Last year, our neighbor, and elderly man who lived alone, approached our camper a little before 6 in the morning. He knew we’d be up having coffee and he had killed a deer during the night. He’d dressed it and was bringing us half. We iced it down in the cooler and let it sit for a few of days, adding ice as needed to keep it covered. The meat can be left this way for up to a week or so, while it bleeds out. It works well to drain it each time ice is added, so it won’t be floating in water. We knew we wanted it to sit at least 3 days, but it was 5 before we ended up with a pretty day to process it.
Roy assessed each peace and decided what it should be used for and the girls got to show off their filleting skills on the jerky. They were able to get slices almost thin enough to see through.
We ended up with a couple of roasts, ribs, stew meat, jerky, steaks, and cubed steak. We dried some of the jerky over the fire, just to see how it turned out and put the rest in the oven. The smoked jerky over the fire was good, but didn’t get quite as hard and chewy as what we dried in the oven. We put the jerky in the freezer, and the girls like to take it in their lunches. The cubed steak was the best, and even though we don’t have a cubing mallet (we used a knife) it was fork tender. We got 9 meals, plus the jerky off of our gift. Unfortunately, Mr. G died a few months after that and we never got to return the favor. He was one of those super neighbors that you don’t run across very often.