Blog of an aspiring foodie

Mystery meat

Posted by beer_chris on 12-February-2005

Last night I tried to cook one of the cuts of venison that I received from Rob/my inlaws in Arkansas. The deer meat was gun harvested, and I have probably 20 lbs of various cuts in my freezer right now. On Monday I pulled what I thought was a rump roast out and put in in the fridge to thaw. It came to me in large dog food bags covered in ice, each cut wrapped double in plastic sacks from Wal-Mart.

In any case, the 'rump roast' I had was thawed by Thursday. I picked up some turnips, celery and carrots to make a root vegetable pot roast with the venison cuts. I thought there might be a bone in the meat, and so I was prepared to cut it out (even with my really dull knives, which need sharpening badly). Anyway, I pulled it out, pulled off the Wal-Mart bags, inhaled the sweet and spicy smell of venison meat, and noticed there was a bone. As I started to bone the meat, I noticed the bone seemed especially large. After about 15 minutes fighting it, I realized the bone was actually the spine. I was looking at the front end of an animal, the shoulders being the majority of the meat – it was a brisket cut, kind of, with the backstrap (sirloin) removed and the shanks already cut out. I went ahead and butchered the bone out, and ended up with two chicken breast looking pieces of meat, each full of long sinewy tendons and muscle fibers, and covered with a slimy silverskin I couldn't get off. I decided against pot roast at this point, both because my meat weighed less then 2 lbs total, the turnips were soft and sprouting, and it was 8 PM already. I went with a recipe for beef brisket – 2-3 hrs at 300 degrees, covered with foil.

I let it cook for about 2 and a half hours, and it was 125 degrees internal temp – medium rare. I let it rest for about 20 minutes, and it toughened up. I made a ketchup based sauce with the pan juices, and it was flavorful, but the meat was just too darn tough and dry to enjoy.

I also discarded the spine, as I wasn't sure it would make good stock. I'll have to find out, as I have some more cuts like this, and venison stock would make good soup.

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