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Thread: What causes an excessive "gamey" flavour ?

  1. #1

    What causes an excessive "gamey" flavour ?

    Once or twice while eating out I have had some really horrible strong venison...At one time it was Red and the other was Fallow...

    What causes this?

    I can honestly say that in all the years I've been stalking, none of the venison I've produced has tasted like that...Same goes for the venison produced by friends ect that I have eaten..

    I've had fallow that has been hung for 10 and 12 days in a chiller and while "tasty" its been a world a away from the roast I had in a pub down south some years ago...

    Over the years I've eaten roe buck taken in the rut and at one pub in the Quantocks (sp?) had some venison that came from a Red hunted by hounds and that was lovely too...

    So is it venison for heavily ran stags or fallow bucks that has this very gamey flavor or is it the after the shot treatment of the carcass, or maybe a combination of factors???

  2. #2
    Hi Pete,
    I have only experienced this once, with a mature fallow buck, shot in the rut. The meat was only good for the dogs sadly.
    I have asked a very experienced mate about this, as his clients often take roe carcases away with them. Apparently roe don't generaly taste strong in the rut, but then they don't pee on themselves like the fallow, so maybe that has a bearing on things?

  3. #3
    It's down to 'run' stags or bucks during the rut. They should never go into the human food chain.

    Rutting roe, muntjac or CWD seem to be fine though - it just seems to be the larger species, especially red & fallow, that are affected this way

  4. #4
    With a rutting fallaw you need plenty of strong curry to deaden the bloody awfull taste. Or as some one else wrote feed it to the dogs.

  5. #5
    Also with farmed deer, they are fed suppliments and driven to a slaughterhouse to be killed, it must take something from the flavour.

  6. #6
    Interesting replies...

    Any thoughts that it could be from hanging too long at too warm a temp?

  7. #7
    I think also that if a beast isn't bled out completely there will be a stronger gamey flavour - a bit like liver.

  8. #8
    When venison is served in restaurants etc is it fresh or vac packed? If it`s vac packed it could be weeks before it`s used, therefore it`s maturing all the time it`s in that plastic bag. Vac packs have the same effect on beef.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete E
    Interesting replies...

    Any thoughts that it could be from hanging too long at too warm a temp?
    I'm at a loss.

    You recall I asked your advice about this one - mine was 2 1/2 days in the garage and it was warm - and after 2 days of no smell the gamey smell was suddenly there.

    Another night and it would have been too far gone for me to butcher - the smell alone would have seen to that.

    If enzyme action (being a function of temp rather than time) causes the strong flavour then mine must have been about as far as it can go.

    Yet, it tastes great, no probs at all.

    The deer had been chasing another buck a minute before I shot it, so was probably full of adrenalin. But that doesnt seem to affect it either.

    However, I do cook mine on the well done side.

    very old animals? gone off animals that have been well cooked to hide the fact? or just over cooked?

  10. #10

    I suspect the blood contaminated surfaces of the carcass are the first to start to smell and a wipe/dab with a vinegar /water soaked bit of kitchen roll helps to reduce this considerably...

    From what you say, I tend to agree that if you had left the carcass any longer, the meat would have been on its way to being "gamey" and then plain "off"..With no chiller, I think "gamey" to "off" can happen pretty quick..

    Personally I think the two most important factors are to avoid taking beasts in the Rut (the larger species) and after the shot, the proper care and storage of the carcass..The age of the beast may also be a factor here, again especially with the larger species, but I don't have enough experience on these to really comment.

    I suspect the various factors also compound themselves, ie so when there are two or three undesirable factors at work, its likely to have a far more adverse effect on the quality of the venison the carcass produces...



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