Ice Fishing and Meat Grinding, All in One Weekend.

With the holidays in full swing, we’ve been doing a lot of driving.  Saturday was one half of Matt’s family’s Christmas get together, so we drove up north Friday night. Matt wanted to do some ice fishing on the lake that pair of grandparent’s house is on. We fished here back in August, and caught that big 9.5 inch pumpkinseed.

There was about a foot of ice, so people were driving onto the ice in trucks and on snow mobiles.

There was about a foot of ice, so people were driving onto the ice in trucks and on snow mobiles.

Our shanty.

Our shanty.

Lake panorama.

Lake panorama.

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

Two flags on the tip ups all day, and this one little northern. After that we had dinner and did Christmas stuff. Matt’s aunt and uncle were there, and we talked about sturgeon spearing with them in February on Lake Winnebago. There was a nasty winter storm bearing down on the area around Madison, though, so we left around 9 to try to beat it home.

We succeeded, barely. It began snowing on us just before we got to Madison, and when we got up Sunday morning, there was over a foot of snow on the ground. After clearing the snow, we got around to grinding up the venison we planned to use for sausage, freezing it, and making jerky. I also sealed up the deer bones I plan to make broth with.

Grinding venison.

Grinding venison.

Sealed venison bones to try bone broth.

Sealed venison bones to try bone broth.

The dogs were thrilled to get the leftover bones.

The dogs were thrilled to get the leftover bones.

GE

Making jerky.

Making jerky.

GE

Dehydrators next to deer skulls.

We also tried rendering the tallow for the first time. It came out pretty well even though it was a smelly process.

Freshly rendered.

Freshly rendered.

As it cools, the fat separates from the gelatin.

As it cools, the fat separates from the gelatin.

With the rest of the holidays on the way, we’ll be doing quite a bit of driving. Tuesday, we’re headed to see my family in Illinois. We’ll drive back that night, and up to the Fox Cities Wednesday to see the other half of Matt’s family. After the 25th, the holiday hunt is back up, so we’ll be out again after deer.

 

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4 thoughts on “Ice Fishing and Meat Grinding, All in One Weekend.

    • I’m not even sure yet, to be honest. Matt wants to make candles, for whatever reason. The small amount we got from two deer (which are lean critters, even when fat) wouldn’t do much more than make one big three-wick Yankee or Bath and Bodyworks style candle. I’m thinking that when sausage making time comes, we can use the deer’s own fat to cut some of the sausage. We have meat from his buddy, whose fiance is Jewish and keeps Kosher. Normally, we just cut the ground meat with pork in our sausage, but if we do it this way, we can maybe keep the sausage as kosher as two Gentile home butchers could. If that doesn’t work, maybe I can try to cut it with lamb or chicken or something.

  1. Whoa, there! I’d like to recommend that you try a bit of the rendered deer fat before you use it in your sausage recipe. Our experience has been that the venison fat is not really palatable. It kinda coats the inside of the mouth and won’t leave. For venison sausage, we always use wild pork fat. Beef would be my second choice for flavor. How about rendered goose or duck fat? Good luck and let me know what you decide.

    • I’m worried about that, myself. It didn’t smell great, but it just smelled…greasy? But still weird. It was Matt’s idea. I might end up going with beef for the sausage that can’t have pork in it- see my reply about keeping kosher above. Our sausage for just us is going to get pork loin or shoulder mixed in to it, regardless.

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