As an avid deer hunter, it’s no surprise that over the years my family and I have come up with some really great ways to cook and process venison.
We have lots of hamburger, steaks, chops, roasts, etc. in the freezer, but my two favorite ways are a little less traditional. We always make a batch of canned deer meat along with deer bacon. Some people may have heard of canned deer meat before, but deer bacon? Yes, it’s really great.
We do most of the processing of our deer right in my parents garage when possible. This way we can take all the different cuts, and package and separate them how we see fit. Once the different types of cuts have been split up and packaged, we then take all the trim and either make it into hamburger or deer bacon. For the deer bacon the meat locker adds pork and then creates a pressed type of bacon. We found one meat locker in particular that we like best, but you need to ask around to find a great place near you.
Once the deer bacon is complete, I cook it with eggs for breakfast and also do a lot of other cooking with it. I’ll use it to wrap a steak or shrimp on the grill, put it on pizza, and a new favorite that someone recently introduced me to – deer bacon and peanut butter sandwich! Yes, it sounds kind of crazy, but I tried it and it’s pretty tasty!
Another great way we process our deer meat is through canning. There are several reasons I like this. First, it’s an extremely fast meal if you’re in a hurry. The canned meat can sit on the shelf and when you’re ready to cook it I simply brown the meat, add some onion, crushed pepper and make a gravy. After a few minutes it’s ready to pour over rice or potatoes. This is great for kids, people on the go, or someone just looking for a new way to prepare venison.
As for the canning process, it’s really quite simple. The most important part is making sure you have really good cuts of meat that are cubed with no excess fat on them. We then stuff canning jars full, add canning salt and put it in the pressure cooker. It’s a healthy quick meal that can sit on the shelf and lasts for a very long time.
For me, hunting has so many elements. I truly enjoy every part from the beginning to end. It all starts in the spring setting stands and preparing food plots, then moves into hunting season and if successful – processing the animal and sitting down at the table to eat the meat together as a family.