What causes an excessive "gamey" flavour ?

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Pete E

Well-Known Member
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???
 

buckup

Well-Known Member
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?
Mark.
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
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
 

Jagare

Well-Known Member
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.
 

bobt

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

Pete E

Well-Known Member
Interesting replies...

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

Armo

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

basil

Distinguished Member
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.
basil.
 

snowstorm

Well-Known Member
Pete E said:
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?
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
snowstorm,

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...

Regards,

Pete
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
basil said:
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.
basil.

Basil,

Not really considered that...Is the Vac Pac stuff frozen or does it have an extended life even when just chilled to just above freezing?

Regards,

Pete
 

stone

Well-Known Member
over the years i hav tasted a lot of different venison and a few things may hav to considered here
muntjac are a lot stronger tasting meat if not hung for atleast 10 days
roe in the rut no probs at all still tastes a lot sweeter than a red
but first you need to look at the cut
and then do a taste test
take a fallow buck about 3 year old
skin just the loin and cut a few chops from this freshly shot beast cook at 200 for 30mins
then 10 days later take a few more chops from the same beast and cook again at same temp and time
and at 18 days do the same and now thgink which tasted the best
but remeber a fallow buck in rut will taste stronger than a roe in rut and a muntie will taste stronger than a fallow it is only age that makes meat tough and after 2 years old the flavour is about the same
 

basil

Distinguished Member
Pete E said:
basil said:
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.
basil.

Basil,

Not really considered that...Is the Vac Pac stuff frozen or does it have an extended life even when just chilled to just above freezing?

Regards,

Pete

You can leave vac packed meat in the bottom of your fridge for a month or more. I have known boning plants put new dates on unsold vac packs. Generally, it is kept chilled just above freezing.
At a slaughterhouse i used to work at, i used to select a set of ribs of beef for xmas, get them vac packed a month before i wanted them.
Mature and as tender as you could wish for.
Your answer may lie here Peter.
basil.
 

K333ROE

Well-Known Member
Strong Tasting Venison

The longer you hang game the stronger it will get. This is the case for Does or Buck even during the rut. I've never eaten Red Deer during the rut, it would go to Germany as they like strong venison, I don't. Roe can be shot and butchered the next day as can a good hind. Beautiful meat and no need to hang for days. If you have a "chiller" then you can hang for ages and the meat will not deteriorate nor will it get stronger.
 

Trapper

Well-Known Member
Seldom in warmer weather do my bucks / stags get longer than 48 hrs. like others !!get your nose out there ! if to Gamey for your preference ! sort it out !!!.I do not have the professional larder that says chill to 7 degrees for a life time, !Like most of you, I hang in my garage for awhile , mind you the neighbours think its ,Hannibal Lectures coming out party when I do finally sort out THE BEAST!
So now ,I quietly go about my business with as little fuss as I can, and the neighbours can just "tut"cause I am the shooting man that brings home something or other,! do you know what! they all like Hare . pigeon , wabbit, pheasant . and partridge and likkle things that squeak in the night!
But TUT TUT , cause I offer them this and that!!. Gonna be a jack bxxsrd. and eat it all myself!.
 

dieseldan

Well-Known Member
Gamey

I agree the longer you hang the animal the stronger the taste, but the softer the meat.

Vacuum packing meat by definition removes the air, no air no decomposition . Vaccuum packed meat can last either chilled of frozen for a very long time with the desired flavour locked in.

my mates a game dealer (breahead foods) and i am just giving you what he tells me.

The Aberdeen angus beef in supermarkets is hung for 28 days in controlled chilled environment to get it in the right condition.

deer always smell worse than they taste IMHO. 2 days in the summer and 1 week inthe winter in my garage does me.
 

snapper5

Member
I'm new to stalking and am taking a great interest in this thread as my wife doesn't like meat to taste too strong so the milder I can make it the better.

However I'm a bit confused as most opinions seems to agree that the longer a carcass is hung, the stronger the taste. But Stone says in his post 'muntjac are a lot stronger tasting meat if not hung for atleast 10 days'. Should muntjac be treated differently?

I have been told to let a roe hang in the chiller for about four days or the meat will be 'stringy'. Any thoughts on this aspect?

Cheers

S
 

nuttyspaniel

Well-Known Member
Pete all the replies are plausable mate. But I think there is a simpler answer mate. Both times you possibley ate farmed venison. After working as a head chef and gaining 2 aa rossettes I found any farmed venison was seriousley strong. A way round this is to marinade in white wine as it will tone the strength of the meat down as apposed to red wine which actually adds strength to the meat. Now myself since leaving the kitchens will not eat eny farmed meat at all inc farmed fish as the flavour is so false IMHO. I hope this helps.


nutty
 

griff

Well-Known Member
Pete,
my experience of venison is this: if its not in the chiller within 4-6hrs then the meat starts to sour. I can tell just by looking at the meat if it
was chilled immediately, it has a pale creamy look about it if it has not been chilled quickly.We used to buy all our venison in at one time but it was always luck of the draw wether or not the meat was sour. Before all these training programs were put in place it was quite acceptable to leave a carcass un-chilled for days,thus giving the flavour that you experienced.
Consistency should be the name of the game, but until people see that a carcass in only mediocre temperature can be ruined in hours then we will get the inconsistencies in the flavour of game.Vac packed meat still goes off, there are certain bacteria that like the anaerobic conditions of a vac-pac and can easily toxify meat.
Usually blood is the main taint of meat anyone who has experienced blood within a vac-pac will find that it is the blood that turns sour first.
The supermarkets have a solution to this, they always pack their meat with an absorbent pad not only does this soak up the blood it also contains chemicals/preservatives to keep the meat from turning and keep its pink!


regards
griff
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
Gents,

Thanks again for everybody's comments, the combined input on this thread makes very interesting reading..

I think that Griffs comments about carcass care "in the past" ie before all the various training schemes, is a very good one..

Years ago I have seen larders that looked like the back drop to a Mad Max film and the way carcasses were handled was often equally bad especially if they were destined for the game dealer ie somebody else table..

As far as the hygiene standards in the larder and how carcasses are handled, these days things have improved immensely, although I am sure there are still some cowboys out there...

You only have to look at how many "hobby" stalkers now store their carcasses in a chill or a fridge of some sort in a garage or shed at home; 15 to 20 years ago owning one would have been very unusual and having a fly proof "carcass safe" was more common for the enthusiastic armature..

Regards,

Pete
 
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