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This is a long, heartfelt post. I’m proud of hunting and raising our own livestock. It involves a lot of time & work, but is worth every ounce of energy. I was introduced to The Big Bite® Grinder from LEM™ Products and this marvelous piece of equipment makes parts of the work so much easier. Please read on….
I come from a proud family of sportsmen & conservationists. My father, God rest his soul, was a hunter, trapper and fisherman.
To this day I tear up remembering his love of the land and wildlife. I’m proud to carry on that tradition. My husband is an avid hunter and my 11 year old daughter is now mentoring with him. Just as my father, we take from the land but give back as well.
Hunting seems to be a controversial issue these days. It is viewed as a barbaric and primitive. Such thinking really couldn’t be further from the truth.
The reality of it is, if you eat meat, something had to die.
There’s two ways to go about doing this. You can walk into your local grocery store, buy a neat package of butchered meat and never consider where it came from.
Seems easy, sure. But do you know where that meat came from? Do you know how it was bred, born, raised and fed? Do you know the conditions these animals were kept in until it was time for slaughter?
Then there is hunting. Animals were born as nature intended, in their natural habitat living off their native land. You can’t possibly match that with any other type of meat.
Controlling the numbers of deer herds is a necessity for the ecosystem. In many areas certain game populations are wildly out of control or have the potential to get there. Witness deer starving to death during the winter or dying of disease changes many peoples opinions of hunting. Due to our ever growing population, with the our ever growing need to build more homes, roads and every other structure to support that growth – there is only so much habitat left for wildlife.
I understand that some people can’t or won’t hunt. I certainly don’t intend to talk down on those people.
You do have choices, though. There are other options for ethical meat. It’s not hard to find a farm that raises livestock in ethical conditions. It may seem costly upfront, but when you run numbers after all is said and done – it ends up cheaper to fill your freezer. Many of these farmers will also sell you large portions (1/4 or 1/2 of the animal) of beef and pork.
Then we move to butchering. I’ll admit that I can’t “field dress” an animal, nor can I disassemble the animal. I have no problem butchering.
The key to butchering is practice, knowledge, good sharp knives and a few other tools that make the process easier.
In comes The LEM Big Bite Meat Grinder. This marvelous piece of equipment is a TOTAL game changer when it comes to processing meat. It grinds LARGE quantities of meat quietly, effortlessly, perfectly and in half the time with no clogging. The Big Bite Grinder has an auger created to pull meat through versus having to push it. Grinding used to be the biggest hassle of processing meat – not anymore! It’s such a smooth operation! Last year I became so frustrated with my name brand (not mentioning names) meat grinder that I tossed it.
Everything on The LEM Big Bite Meat Grinder is of superior quality and stainless steel. Disassembling, cleaning and assembling the grinder is a breeze.
The LEM Big Bite Meat Grinder also has a sausage stuffer set-up that I’m very excited to try out! I have no experience in making sausage so I’m excited to get going on that venture.
LEM believes in this grinder so much that they have extended the warranty to 5 years!
Check out this video about what really makes The LEM Big Bite Grinder stand apart from the rest!
Another great thing about processing your own meat is that you can butcher and package any way that works for you. Make portions custom to what you’re family eats. Besides steaks, my second favorite part of a deer is lean roast to cut into cubes for stewing. I cut and package 2 pound packages.
Everything that is left gets ground. I have different methods that make sense for me. Venison is very lean, so you may need to add fat to it depending what you’re using it for.
When I process meat for tacos, sauce meat, one pot or casserole kind of meals, I grind the meat as is. I appreciate it it lean for these uses.
For burgers, meatballs, meatloaf – I add fat. For burgers I prefer bacon ends, for other ground fatty meats I grind a fatty pork butt. Either or work in both applications. Your ratio should be about 80% lean mean to 20% fatty meat.
I also make life easier for myself by making ready to go mixes. I’ll mix up 20-30 pounds of a meatloaf or meatball mix, package and freeze in various size portions. When I need it I only have to thaw, shape and cook.
Hunting, homesteading and a little hard work truly make you appreciate nature and all have, all we take and all we can give back.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Homesteading!
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LEM is a family owned company, passionate about bringing innovation to game processing. They have an awesome selection of products for all your homesteading & game processing needs! Check them out!
Meal Prep Venison Meatloaf
- 8 pounds venison ground
- 2 pounds fatty pork ground
- 10 cloves garlic minced
- 2 large onions finely diced
- 3 cups panko
- 3 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 8 eggs beaten
- 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- vacuum bags
- Cube and grind venison & pork together. I like to freeze the meat 15 -20 minutes prior to grinding and freeze an additional 15-20 minutes before second grind.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine panko and all seasonings – set aside.
- Place meat on large surface to mix. (Counter, cutting board or very large mixing bowl)
- Using gloved hands, mix garlic and onions into meat mixture until mixed throughout.
- Add in panko/seasoning mix.
- Mix with hands, add in beaten eggs & worcestershire sauce.
- Mix until everything is combined.
- Separate meat mixture into (5) – 2 pound loaves.
- Vacuum seal & freeze.
Shashi at Savory Spin
Amanda this is such a fantastic, well written post! I used to fall into that category of people that didn’t understand those pros of hunting – you have done such a fantastic job of showcasing how useful hunting can be on so many spheres and the importance of good quality meat processing products like LEM’s line!
And – that meatloaf sounds so darn delicious!
Thanks so much Shashi! I had so much fun working with this meat grinder and I love being able to write about a subject I’m so passionate about!
I love this post. As a foodie it is hard for me NOT to appreciate hunting in the same way I appreciate gardening. A greater connection to your food can’t be found. I think in today’s pre-packaged world it is too easy for people to forget where there food really comes from.
I myself can’t hunt, I don’t think (never tried), but I really can’t support factory farming of animals either. Hence vegetarianism for me! When I was eating meat, I always endeavored to get sustainably raised and humanely slaughtered meat and fish, or game. It is a MUCH better way to eat animals than supporting industrial agribusiness. I like the idea of butchering and grinding all your own stuff.