The Trenches

wllm

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If you aren't packing out bone in shanks at least, you're missing out big time.
I've tried tons of different recipes and cuts at this point, heart/liver/tongue/ etc.

My wife and I just aren't huge fans osso buco, and it's a time suck, we've made it some but shanks just ended up living in the freezer forever.

I'm pretty regimented about it and it drives my bachelor friends nuts because they don't see the point.

I know what we use and what we don't, and what is easy to make on a week night and what's not worth it.

Doesn't mean folks shouldn't keep shanks, simply that in keeping with the "in the trenches" it was one of man areas where it wasn't worth my time. I also haven't made lengua tacos in a bit and I haven't kept a heart in about 5 years. 🤷‍♂️
 

TOGIE

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I've tried tons of different recipes and cuts at this point, heart/liver/tongue/ etc.

My wife and I just aren't huge fans osso buco, and it's a time suck, we've made it some but shanks just ended up living in the freezer forever.



I know what we use and what we don't, and what is easy to make on a week night and what's not worth it.

Doesn't mean folks shouldn't keep shanks, simply that in keeping with the "in the trenches" it was one of man areas where it wasn't worth my time. I also haven't made lengua tacos in a bit and I haven't kept a heart in about 5 years. 🤷‍♂️

i think it's pretty respectable to realize and admit where things just aren't worth the time anymore. i still grind shanks from time to time because more often than not i know i'm not going to spend the time necessary to make barbacoa or osso bucco. even though i do cook a lot and probably spend an inordinate amount of time of cooking more complicated meals than the average person.

but i'm partially with ya, even before the kid, eating is often about eating, and most often you simply can't make it much more complicated than that. especially now, properly cooking up a mule deer steak is even pretty hard to find time to do.

but my wife would punch me in the throat if i didn't bring home the heart ;)
 

wllm

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i think it's pretty respectable to realize and admit where things just aren't worth the time anymore. i still grind shanks from time to time because more often than not i know i'm not going to spend the time necessary to make barbacoa or osso bucco. i do cook a lot and do spend an inordinate amount of time of cooking more complicated meals than the average person.

but i'm partially with ya, even before the kid, eating is often about eating, and most often you simply can't make it much more complicated than that. especially now, properly cooking up a mule deer steak is even pretty hard to find time to do.

but my wife would punch me in the throat if i didn't bring home the heart ;)
My wife was on a jerky kick during her first trimester, I made about 15lbs of elk backstrap into jerky. 🤷‍♂️

Flip side my buddy wanted to make osso bucco and other shank dishes so we packed out my caribou this year bone-in and he kept all the shakes.

I just try and be honest with myself about what I have time for, and what I want to spend my free time doing.
 

woods89

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I've tried tons of different recipes and cuts at this point, heart/liver/tongue/ etc.

My wife and I just aren't huge fans osso buco, and it's a time suck, we've made it some but shanks just ended up living in the freezer forever.



I know what we use and what we don't, and what is easy to make on a week night and what's not worth it.

Doesn't mean folks shouldn't keep shanks, simply that in keeping with the "in the trenches" it was one of man areas where it wasn't worth my time. I also haven't made lengua tacos in a bit and I haven't kept a heart in about 5 years. 🤷‍♂️
I sort of get it, braising is always a commitment, but having had braised shank chili I could not grind a shank again.

On the part of quick meals, my wife cans quite a bit of cubed venison every year. She can pull it out and flour and fry, make tacos, barbecue sandwich meat, etc. You never have to worry about thawing it. We also make quite a bit of breakfast sausage every year, and although it has to be thawed, she uses it in all sorts of simple dishes.
 

TOGIE

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I just try and be honest with myself about what I have time for, and what I want to spend my free time doing.

i think that's what it boils down to. i've always had a big passion for cooking. so i do enjoy spending free time doing that. but when the free time keeps getting squeezed, sometimes to nearly nonexistent, the inevitable reevaluation of priorities changes things, as always.

we like to save the bones because one of our special meals that we like to cook is mule deer steaks with oven/smoker roasted bone marrow slathered all over it, but usually it's just the grass fed bone cuts from whole foods/sprouts or whatever that we use. so it's fun to do that with wild game bones, even if the bone marrow in a mule deer is pretty paltry compared to an elk or beef cow. but it's in there and we love it.
 

neffa3

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My wife was on a jerky kick during her first trimester, I made about 15lbs of elk backstrap into jerky. 🤷‍♂️

Flip side my buddy wanted to make osso bucco and other shank dishes so we packed out my caribou this year bone-in and he kept all the shakes.

I just try and be honest with myself about what I have time for, and what I want to spend my free time doing.
There are these things called crock pots, they're like a personal chef but cheap.
 

wllm

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There are these things called crock pots, they're like a personal chef but cheap.
I don't think even a personal chef could sell my wife on any wild game in the roast/ slow cooking genre.

18 years of roasts 2-3x a week will do that to a person, apparently.
 

TOGIE

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it really hit me last time i made mule deer barbacoa that when you spend a half day seasoning, smoking, crockpotting, and shredding your shanks to put on tacos, they're really like only 20% better than just frying up ground meat to throw in a tortilla. i'm realizing it can be hard to justify the extra effort.

what makes a quality taco IMO is quality tortillas, fresh onions, fresh cilantro, quality spicy salsa or green chile sauce, and quality cheese. throw a shoe in that and you've something good.
 

woods89

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it really hit me last time i made mule deer barbacoa that when you spend a half day seasoning, smoking, crockpotting, and shredding your shanks to put on tacos, they're really like only 20% better than just frying up ground meat to throw in a tortilla. i'm realizing it can be hard to justify the extra effort.

what makes a quality taco IMO is quality tortillas, fresh onions, fresh cilantro, quality spicy salsa or green chile sauce, and quality cheese. throw a shoe in that and you've something good.
I cannot agree with this.

Same with chili, anything with ground meat in it from now on is second tier.
 

neffa3

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it really hit me last time i made mule deer barbacoa that when you spend a half day seasoning, smoking, crockpotting, and shredding your shanks to put on tacos, they're really like only 20% better than just frying up ground meat to throw in a tortilla. i'm realizing it can be hard to justify the extra effort.

what makes a quality taco IMO is quality tortillas, fresh onions, fresh cilantro, quality spicy salsa or green chile sauce, and quality cheese. throw a shoe in that and you've something good.
IDK, seems like it's more than that, but there is also the time savings of simply not doing anything with it, I don't have to cut it up, don't have to grind it, don't have to brown it (though it's better if I do), just from critter to crockpot to tortilla.
 

neffa3

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I will say, my wife spent time in Mexico when she was young and sometimes makes homemade tortillas. Now THAT takes things up a notch pretty quickly....
I attempt them all the time, but mine don't puff, so apparently I can't get married.
 

TOGIE

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I cannot agree with this.

Same with chili, anything with ground meat in it from now on is second tier.

sounds like, as you alluded to, you need to find some better tortillas ;)

it's kinda like a burger for me. best burger in the world filled with the worlds most prime ground well seasoned seared patty can become totally worthless with a faulty bun and shitty not crunchy onions.

or maybe better cheese. @wllm can set you straight.

or just do homemade taco bell. a homemade cheesy gordita crunch filled with ground anything will set you straight ;)

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Jbotto

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IDK, seems like it's more than that, but there is also the time savings of simply not doing anything with it, I don't have to cut it up, don't have to grind it, don't have to brown it (though it's better if I do), just from critter to crockpot to tortilla.
I align with this. Saw off meatless bottom of leg. Cut shank at joint. Wrap and freeze. Keeps it simple and the process as quick as can be. Roasts come out with only the thickest silver skin removed. Steaks stay in roast-size pieces to freeze. Shoulder is cut at the joint for shanks and then the upper and lower shoulder is wrapped basically whole. Little to no trimming depending on shot placement.

This is so timely. I’ve had two deer hanging in good temps since last weekend. Tomorrow is my night to get most of it done. Wife is on call, so if her phone rings my plans go to crap. Our boy is 7 months old and we just discussed this weekend how everything we do takes at least twice as long as it used to.
 

TOGIE

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Sous vide broke. It did 5 euros before this, so still was a good purchase, I’ll get another soon.

On to whitening. Catching breaks during nap time and while thawing some deer from last year for dinner. I’m all about the hot peroxide bath

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