Artisan Venison

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photos taken November 2016

Charlie, having the refined tastes he does, eats a lot of venison.
This fall, Mike got Charlie a deer. And, as I’ve done for a few years now, I butchered the deer. We clean the kitchen island so it’s sparkling and free of clutter, and I line up knives, cutting boards, a sharpening stone, butcher’s freezer paper, tape, and a sharpie. Mike brings me quarters at a time, and I cut and trim and package and label. Meanwhile, Mike cooks venison tenderloin for dinner. I trim the deer meticulously, so that nothing goes to waste. I save the bones for broth, I save the fat to mix with birdseed for the doves and sparrows, and I save a few random scraps for a fox that is living in our neighbor’s haystack. My favorite part, though, is what I do with the rib cage. I leave the meat on the rib bones, and I leave the rib bones long. I cut between each rib, to separate them, and then hang these meaty arcs on the clothesline to air dry into jerky. Wild-harvested, sun-dried, organic, raw venison jerky-covered rib bones! Charlie LOVES them. They are his special treat through the winter.
He is enjoying one in the photos above.

one year ago: Under & Out
two years ago: Belly Deep
three years ago: Between The Rails
four years ago: Ridgeline
five years ago: Flufferbutt
six years ago: Bullies
seven years ago: Queen Kong!
eight years ago: Grasshopper
nine years ago: Remember Your Innocence

10 Responses to “Artisan Venison”

  1. PatR Says:

    That is one happy baby boy!

  2. Marg Says:

    Best treat ever! Your tea strainer tip is a good one, thanks for sharing.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Glad Charlie can enjoy some nice yummy treats everyday :)
    Last night I threw the turkey bones & whatever meat that was still left on the turkey that me & my family had for Christmas for my pack of coyotes, my mom kept on asking me if they choke on the bones? I keep telling her No they won’t Cause if they did; then how can they live in the wild with their prey being raw animal meat

  4. mlaiuppa Says:

    He doesn’t serve himself by removing a rib or two from the clothesline?

    How gentlemanly of him.

    I’m sure he gets the legs too, right?

    Do you have the bugs clean the skull for you so you can do your art?

  5. torre Says:

    sounds like a wonderful treat for Charlie! i love what all you do with the deer – yummies for lots of critters.

  6. ------------ Says:

    I wanna see a picture of the fox in the haystack. Heh.

  7. Jenny C Says:

    Charlie knows how to say “thank you” – look at that. Haha.

  8. PatH Says:

    Your story brings me back about 40 years when I travelled to Jamaica. Tiring of life around the hotel, I naively went for a long walk alone along a back road. I came upon an open field where the local people were butchering a cow. I watched everyone take part in the process. The men had the cow hanging from a strong tree cutting through the flesh. Pots on the ground gathered different pieces for holding. Women were tending the fire with pots on top. Everyone was busy doing their part. I couldn’t see everything but it was clear every piece of the animal was being used. If only I had a long lense at that time. Your story reminds me of the sacred ancient ritual of recycling and sharing. A teacher once told me, recycling is an act of kindness and so I love how you share this ritual with your farmily and your local wild neighbors.

  9. Maggie Says:

    I love this! Where/how did you learn to butcher? I will need to know, for MT in a few years.

  10. Kelly B Says:

    We’ve moved on from elf legs? Venison is awesome, the jerky idea is pretty fabulous and Charlie sure has a great pack.

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