Where Does ‘Gamy’ Come From?
Generally, experts agree that that “gamy” taste is a by-product of improper handling of the game, after bringing the game down OR before cooking.
What are some examples?
- Leaving an animal in the snow (dusk shot), to field dress in am
- Not field dressing animal ASAP
- Not completely removing entrails
- Not rinsing cavity with clean water, soon after field dressing
- Not getting animal on ice as quickly as possible
- Not processing the animal within a day or two of harvest
- Not rinsing carcass after skinning; hair, etc., creates off-flavors
- Your deer’s diet – from wooded acreage, probably has more gamy taste
- Deer on agricultural & suburban areas – better diet = better taste
- Hauling game home exposed – in/on the truck/vehicle
As an experienced deer processor, Dave (of http://www.best-venison.com) has seen it all and has the photos to prove it. Look around his site for other info on reducing gamy taste.
- Dave indicates that leaving bone-in the venison contributes to the gamy taste.
- He believes “aging” deer can add gamy taste. See his suggestions.
- He also indicates anything less than “double wrapping venison” for the freezer is a bad idea.
The Big Question
Essentially, the real question you should always be asking yourself is, “If this were beef from the grocers, how would I handle this piece of meat?”
Taming “Gamy” Before Cooking
Check out this site: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07333/837468-34.stm Steve Loder, author of 3 wild game cookbooks, gives an interesting explanation of venison’s fat being the source of much of it’s ‘gaminess.’
His theory and solutions are too lengthy to cover here, but he has the credentials to know his subject and give great advice.
Methods to Reduce Gaminess
There are many ways to remove the wild taste. At eHow, http://www.ehow.com/how_2067752_get-wild-taste-out-of-deer.html -check out the idea there.
To Tenderize & Remove the Wild Taste
- Before we fry the backstrap of the deer, we marinate the meat in milk for ~24 hours.
- Cut up a pineapple – mix pressed pineapple slices, pulp, juice with meat chunks (or slices), cover, place in refrigerator for a couple of days, then use. If you are using a large piece of meat, increase the amount of fresh pineapple.
- Buttermilk is another popular marinating liquid
Try venison in tomato-based dishes, such as meatballs and spaghetti sauce, lasagna, chili, etc. The tomato masks (or removes, I’m not sure which) the wild taste.
This blog is a companion to my website: GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com