On this episode of Huntavore, joining Nick on this in depth discussion is returning guest, Nathan Judice, the RecreationChef. Together they unpack the rib quarter of deer; the location, characteristics, and sound cooking treatments of these muscle groups. Along the way, the guys add tips and tricks to get the most out of this very finicky quarter. If you’ve been wanting to better utilize your deer’s midsection, make it easier to bone out for burger, or elevate these under-appreciated cuts to center stage, tune into this episode of Huntavore.
Ribs, Brisket, Sidemeat
Location: extends from the lower neck to the pelvis, as high as vertebrae and extending the length of the rib to the sternum.
Muscle groups/cuts: intercostal muscles: rib meat, attached between each rib, layers of muscles with pockets of hard fat.
flank muscles: attached near the groin and ending at the last rib. Thin in profile, long muscle fibers, lean, some
diaphragm: AKA Skirt Steak, internal muscular wall, works the lungs. Located along the inside of the ribs
brisket: front chest muscles. Connects from the sternum to the shoulder. Thin profile, pronounced grain
Things to watch for:Thick layers of fat: cut out any thick layers of hard fat, mostly on the outside layers of the ribs. Does not render, very waxy. Not to be confused with soft fat that is striated in the meat.
Blood meat: Naturally from a dispatch shot to the lungs, there will be some loss to blood and fragmented bone.
Nothing to salvage on damaged flesh. Surface blood can be cut and scraped off an intact muscle. Membrane filled with blood can be removed.
Punctured Paunch: Burst Gut material inside the rib cage can compromise the inside cuts. Thick membrane on the inside wall does protect outside muscles. If gut shot and left to lay, the harvestable parts can spoil. If during field dress the gut is nicked, quickly remove the gut, and flush with cold water for several minutes.
How to Prepare Each Cut (in our opinions)
All cuts can be added to the trim pile. Tip: cut from the ribs, chill flat, makes finding globs of fat and removing this thick fat easier.
Rib: Nick: Two Stage Cooking, low and slow at first, finish at high heat to crisper.
Nate:Low and Slow Smoked, 2-3 hrs on smoke, 2-3 hours wrapped in foil, then finished on a hot grill or in your oven on broil. Option 2; Pressure cooker with jus to cover (30 mins to 1 hour) then finish over a hot grill with favorite BBQ sauce
Dish: Nick: Venison Rib Lolly Pop
Nate: Venison McRib Sandwich
Flank/Diaphram/Brisket: Nick: marinaded, followed by high heat, sliced thin cross grain.
Nate: Agree with the above 100%, one tip for last minute marinade is to vacuum seal or chamber seal with the marinade to aid in quicker penetration. Or inject marinade
Dish: Nick: Steak and Frites
Nate: Venison Pinwheel. Marinade, pound it out, season all sided, slather with pesto and/or roasted garlic, roll that bad boy up (paying attention to the grain so you’re slicing against the grain), truss or tooth pick it and sear on all sides hot and fast! Serve it with a nice summer salad or ratatouille