I do not like tough, dry meat - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 02/12/12, 07:02 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: About 35 Miles S. of Tulsa
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I do not like tough, dry meat

The "finish on hen scratch" thread prompted this.

I've butchered two cull bucks recently and they were horrendously tough. One in stew, one in soup with noodles. Flavor great, (hard to make stew or soup that does not taste good) but the meat was so tough I did not like it. I even pressure cooked and boned out the meat before making the finished product.

What would happen if I boned out the rabbit and ground in the fat? I have been feeding about a tablespoon of birdseed daily, and the rabbits are fattening on it. They eat the corn last, but they eat it.

Alternatively I could do as many do with deer. I could bone out the rabbit, add a bit of ground pork and grind that together, either plain or with sausage seasoning. To tell the truth, this sounds better to me than eating another tough old buck.

Finally, there is always meat left on bones, no matter how skilled you are at butchering. Pressure cook the bones, strain them out and you have base for soup.

What say those of you with experience???

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  #2  
Old 02/12/12, 07:08 AM
 
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older cull bucks will be differant than young butchers , did you age the meat in the fridge ? if not try aging it for 3 days or so

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  #3  
Old 02/12/12, 07:32 AM
 
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Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
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I agree with aging the meat in the fridge until rigor mortis has passed. Usually this takes 3-4 days. If you cook meat that is still in rigor, it will be very tough.

You certainly can grind rabbit meat with pork fat or something similar to make a very good minced meat. You will likely need a good electric grinder. Rabbit meat is hard to grind by hand.

I bone all our rabbits now and make soup from the rib cages and bones. There is enough meat clinging to the bones to add back to the soup.

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  #4  
Old 02/12/12, 02:37 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Yep make sure it's aged long enough it goes through being stiff back to flexible before storing or cooking. Otherwise even fryers will seem tough. That's true of anything you butcher. We'd leave the chickens and quail near a week sometimes. Usually the rabbit just over a weekend.

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  #5  
Old 02/12/12, 04:59 PM
 
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I won't even attempt to eat a adult buck. When his time comes coyotes get a meal. Futhermore I generally will not eat bucks once they have dropped their testicles (achieved maturity) I think they taste horrible.....that musky taste I can't get past!!! Some say they can;t taste it , but I sure do. If you are unsure what I am talking about ...expose the penis on a buck, and sniff....horrible!

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  #6  
Old 02/12/12, 07:08 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: About 35 Miles S. of Tulsa
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LOL, Bowbuild

I discard that part.

Seriously though, I have never been able to tell the difference in buck and doe meat in wild rabbits, and we have no choice in their age---we shoot 'em, we eat 'em.

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else has noticed this problem with bucks. I've got the meat I did not cook last week out on the counter thawing now. It will rest in the fridge for a few days now and we will try again. The meat looks fine; the hams, the loins and forelegs.
Ox

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  #7  
Old 02/12/12, 08:31 PM
 
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There are glands in bucks to remove. Depending on your style they may just get removed automatically as your butchering. I never remember where they are, just the article that said to make sure you remove them if you are roasting or crockpot to avoid a bad taste, so I generally give does to people for food and bucks to dogs and I don't have to worry about it. Even if you consider the cost of raising the rabbit we save money by replacing some dog food with rabbit. Rabbit food is cheaper than dog food.

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  #8  
Old 02/15/12, 10:32 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Do you ever eat meat from a rabbit your dog just killed? We did one that the dog snapped his neck, we got the buck right after. He was mighty tasty. Hubby grabbed one that the dog bit through his middle, so his organs had all bled and stuff, so he didn't get bled out. He has that one in the crockpot now after sitting it in the fridge in a saltwater solution, and it smells pretty good. The dog really needs to stop the killing, though.

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  #9  
Old 02/16/12, 11:54 AM
 
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Location: About 35 Miles S. of Tulsa
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Here's what I did:

OK; here's the story: I reported on the stew we made with the ribs and backbone of the buck I killed. Tasty, excellent, but the meat was tough.

After reading your comments here I took the hams, forequarters and loins out and put them to thaw, then put them in the fridge three days ago. This morning I boned out the hams and cut the loins, ground them and then added pork and seasoning, double grinding. That will be rabbit burger tomorrow.

The forequarters and the hind quarter bones went into a pot of vegetable stew, pressure cooked with onion, celery and seasoning. Smells and tastes delicous. Tonight I will heat and add dumplings for this eavening's meal. There is a surprising amount of meat on those forequarters and the bones.
Ox

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  #10  
Old 02/16/12, 12:31 PM
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You do not like tough dry meat?
Have you tried eating it, with your feet?
With some yams? In your seat?

Sorry, I get carried away sometimes...

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  #11  
Old 02/16/12, 07:15 PM
 
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You wearing your hat?

Yuck--shades of green ham!

The dumplings were delicious, but the meat was still chewy---not nearly so bad as the first batch, but still not prime. Tomorrow evening we are having the rabbit-pork sausage patties for dinner.

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Old 02/16/12, 07:27 PM
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People think Dr Seuss was pure fiction,
however, I suspect he was an Army man.
That is where I was introduced to green eggs and ham,
in a little green C Rations can...



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  #13  
Old 02/16/12, 09:57 PM
 
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Quirk, you must be older than dirt---

LOL, C rations went out a long time ago. Now they are MRE's, only slightly better than C rations.

I still remember digging a little hole in the ground out of sight, tossing in one of the heat tablets and warming my hands over the canteen cup as I waited for my instant coffee to heat. Somewhere around here I have a tube of those heat tablets; they are not much younger than I am.

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  #14  
Old 02/16/12, 10:51 PM
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I'll ignore that dirt comment When I was in Basics in 83, we were still given the old c-rats in the field. In fact, it was a sort of game, to see who's food had the oldest date. Some of them were dated around WWII. In comparison, the MREs are much better, and those heat packs are the bomb.

As a side note, since it seems I have derailed yet another thread... at the same time I was in training, my Dad was a distributor for Eureka Food Products. These were vacuum packed meals, like Chicken ala King and Beef Stroganof, that had a shelf life of years. Dad sent me a care package with several of these, and I packed them into the field on bivouac. I ate extremely well, and discovered that after eating c-rats, several folks would gladly pay a high price for one of my meals. Between those, and the extra carton of cigs, I came back with a nice little wad of cash. I also took several newspapers with me, and was laughed at for it. However, we were in the field in early winter, and it got mighty cold. I slept fine, because I layered newspaper under my sleeping bag, and lined the inside with it too. One night, it got cold enough that they dragged everybody into the mess tent with the heater. They really had to drag me out of my cozy nest. I also had plenty of paper to wipe with, long after the "4 squares" in the c-rat box were gone.

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Old 02/17/12, 03:46 AM
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Old roosters would be similar to old bucks, I'd expect. We put them in chilled salted water at least overnight but generally several days in the refrigerator before doing anything else with them. Beef needs up to two weeks to age before it gets tasty. Pig not nearly so long, so it does differ by species.

If it is really old meat the flavor will be really good, but it will occasionally be tough so we will usually slaughter an old rooster for the broth and a young one for the meat in the soup/stew. Slaughter, put in salted water and chill for several days. Pour out the salted water, rinse then put into a big stockpot with water. Simmer them for at least forty five minutes sometimes an hour, cool down then bone them out. Put the meat back in the broth, add vegetables, seasonings and noodles. Goes good with crusty french bread.

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  #16  
Old 02/18/12, 09:58 AM
 
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LOL, The Army and OLd Roosters

Hottzkatz; Quirk and I are thirty years apart---I was eating WWII C-rations that were thirty years fresher than his. LOL----Quirk, the best lesson I ever learned in basic was "never lend money to a friend who is headed for Europe when you are headed for Korea.

Back to the roosters and Rabbits---Hotkatz, we do roosters the way you suggest, chicken and dumplings or chicken soup. Friend told me that Campbell had a soup plant near her and they used truck load after truck load of worn out hens---same principle.

The aging is where I have to improve. Beef hung in a cooler improves greatly. I've hanged pheasant in the barn, in the cold weather, for a week and it was great. I may try hanging rabbit for a week.

At any rate, we ate the pork/rabbit sausage patties last night and I though they were very good. We can improve the seasoning, but they were certainly good enough for a meal. Much more tender than the first batch of rabbit and noodles.

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  #17  
Old 02/18/12, 10:19 AM
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Ok... after much inner turmoil, I'll try to contribute to the actual topic. I'll give you a moment to stop the laughter...

I haven't raised rabbits, just hunted them. Males, females, they are prepped the same way; skinned, gutted, and stewed. Don't have the space to chill them in brine. While being a bit tough isn't a pleasure, as long as it can be chewed and tastes good, that is more important. Heck, I've been to some restaurants and paid $10 or more and gotten a tough steak. That upsets me more than a free/cheap bunny that is a little tough. Same goes for the roosters we have raised.

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Old 02/18/12, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxankle View Post
Quirk and I are thirty years apart---I was eating WWII C-rations that were thirty years fresher than his.
And by the way... who is older than dirt?
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  #19  
Old 02/18/12, 12:39 PM
 
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Try soaking the rabbit in room tempeture buttermilk for 1/2 an hour right after butchering, then refrigerate still in the buttermilk for 24 hours. Pressure cook longer until it is fall off the bone tender, until no meat hangs on the bone. All my rabbit is done this way except the very young fryer does. Only add salt before pressuring, add other flavors after cooking the meat, while deboning, then add meat back....James

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  #20  
Old 02/18/12, 02:35 PM
 
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LOL, Quirk:

You have the better rabbits. I hunted and ate cottontails regularly as a kid, but there are so few here that I see only one or two a year.

I was in Mo. a year or so back and saw a bunny every hundred yards or so along the roadside. Too many coyotes here I guess.

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