Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Butchering a Sika Deer

Thanks to the generosity of my boss we are in possession of another whole Sika stag. A whole deer is a windfall of quality meat and its always a pleasure to begin the process of butchering and bagging it all up for the freezer and feeds to give away. This one had been hanging in a chiller for 10 days so it doesnt really get any better than that, especially as we have no where we could hang a beast that big for so long, where it wouldnt get unwanted attention for the various pets and pests that are in the naborhood. So it was just a case of butchering into the various cuts and bagged up into meal sized bags.
If you havent done this befor its a bit of a mission but this youtube link is a start to finish look at how to butcher a whole deer into all the right cuts. The quality is pretty bad but he goes through the process slowly and methodically and its adsactaly what you need to know befor embarking on a task like this.
Note there is part 2,3 and 4 to watch as well.

As you can see the deer was shot in the top shoulder  but there wasnt much meat damaged by the bullet. You have to cut away all the damaged meat as it will spoil other meat its in contact with and taints the flavour.

From that to this. I didnt weigh the animal befor I started but these bags of cuts, which only included the bone from the front legs, came to 22kg. The fillet steak is the easiest and most satisfying portion to take along with the loin. The front legs come of easily as well but then theres the task of cutting away the damaged meat from the bullet. I kept them on the bone for roasting joints. Then theres the back legs which have alot of prime rump and sirloin steak cuts. I dont have the butchery skills to get this part done perfectly but its a very satisfying job all the same.

Thanks to the old school mincer Dad found in Dunedin we are also in the business of making mince for burger patties. Theres alot of meat that comes off an animal that cant be used for much more than mincing so if your going to try this then you need a good mincer.

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