I received a question on just how long you should extend the freezing time of wild, big game meat.
There are lengths of time that wild meat should be in the freezer. Big game such as moose, deer, caribou and elk should be kept in freezer for no more than 12 months. Bear meat for no more than six months. If you are going to cut up meat for stew, then you are looking at four months at the extreme.
Also, remember that big game should not be cooked as you would domestic animals. There are specific temperatures for different big game – much different from domestic animals.
The next issue is how to cook a young animal, and how to cook an old animal. This is where the proper temperatures come in – which differ from a young animal to an old animal.
One recipe does not fit all, even if it’s the same type of animal. This is the downfall of substituting domestic recipes for cooking wild game. There is also different ways of cooking specific meats even from the same animal.
Small game such as rabbit or snowshoe hare has a freezing time 10 months at the extreme.
If you are a serious hunter, then spend some money on one of those freeze wrap machines. My wife, Lisa, has one of these machines and it makes all the difference in the time you have the meat in the freezer and holding that great taste.
Also, never leave your wild game meat out of the freezer to thaw at room temperatures. Take the wild meat out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw.
- 2 ½ pounds of venison shoulder meat
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp oregano leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ pound of brown mushrooms, stems removed
- 16 very small white onions, peeled and parboiled
- 1 large green pepper, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- Cut the meat into 1 ½ inch chunks. Put meat in a large bowl with the marinade ingredients: olive oil, red wine, oregano leaves, garlic, salt and black pepper.
- Cover bowl and place in refrigerator for five hours, then take out the meat and retain the marinade.
- Using 1-inch metal skewers, place the mushrooms, onions, peppers and tomatoes alternately with the sections of meat on the skewers. Brush the marinade over the entire skewers presentation.
- Place the skewers on a rack in a broiler pan. Broil for at least 12 minutes at about 5 inches from the source of heat, remembering to turn the meat on the skewer so to brown on all sides. Baste with any of the remaining marinade.