Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall colors

Fall in the Ozarks

The trees are full of color and the trees are dropping the leaves. Deer season in full swing with Bow right now rifle season starts this week end. We've already put several deers in the freezer already. and I family member dropped this off today.

So time to break out the tools of  "Deerstruction" I keep it pretty simple a good bone saw, a thin blade boning knife, a steel, and a 4" paring knife. Yes I can break a deer down with just those couple of tools.

I've had that boning knife for more than thirty years. Well back to the deer. I peel the hide down to the base of the head. Starting at the first joint of the hind legs and working my way down. I leave the hide hanging on the carcass. That's just me, some take it all the way off.

Once I get here the next thing is to remove the loins. The loin starts at the top of the hind quarter and runs all the way down to the neck, ending behind the front shoulder.

This is one of the better cuts from the deer and getting the whole loin out is fairly easy to do it just takes a little time. The results of careful knife work is a very nice big loin.

One down one to go. The next photo shows the loin hanging from just above the front shoulder to give you a better  ideal of where they are.

Once removed you carcass will look like this.

Now I usually remove the front shanks. The shank is the part of the leg starting at the second joint and running to the third joint. I remove the lower part with the bone saw, and the remove the shank.

Once the shanks are removed I take off the front shoulders. They come off with little effort.

Now I take out the actual tenderloins. They are located inside the carcass along both sides of the spine. They start at the base of the hind quarter and run fro about 10 to 12 inches. They are small but Oh so good. That's them laying on top crossing each other.

The last thing is to take off the hind quarter. Use the bone saw to cut them free from one another and remove the lower leg section. The the hind shanks. The what you have left is the hind quarter.
Now I have a cooler full of meat to break down even more. so lets get started.
 The loins I cut one in half to save as a roast. The other loin I slice into medallions.

I break down the hind quarters to the muscle groups and the slice the larger muscles into steaks that I pound with a meat mallet. The rest of the meat I will clean off the silver skin "tendons" and cube some for stew meat and the rest will be ground with pork fat. The ground meat will be used as ground and some will be used to making sausage. All of the meat is packed in bags and vacum sealed, labeled, and dated then place in the freezer. I pack it this way so that I get nice flat packs that stack well in the freezer.

I will also season some of the larger pieces vacum seal them freeze them then slice them for jerky.
That will be so good jerky The wife made some that is very spicy and will lite up your face. The freezer is starting to look pretty good now. Still plenty of room for a few more deer though.


  1. Awesome. I always find it interesting to see how people break down their deer. Everyone has a little different method. I find mine evolves over time (as does my field dressing) with little "learning" experiences I have over time. I just quartered one out this morning. That's a lot of great looking meat. Enjoy!

  2. I know what you are saying it's taken a few deer to get it right. We did fried tenderloin and used acorn flour to bread it worked great. braised the shanks for thanksgiving kind of Osso Bucca style tender to the point of falling apart. thanks for stopping by been a reader of your blog for sometime now thanks again. chef

  3. So that's how it's done. I'm usually on the receiving end of deer meat once a year. I popped over from Dani's (South Africa) and live a few states north and west of you (Idaho). I'll have to explore your cooking posts .. as that's my passion .. making most Everything from scratch.

  4. I also came over from Dani's blog and will follow. Love the butcher lesson.

  5. I came over from 45er's blog. Great post! We butcher our own deer too but way more haphazzard than yours ;) I love the step by step pictures.

  6. Mrs Mac,

    Thanks for stopping by Idaho is great lived on the western slope very remote Colorado for sometime loved it there. well if you have any question feel free to ask thanks for coming by.

  7. LB,
    thaks for dropping by any questionns please ask. thanks again. will do more of the set by set here soon.


  8. Lou,

    Thanks for dropping by. If you have any questions please feel free to ask.