Saturday, August 22, 2009

Safety and Cooking Venison

Always cook venison well done. Cook ground meat and cube steaks until the juices run clear. Roast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° F. Steaks should be cooked to at least a light pink internal color.
Use care with utensils and dishes. Raw meat juices may contain bacteria. Never put cooked meat back on a tray or platter that has not been washed with soap and warm water.
Wash your hands well after handling raw meat.
Pregnant women may want to check with their obstetrician before eating venison. Certain diseases are carried in wild game that may cause problems in pregnancy.
Like any meat, an offensive odor or "sticky" surface feel indicates raw meat might be spoiled.

More photos to come...

Kenneth just finished up this big elk.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Velveted Antlers


This is Kenneth Cordray writing to ya’ll about antlers in velvet. Over the past few weeks I have had many questions about how to treat that early season buck that you want to save. I can do a shoulder mount, an antler mount, or just preserve them for you to nail up on the barn!

Velvet is a living part of the deer, just like the meat. And antlers in velvet are one of the fastest growing living tissues in nature. So to keep the velvet on that special buck in good condition, there are a few things that need to be done.

-Treat velvet like meat. Get the antlers cooled quickly.

- Be sure you don’t soak them in water. They’ll begin growing bacteria and ruin.

- Be gentle with velvet covered antlers. Try not to bump or drag them on the ground.

-Get those antlers to me quickly so that they can be treated.

I have all the necessary chemicals to treat your velvet antlers to ensure they last. We only see velvet covered deer for about 2 weeks into the season. So get out there and get you one!


Cameron Almond, 8 points

How long can I keep venison in the refrigerator or freezer?

At Cordray's we make every effort to process your venison so that it will last as long as possible. This includes being "fanatical" about cleanliness. Clean, bacteria free meat will have a much longer shelf life than meat that is poorly handled. You control much of this factor by your safe handling of the deer in the field or during transport. Once we get the meat, we keep it at the proper temperatures, process it as you have instructed, and then package it for you. Fresh cuts are vacuum-sealed and frozen. As long as the seal remains intact, these may be kept a year or more in the freezer. Ground meat is packaged into airtight plastic tubes and tied. These also keep a year or more at freezer temperatures. When unthawed, fresh meat should be used immediately. Spoiled meat has an obvious odor and feels "sticky" or "slimy" to the touch.

Cooked products - anything smoked and ready to eat - are also vacuum sealed in plastic bags. These may be kept in the sealed bags for up to three weeks as long as the vacuum seal remains unbroken (there is no air in the bag). Once you open the bag to use part of the package, leave it open in the refrigerator so the product can "breathe". Smoked meats tend to mold if tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. For best flavor retention, store cooked venison in the freezer and take out only what you will use immediately. Even jerky, which has a refrigerator storage life of months, has better flavor if kept in the freezer until you are ready to use it. Our forefathers kept dried venison jerky for months, but you can bet it tasted like shoe leather!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Charlie Aimar, 11 points

Meet "Bo" and no, he's not dead!

This is the only photo you can get of him where he doesn't lick you! He's an Australian Shepherd. He spends his days snoozing on the front porch of the butcher shop. What a life!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How do I bring venison to Cordray's Venison Processing?

How do I bring venison to Cordray's Venison Processing?
Bringing your venison in to Cordray's can be done is several ways. We prefer you bring whole unskinned freshly harvested carcasses. We will clean and wash the carcass and hang it whole. We also accept deer that you have skinned and cleaned according to safe handling practices. You may also bring in fresh venison pieces kept on ice. Frozen meat is accepted from August 15th to September 14th and the second Saturday in January. Please note our operating hours to avoid a wasted trip.