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Butchering Venison and Making Broth

With permission for Dave to hunt deer on land belonging to the Mark Timm family, we were treated to butchering lessons after Mark and Laurie Timm had each bagged a deer.  We watched as Mark stripped the hide from the carcus and readied it for cutting.  We were all eyes and ears as Laurie put her butchering skills to work; describing each cut of meat and providing several tips for preparing and cooking each type.  I also learned that venison has red meat's highest concentration of heme iron which is essential for cell development.  It decreases fatigue, enhances work performance and increases immunity.  When the butchering and packaging were almost finished, Laurie sent me to her kitchen to retrieve an electric fry pan, eating utensils and some onion & garlic.  Meanwhile, she cut and thick-sliced the tenderloin pieces, the most tender and flavorful part of the deer.  We ended the butchering session gathered around a frying pan of sizzling tenderloin enjoying good food and conversation with friends.  What a wonderful time!

The venison event didn't quite end there though.  Eyeing the meaty bones in the discard pan, I envisioned canning jars filled with rich and flavorful venison broth.  Before leaving, I filled a few plastic bags full of bones and promised Laurie half the broth.  Recipe follows the picture.
   My efforts were rewarded--the broth was superb!

Venison Broth                makes 12+ pints                 
Four jointed, meaty leg bones from large deer, sawed to fit in large pot
16 quarts water
6 large cloves garlic, cut in half
1 medium onion, thick sliced
1 cup carrot slices
2 cups sliced mushrooms (1#)
1/4 cup diced celery
1/4 cup celery leaves
1 rounded teaspoon peppercorns
1 rounded Tablespoon juniper berries (Penzys Spices online)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 beef boullion cubes (or one Knorr beef cube)
-Wash bones and remove all fat .  Put all but venison bones and water in large cooking pot.  Add venison bones and then water.  Bring to boil, turn down to slow bubble and cook for 4-8 hours, until about a third of the liquid has evaporated.  As broth cooks, skim foam that collects on top with small, fine-mesh strainer.  Turn off heat, let cool a bit and strain into smaller containers.  Let cool some more, then put in refrigerator overnight.  Next day, or when broth is chilled, remove any fat from the top and return strained broth to a pot.  Cook slowly (as above) until reduced to half.  Pour hot broth into hot canning jars and pressure can at 10 pounds of pressure: 20 minutes for pints, 25 minutes for quarts.    

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