Story last updated at 8/28/2013 - 2:58 pm
Now that you have harvested some wild game you may not know exactly what to do with some of the less tender cuts of meat, and the freezer may already be full of fish fillets. Maybe it's time to look at some options. Shoulder and neck roasts can always be ground into burger, which can create lots of great meals, however there are some alternatives.
I have an electric kettle type smoker and I use debarked, green 3-inch diameter alder logs placed on the electric element. It works very well for small amounts of product. A larger smokehouse can be made from rough cuts of wood since its service is to only capture smoke. I have also made a wooden smoker, built from rough-cut slabs of lumber. The structure was 66 inches high, 40 inches wide and 40 inches deep with a sloped, shingled roof, two double doors that were 3-feet high for product access and two double doors below to accommodate the firebox 12 inches high. The smokehouse sits directly on the ground and has three shelves with removable racks. The firebox is a 16-inch truck rim with a metal plate welded to the bottom. For initial setup a fire is started outside the smokehouse with dry hardwood until a bed of coals can provide adequate heat for the green hardwood to smolder. Sixteen-inches above the firebox a metal baffle was installed that could deflect any flames if the wood logs caught fire. I did not worry about the smokehouse catching fire because with proper attention to temperature, the firebox would smolder and not flame up. Green debarked hardwood also limits the effect of flame up, which can destroy your product quickly. Frequent monitoring of the temperature gauge is essential and by adding more wood should quell any flame up. The smoked products will keep their flavor and avoid spoilage for long periods of time if they are vacuum wrapped.
A traditional polish sausage that can be baked, steamed, boiled or roasted.
10 pounds of venison or bear meat with all fat removed and deboned (shoulder, neck, chuck)
5 pounds of pork shoulder (deboned, leave fat)
2 bulbs fresh garlic (not cloves - entire bulbs)
3 tablespoons marjoram
30 feet hog casing (can be purchased at the butcher shop)
2 tablespoons fresh ground pepper (mix thoroughly)
If you have access to an electric grinder that has a casing stuffer attachment, the process will go a lot quicker than a manual model. The trick is to guide the casing onto the stuffer attachment and as you are feeding all the ingredients into the grinder hopper. This is to provide just enough pressure on the filled casing to prevent the casing from bursting because of overfilling. The links should be approximately 18 feet long and then tied in a loop. This is fresh kielbasa and many prefer this product over the smoked version. Smoking would require a hardwood smoke of 120 degrees to 140 degrees for about 3 hours. Cooking the kielbasa for 15 to 20 minutes is required for consumption. Serve with fresh horseradish and rye bread.
Venison or bear jerky
The best cuts for this product is flank or round steak. (Lean meat with no fat or gristle.)
5 pounds venison or bear roast (partially frozen - easier to cut)
If you use a sharp knife the partially frozen roast will be easier to cut into strips 8 inches long, 2 inches wide and 1/8 inches thick.
Marinate these strips for 8 hours turning frequently.
1/2 fresh garlic bulb crushed
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Accent
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Mix ingredients thoroughly and place strips in a bowl and add marinade.
After the marinating process place the strips on a grill and place in the smoker for 2-3 hours at 120 degrees to 160 degrees. Consistancy should be leathery and not brittle.
4 fresh fish fillets brined for 8 hours
1/2 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 fresh garlic bulb crushed
After brining it is paramount that the fillets are thoroughly rinsed with cold water and dried before being placed in the smoker. Depending on the thickness of the fillets smoking (110-130 degrees) can take 4 to 6 hours.