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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One more question.

I made back straps last night and they weren't over cooked, but very tough. I was a little upset, because this is the first time i have experienced that.

Anybody ever run into this?
 

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Ross,

Toughness is virtually always a function of how the meat was processed. Did you butcher it yourself? (If yes, it would help if you posted how you handled the carcass.)

For example the single easiest way to ensure very tough meet is to freeze the meat shortly after harvest. This causes what is known as "cold-shortening" and is guarenteed to cause especially tough meet.

JC
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I did. But i have done many, and this was the first one that the back straps were so tough.

One thing i left out, I spined this deer, could that have done anything to the meat around the spine?
 

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Ross,
Sometimes recovery time can lead to toughness in even the prime pieces like backstrap-was it an overnight/next day recovery?
Quick cooling and clean kills are the key to good eating.
 

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I had the same problem from a doe I shot during 6day....it dropped on the spot...dragged it to the truck...tagged it.....my friend butchered the rest but I butcherd the backstraps....it was in the fridge for a day...i seasoned it like a steak and pan fried it...it was almost inedible it was so tough...
 

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One thing i left out, I spined this deer, could that have done anything to the meat around the spine?
Ross,

It could...However, I have butchered several spined deer and had no problems with the back-straps myself.

The process that I have began using the past two years after research, trial and error might help.

After harvesting and returning from the field I almost immediately quarter and back-strap the deer. I then place the meet in large bowls uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to allow the meat to cool and any excessive moisture or fluids to run out of the meat. I then trim the meat and vacuum seal as I would in preparation for freezing. However, instead of freezing, now that the meat is safely sealed, I refrigerate the vacuum packed meat for an additional three to seven days....This process, know as "wet ageing" does an incredible job of producing some of the most flavorful tender meat you can imagine. The reason being very simple, not only is the meat being aged at an adequate perfectly controlled temperature, but equally as important, as it has already been cleaned and trimmed and vacuum sealed the chances that it will pick up off flavors from the surrounding environment or excess bacteria is greatly reduced and in fact almost eliminated. In summary, this process maximizes the benefits of ageing the meat, while minimizing the the potential problems caused by ageing meat outside the controlled environments of a professional butchers shop.

Give it a try next time, I am sure it will improve the quality of your meat if you are handling the butchering yourself.

JC

(BTW...as an aside, virtually all of the beef you purchase in a store is aged using this same "wet-ageing" type method.)
 

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Can "cold-shortening" be undone by giving the meat several days in the refrigerator after thawing? Or, is it permanent?

I wonder if I should ask my butcher to not freeze the venision and then let it sit in my fridge to wet age? He usually has a 2-3 day turnaround and it comes frozen.
 

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Can "cold-shortening" be undone by giving the meat several days in the refrigerator after thawing? Or, is it permanent?
EB,

I can not give you a definitive answer as my experience with "cold-shortened" meat has been limited. However, I can tell you in my experience you really can't "undue" it. The last few times we tried, we let the meat wet age after coming out of the freeze for several days and it was still very tough when we cooked it. We have also let it wet age and then brined it...still no significant improvement.

JC
 

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I wonder if I should ask my butcher to not freeze the venision and then let it sit in my fridge to wet age?
The only concerns I would have with that are 1). Does he vaccum seal or wrap in freezer paper?, (Not sure freezer paper would work very well), and 2). Do you really trust that the butcher is keeping your meat clean enough that you are willing to let it set for several days before freezing. If it is not kept very clean, while ageing it pick up lots of "gamey" off flavors.

JC
 

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I butcher my own deer. Some I let hang as long as I can if weather is good. Others I have butchered the same day vac sealed and froze day of the kill. Never a problem with it being tough.
 

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the best steaks are the ones you throw straight on the grill when you get back from the butcher before theyre frozen. i keep it in the fridge for a day or two after also and never had a tough steak.
 

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He vacuum packs and the place is immaculate and this comes from someone with extensive experience in medical device and pharmaceutical sterilization processes.

Bottomline, I will ask him not to freeze the next deer after vacuum packing.
 
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