Saturday, 10 December 2016

Muntjac wild deer

Muntjac wild deer

We have had the odd bit of shop bought venison before, even road kill, but the other day a friend had been hunting and had 4 wild deer. Normally he sells them to butchers and restaurants but this time he couldn't fit them all in his car in one go and so one was going begging, and fairly cheap. The deer had come from one of our local woods and had been properly gutted in the woods and hung for 2 days.

£30 delivered, although I was all for trying to attach it to the push bike, but he was going my way anyway.

We left it hanging for another couple of days as we tried to find the time to process it.

The first job is to skin it and with the River Cottage Game On DVD to hand we set to it. It was a lot more time consuming than I remember having last done a road kill deer some years ago.  We started early afternoon as a joint effort taking turns to remove the skin until the point came when the wife and kids had to go out leaving me to finish skinning and cutting the animal into quarters.

We made plenty of mistakes, cutting into the meat, but eventually the skin, feet and head were removed.

Almost Skinned
Once in quarters, plus 2 breasts, I had a table full of meat that could now be converted into cuts and sausage meat as well as stock and casserole meat.

The bottom of the photo shows the back legs / rump. The right is the forequarter with neck and legs. The top shows the back and in the middle are the 2 breasts.

The best meat is in the rump but the tender loin and loins looked good.

Having started around 1pm the clock showed 7pm and I still hadn't finished and something became obvious, namely that to make the most of a deer you really need a sausage making machine because the breast, ribs and forequarter and very sinewy and need mincing. We also made a couple of batches of stock.

It's now all in the freezer, although the rump steaks turned out to be mini rump steaks because when boning the meant I was left with a fair few small joints of meat. All in all we ended up with about 10 freezer bags of cuts.

Next job is to locate a sausage maker and buy some pig fat to wrap the joints in before cooking.

An experience! 


  1. What does wild deer taste like? I don't think I've tried it.

    Interesting you included the children; were they upset? Or are they used to it? Most kids now don't really truly understand where meat comes from.

  2. The kids were at school when we did it but they saw the starting carcus and they have been around when I slaughter the odd chicken. I don't line them up and say watch this but with things like this it does go on with them around. When I last killed a chicken they were watching from an upstairs window. The younger ones are fascinated, the eldest is going through a screamish stage but they all eat meat and know where it comes from.

    The taste is of beef, very mild, but I didn't hang it for long because I'm not a fan of really gamey tastes. Very nice though, very tender. A lot of people would have hung it for 2 weeks so I'm sure it would have tasted more.

    1. My son is only two so he doesn't really understand where meat comes from. I'm not sure he'd completely understand even if we did kill an animal in front of him, although to be honest I'd probably be a bit squeamish to do it. I guess I'm not alone in that hypocrisy of eating meat but struggling with killing it myself.

      I don't know why, but I'm not a huge fan of beef. It's a bit... rich for my taste, somehow, so I'm not sure if I'd enjoy deer.

      I do wonder to what extent taste is genetic. My son is only two and a bit, but he's not a huge fan of meat, like his mother but unlike me. On the other hand, like me but unlike his mother he loves fruit and isn't a huge fan of bread.