While one of the main goals of hunting season is (for us) a freezer full of tasty steaks, roasts and the like, there are many parts of venison that are potentially left underutilized despite having a lot to offer. Here are some parts of venison you should be sure to save from your next harvest.
One of the many delicacies that can be found in the gut pile, heart is a great organ to expand your palate. When prepared properly, it is almost more reminiscent of a muscle than an organ, which is great if you are a little uneasy about the idea of organ meats.
Liver is one of those things that people are pretty set in their ways on – they either love it or hate it. If being one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet isn’t enough to convince you to eat liver, don’t leave it behind. Instead, try making dehydrated liver treats for your dogs.
Have you ever noticed a delicate, netted-looking membrane encasing many of the organs while gutting an animal? Don’t just leave that in the gut pile! What you’re looking at is caul fat. Encase roasts that could benefit from a little extra fattiness in the caul fat before cooking and enjoy.
Depending on the size of the animal, the tongue might be a small morsel by the time it is all cleaned up, but it is well worth taking the time to harvest from the animal. When prepared properly, I find it has a flavour and texture similar to short ribs.
Worth the extra bit of effort to recover, bringing the trachea home to dry for your four-legged hunting buddy will be a sure-fire hit.
Venison legs and hooves are another great treat for your dogs. Simply cut away from the animal during the skinning process.
This is just a small sample of different parts of venison that often go unused and forgotten. Even if you choose to go out of your comfort zone just one new thing at a time, it will make sure you are utilizing as much of the animal as possible.