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Bacon and other Good Eats Cooking, recipes, how-tos, etc

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Old 02-22-2016, 09:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My fellow hunters, dealing with a tough old buck?

The last few deer I've shot have tended towards small does, nothing impressive in size or trophy, but darn tasty and tender.

Well this last season I bagged an impressively large 8-point buck. Huge in size, the antlers will look impressive on my wall, meat has so far been quite tasty, but damn them old bucks are tough.

Tonight I cooked up a steak. It was perfectly pink inside, very juicy, wonderfully flavorful, but annoyingly chewy. Heck, I've had jerky that was more tender.

So, what are your techniques for tenderizing these tough old bucks? There's a second steak waiting for me in the fridge for tomorrow night.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you disconnect the connective tissue it'll soften it up considerably. Try taking it to a larger butcher, they have "Tenderizing" machines that will do this. Tougher cuts of meat usually go into sausage, or ground meats to make them easier to consume, but it'd be a shame to consume your steaks like this.

Any larger butcher or specialty meat shop would gladly do this for you.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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We have a "pyramid" rolling tenderizer here to soften them up. Cooling the carcass down asap after breaking it down in the field helps immensely.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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do you have place that does butcher work. just like other guy said. they will be best at getting best cuts and make them tender for you.
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Old 02-22-2016, 11:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did just recently pick up a tenderizer hammer (one side flat, the other with the pyramid spikes). I may just quarter the other steak from the pack (it's quite large) and give it a good whacking.
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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And just a bit of an info dump to make sure we're all on the same page.

Deer shot in below freezing temperatures, field dressed immediately after it was shot. It was a lung shot at about 75 yards with my old .303 Enfield, deer didn't run but did thrash around a little longer than I like. I prefer a quick kill, it's kinder and you don't get that gamey adrenaline taste. Deer was field dressed and hung up on the camps buck pole within a hour. Hung frozen for about a day and a half before I could get it to the butcher shop. Professionally processed (one day I'll learn to do my own, but the local place is just too convenient, and a good price), and the deer was divided into steaks, chops, roasts, and tenderloins with the rest ground and mixed with a little beef fat.

With the tenderloins I wrapped them in bacon and cooked them in a small rotisserie, they were spectacular.
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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There's always the Mythbusters method....

Tenderizing steak with explosives
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So tonight I smacked the steak around with a big spiked metal mallet for a while.

Turned a thick steak into 4 thin cutlets. Man, that really shortens the cooking time too. Went from 5 minutes a side to 90 seconds a side.

A definite improvement on tenderness, but not spectacular (next fall I may have trouble passing up any "veal" aged deer that happen to go past my blind). There was some gristle I should have probably carved out before tenderizing, no amount of whacking helped with that.

I'll keep experimenting, got more than enough samples to work with.
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Old 02-23-2016, 10:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Fubarius View Post
no amount of whacking helped with that.

I'll keep experimenting, got more than enough samples to work with.
Taken out of context

I have only ever liked deer in jerky form. I know there is an Allegro game tenderizer marinade if you can find it. A friend of mine uses it for his deer meat and loves it. The regular allegro is amazing on steaks too!

I need to find someone who is willing to share some deer meat locally though
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Old 02-25-2016, 01:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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try a balsamic vinegar marinade. It should help tenderize it a bit. Whacking and slow cooking also help with tough meat.
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