Grinding and mixing Venison

So that time that Craig shot the deer and then we had to figure out WTF to do with it?  Well most of it ended up as stew meat, and all of the odds and ends are going to be dog food. 10lbs made their way into a bin to get ground up and turned into hamburger, etc.  Now the thing about venison, is it has pretty much NO intramuscular fat.  The remainder of the fat is what contributes more than anything to the gaminess of the meat, and to me, that is not a desirable quality, so we trimmed what existed of it out, and put it in the dog food collection.  When people grind up venison, it is oftentimes “cut” by another animal’s meat or fat.  Either beef fat (which you can apparently get very cheaply) or pork fat.  Pork seems to be the most common, and has a far more neutral flavor than beef.  For this, I used high fat-content pork products, a pork belly, and a pork shoulder, totaling about 7.3 pounds of meat.  The venison weight came out to a hair over 10.5 pounds, which gave us a roughly 60/40 split between venison and fatty pork.  Anyway, I pulled out my handy dandy 5 gallon bowl and got to grinding!  And boy-o did that Kitchenaid not appreciate the 18lbs of meat that I ran through it!  But it ran like a champ.

ground pork
This is just pork

weighing out venison chunks
Weighing out the venison to verify the weight

ground venison and ground pork

When it was all ground, I carefully mixed it all up.  Not to one homogeneous mess, but just to get a semi-even spread of meat.  Then I threw a sheet of parchment on my scale and got to weighing out 1lb chunks.  Each chunk got wrapped in plastic wrap, then set on a sheet of freezer paper.  I have never used freezer paper before, but was instructed to grab some for wrapping up the deer, which we ended up vacuum sealing instead, so I had 2 huge rolls and a roll of freezer tape (apparently the adhesive stays sticky in freezing temps), and I figured I’d give it a shot.  True story, I’m not great with freezer paper, but I think after 18 packages, I finally have my technique figured out.  I just have to eat the first few that I wrapped before I eat the others.  They’re kind of a mess.

18lbs of ground venison

The only trick with the meat will be to either cook it fully (like in sloppy joes), or wait til at least a month in the deep freeze is up to help ensure that whatever parasites that may be present in the meat are dead. :shudder:

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