Thursday, July 25, 2013

Transporting Wild Game Meat in Plastic Bags

Bruce from Phoenix, Arizona wrote in:

While watching your de-boning video, we noticed that after packing the meat in deer bags, you do not also cover them with plastic bags before you start transporting the meat.
Is there a reason for this? We were concerned about dust

Thanks for the question Bruce.

Putting warm meat into plastic bags is not a good practice. After the body heat has evaporated and dissipated from the meat it's okay, but I would refrain from putting it in plastic while the carcass is still warm. Warm meat in plastic bags will sour very quickly.

I know what you mean about the dust. The cotton bags will catch a lot of it and the rest can be trimmed off during final processing. It's much better to lose a little than potentially lose it all.

Good luck this fall!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood  

What to do with Bloodshot Meat?

Jeff from Clio, MI asked:

I noticed that in your DVDs, the deer and cow elk appeared to be pen raised, as they had no apparent injuries. Therefore, you haven't had a chance to talk about how to deal with bloodshot meat or damaged tissue. What do you do in that case?

Thanks Brad! I am a real fan of yours as well as Outdoor Edge Knives, as I have most they make.

Hi Jeff!

You are correct, the deer we use for our videos are pen raised deer. They are head shot so we don't have the blood in the chest cavity when filming field dressing. This way, the chest is clean and everyone can see the organs whole and intact. It makes it easier to explain the field dressing process this way. As far as blood shot meat, you only have one choice and that's throw it away. Often times if I'm shooting a deer with a gun, I will hold back off the shoulder on the rib cage just to avoid blowing up so much meat in the shoulders. Be careful not to shoot too far back! Ya know what happens then!

Thank you for your question and your support!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood  

Trimming Fat & Sinew from Wild Game Before Grinding

Jeff from Clio, MI wrote:

Hi Brad, 

I have all of your DVDs and have learned a lot about things that I thought I knew well. 

I was wondering: It seems as though, when trimming sinew before grinding, you can't trim all of the sinew away from the muscle. Does that end up in the ground meat? Does the grinder separate the meat from waste? Does the waste wrap around the auger of the grinder or does it all end up in the ground meat? 

Thanks for the compliments Jeff and I'm glad you enjoyed the DVDs!

We have a saying in the meat industry: "Trim the heavy." What this means is: trim the heavy gristle; if it's visible and large, we trim it. If not, you are exactly correct! The grinder blade will catch it and it will not make it into your product. I've had my Weston Grinder blades catch bones, bullets, BB's and even broad heads. The important thing here is to let your grinder work and perform the way it was designed to. If you notice the grinder slowing down and not grinding as fast, then stop and clean the gristle and connective tissue out of the head. Never ever force feed your grinder; if it's slowing down and binding up, take the head apart and find out why. If the problem continues, then it's time for new plates and knives.

Thanks for the question and we appreciate your support!

"The Meat Man"
Brad Lockwood  

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Elk Stroganoff Recipe from Weston Products

Guest Post

Brad Lockwood recently visited us here at Weston Products, where we shot a new Butcher Block segment using the elk meat from Brad & Weston COO Jason Berry's elk hunt to make 'Elk Stroganoff.' Sound good? Well you're in luck because here's our recipe:

- Ingredients -
Brown Sauce
4 cups beef stock
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour

Meatballs (makes 15 jumbo meatballs)
3 lbs elk, cubed
1/8 cup curly-leaf parsley
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon roasted ground coriander

2 cups Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs

Homemade Egg Pasta
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs + 2 yolks
1 tablespoon olive oil (optional)

Cream Sauce
1 cup sour cream (8 oz)
3/4 cup chive & onion cream cheese (6 oz)

1 pint of morels
curly-leaf parsley, to taste

- Tools -
Weston Meat Grinder

Weston Meat Lug

Roma by Weston Pasta Machine & Bamboo Pasta Drying Rack

Combine all ingredients for brown sauce in a large pot. Whisk together over high heat, then reduce to a low simmer once the sauce begins to boil. Place a lid on the sauce and stir occasionally.

Grind your elk meat with the herbs and spices through a Weston Meat Grinder, first through a coarse grinder plate, then take half of that and grind it through a medium grinder plate (so that you have half coarse grind, half medium grind).

Hand mix the egg and breadcrumbs into the meat in a Weston Meat Lug. Use your hands to form jumbo sized meatballs, and brown them with a little olive oil in a skillet. Once browned, drop them into your brown sauce.

Bring the brown sauce back to a boil, then reduce to medium heat. Allow to cook until a thermometer inserted into the middle of your largest meatball reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to stir occasionally to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of your pot.

Next, make the fresh egg pasta. Form your flour into a mound in a giant mixing bowl or on a cutting board. Form a small crater in the top and crack your eggs into it. Turn the flour into the eggs until you have formed a smooth, elastic dough. If it's too dry, add in the olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Once the pasta dough has rested, pull off a palm sized chunk and feed it through the Roma Pasta Machine at the thickest setting, folding a few times. Next, run it through the machine until the second to last setting. Feed your pasta sheet through the pasta cutter, then thread your noodles over the Roma Pasta Drying Rack while you make the rest of your pasta.

Bring a pot of water to boil and sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Boil your noodles for three minutes, then drain.

While the noodles boil, place 1 tablespoon of butter into a skillet over medium heat and sautée your morels.

Heat the sour cream and cream cheese together until just melted and uniform.

Lay down a layer of noodles in a bowl, then cover with meatballs and brown sauce. Add a heaping dollop of cream sauce onto the top, then garnish with morels and parsley.