Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Know Why

It's always great when we wonder about something, and we look up the answer but can't find it, and then, the answer is given to us in a form we'd never have expected to find it.

Last month, we were gifted a whole deer, and one of the concerns when we were butchering it was that it hadn't been bled out. The question was, what does bleeding the animal out do.

We had no answer at the time.

The other day I found the answer in a book I was reading, and it is that meat from an animal that has not bled out spoils more quickly, which is not an issue when said meat is going to be frozen and refrigerated up until it is cooked (thoroughly).

In a lower energy future when we can no longer store meat in the freezer, we will have to be more careful about the way the meat is processed. For now, we're still incredibly thankful for all of the gifts the Universe has given us, and our lunch today of sweet and sour* stir-fried deer steak over rice was wonderful.

*The sweet and sour sauce was actually piccalilli I canned during the summer. It's delicious ;).


  1. My dad always said that not bleeding a deer out properly also led to a more gamey taste. I'm not sure about that though as we never ate one that hadn't been bled.
    A great way to store the meat is to can it. Cut it into chunks and then pressure can (I'm not sure the proper length of time). You don't even need to add anything to the jar, just the meat. As it processes, juices and what little fat there is will drain out of the meat. The chunks are great for stews and vegetable soup. I usually throw a pint into soup, juice and all, and it gives it amazing flavor.
    There's always dehydration, too. We used to make some pretty great jerky.
    Food for thought. :)

  2. funny coincidence... I was just giving myself a crash course in butchering beef after a discussion with hubby about where certain cuts come from... Isn't it interesting the bits and pieces of info we pick up on this journey??

  3. British piccalilli = yuck
    American piccalilli = yum

    I think meat, when properly bled out, tastes better. I didn't know about the storage issue, but that makes sense.

  4. Very interesting! I did not know this. I've only witnessed a moose butchering and that was more a dissection really.

  5. Thank you for the good wishes. I'm glad your husband is supporting the locavorism now. My boyfriend is half for it, but he has little things he just has to have.
    I get to forage once a year. For morrell mushrooms. They grow like crazy here in Kentucky and in the woods in Ohio where my parents live.
    I hope you have morrells in Maine. If you don't I feel very sad for you. ;)

  6. If you get another deer, take it and bleed, clean and quarter it, then put it in a big cooler layered with salt and ice. Leave it in there for up to 5 days, pouring off the water as the ice melts and adding more ice. The salt will draw more blood out of the meat and help reduce the gamey taste and help with preservation. It will not make the meat taste salty. Then just pull it out and rinse well with water and proceed to cut up however you want.