View Full Version : cooking deer meat.
06-21-2006, 11:57 PM
i have had the (good?) fortune of being given LOTS of deer meat from a freind of mine and since i am in charge of food for gettysburg i thougt who better to pawn this stuff off on than our company.
the problem i have is, how do i cook this stuff... authentically?
im not even sure which cuts of meat these are.
any ideas? i can cook beef pretty well but thats on my nice gas grill. has anyone tried deer on the open fire? im interested in any methods you have.
and if you are at gettysburg and want to cook, we will be more than happy to share! :)
06-22-2006, 10:08 AM
Answers in two directions here.
Firstly -- how to cook venison authentically: Fry it, broil it, boil it. The recommended method of cooking meat was to boil it. See paragraphs 682 through 688 in Kautz's Customs of Service for Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers. Pretty much the principal condiments available to soldiers would have been salt, pepper, sugar and vinegar. And yeah -- I wouldn't eat boiled meat too often, either.
Secondly -- I've never seen any accounts of soldiers deer hunting on the way to Gettysburg, so why provide venison at all? In fact, it's safe to suggest that as soon as the army started moving into or through an area, all the deer in the neighborhood took off for distant parts. Furthermore, in most cases soldiers would be penalized for unauthorized use of ammunition, so deer hunting was not a common activity in the army.
Occasionally, Commissary of Subsistence at events
06-22-2006, 02:11 PM
well, i agree with you that deer hunting may not have been a frequent activity on the gettysburg campaign.
however. this stuff is taking up too much room in my freezer.
its too much for wife and i to eat ourselves so we are going to share it with whoever wants it... seriously. you gonna be at gettysburg? we'll feed you.
06-22-2006, 02:53 PM
I've prepared venison just about any way it can be prepared.
The most importent and most overlooked aspect of having palatable venison, is to remove ALL the fat from the meat. That is what gives it the strong , gamey taste, some folks have even said "waxy".
If I'm grillin' over a fire, cook it slow and don't over cook it, I prefer my red meat rare,wipe its a$# and dehorn it. I like to pin a piece of bacon or two around chops or steak to keep it moist.
If venison is overcooked it will dry out like a piece of shoe leather, and won't be fit fer a yankee ta eat.
I've served venison to folks who swear they hate it, and honestly after they give it a try, can not believe it is wild game.
If it is prepared right, and by prepare , I'm talkin' about from the woods to the table, from the shot to the skillet, venison is most assuredly, the meat of Kings.
Count your blessings that you have been bestowed such a wonderful bounty.
06-22-2006, 02:57 PM
I have Sanderson's Camp Fires and Camp Cooking, or Culinary Hints for the Soldier on line. Click the link and download yourself a copy. Subsititute venison for beef or pork in the recipes. Good luck.
By the way -- I might be in G'burg but NOT at the reenactment. Not my kind of event. Thanks anyhow for the invitation.
06-23-2006, 05:23 PM
First... deer does not have fat, it is tallow, if you soak the meat in water be sure to remove the "slimy" stuff between the piece of meat....it jsut plain tastes bad!
also soaking in apple cider vinegar an water (before your event) for a short time helps with the wild taste as well and brings out the blood in the meat.
try drying it (jerking it) at home in the oven at the lowest temp your oven can be set on, or a dehydrator. this makes a great snack with your hardtack or soft bread durring the day.
also grinding the meat with (1/4 the amount) with fat from bacon, and adding ginger makes a wonderful sausage for at home or in camp.....
06-29-2006, 04:01 PM
At the 140th Sharpsburg event, I had the pleasure of falling in with the 7th TN (Confederate Military Forces); and the Saturday night dinner consisted of venison stew with dumplings; all made from scratch & on-site.
Although the event itself could have been much better, the food and comraderie of these fine fellows was worth the trip from California.
Here's a link to their website. They should be able to put you in touch in the gentleman who did the cooking.
Regards, John Roger
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