Tenderloin and backstraps (striploin) get all the hype regarding being the most tender cuts off any wild game animal. They have a good reputation as they usually are tender unless they aren’t cooked properly – which is very often as many people insist on cooking wild game just like they would cook beef.
For many households, anything other than tenderloins and backstraps ends up relegated to the stew, burger, sausage and slow-cooker categories.
Round steak is one of those cuts that is often undervalued. There are three rounds: top round, eye of round and inside round. These are all very choice cuts, if cut and prepared properly.
The grain is obvious and cutting across the grain for roasts or steaks will give the most tenderness available. Now, because these aren’t tenderloin pieces, we understand from the start that prepared improperly, these cuts may only be tender if we take some steps to make that happen.
First step is to marinate everything in this category. Roasts need to be injected with marinade unless they are going in the slow-cooker. Marinade injectors and marinade kits are available locally in sporting goods/outdoor stores.
Marinade information is available by the ton on the internet. Simple marinades are as easy as any of the salad dressings you enjoy. Zesty Italian and sundried tomato with oregano are two good choices. Steaks can be in a marinade for many days in a large Ziploc bag. Just remember when you open the fridge to get something, to knead the bag with the steaks and marinade and at least turn it over. This should be done for a three to five day period, but a week is not too long.
It will not spoil refrigerated and in the marinade.
A really simple – but always successful – soak is olive oil with crushed garlic. The garlic can be hand crushed fresh, or just from the variety sold crushed in jars in the grocery stores. Just remember to knead the Ziploc each time you open the fridge.
Stir fry meat and shish kabob chunks can be cut to size and Ziplocked five to six days before the dinner and will be ready for instant cooking or sliding onto skewers after soaking and kneading for three to six days.
All wild meat is lean and prone to being tough if cooked too long, as it dries out. Domestic beef has been bred to have fat marbled through the meat. Wild meat is very lean and any fat is located between the muscle groups and is definitely not marbled through the muscle. As a result, wild meat will dry out quickly, becoming very chewy. Aside from a slow cooker, which works, but makes all meat taste the same, round steak in a marinade is a delightful way to enjoy an underestimated cut.
The largest part of a hind quarter is made up of the inside, outside and eye of the round. These parts have great potential if you take the time to use them wisely.