Before I met Philip, I had tried processing just one leg of venison, my one take away from that experience was… Kiss the butcher, you appreciate what he does more than you know.
I have to admit I feel that way still, I get overwhelmed when I look at the starting point. Philip doesn’t seem to let that bother him, he just starts one cut at a time and chisels away at it until the meat is in neat white packages.
Deer and Apples to Process
Following this trip we had two deer to process and we also bought 1 1/2 bushels of apples at Jackson’s Orchard that needed immediate attention as well. We called in reinforcements, Philip’s parents Danny and Joy Murphy and my parents Tom and Betty-Lou Seager came to help.
Danny, Philip and Joy got started with meat processing and Tom and Betty-Lou helped me get the apples started.
Processing the meat is not difficult, its mostly just time consuming and meticulous work. Philip is very particular about using as much as we can. The fat and sinew is removed from the meat. Each cut is individually trimmed. Roasts are tied. Each cut is packaged into meal size portions and labeled. Any of the trim that is usable goes into the ground meat. We waste very little.
Making ground meat can be hard on the shoulder, especially at the quantity that we are making. Everyone took a turn at the grinder. We mix our ground venison with 20% beef or pork fat. The mix is combined during the grinding process. We mix intermittent chunks of fat to the mix. Venison is extremely lean and it cooks better with the added fat. Some of the ground we press into patties and freeze for quick burgers.
Applesauce Bubbling Away
We still had the apples bubbling on the stove while we were processing the meat.
In addition to processing two deer, we made 36 pints of applesauce and an apple crisp just for fun! So thankful for family that makes it all possible!
About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.