Woodchuck, also known as groundhog, should be handled in accordance with the general rules for game in the field. The blood should be drained, and the entrails removed and the body cavity wiped clean. When hung for 48 hours, they are ready to the skinned and cooked.
Woodchuck meat is dark, but mild flavored and tender. It does not require soaking; however, many people like to soak it overnight in salt water. If the woodchuck is caught just before he begins his winter sleep, there is an insulating fat layer under the skin. Remove excess fat. remove 7 to 9 “kernels” (scent glands) in the small of the back and under the forearms. Parboil the meat of older animals; cook by recipes calling for chicken or rabbit.
With plenty of venison in the house what to make for Christmas? I knew it would have to have venison in it so that’s when I decided to try to make a Mincemeat Pie for Christmas.
Never heard of mincemeat? Well it is an old pie that is older than our country, and probably was made by some of the first settlers to travel over from England.
Mincemeat developed as a way of preserving meat without salting or smoking some 500 years ago in England, where mince pies are still considered an essential accompaniment to holiday dinners just like the traditional plum pudding. This pie is a remnant of a medieval tradition of spiced meat dishes, usually minced mutton, that have survived because of its association with Christmas. This pies have also been known as Christmas Pies. Mince pie as part of the Christmas table had long been an English custom.
Credit where credit is due. Real hunting – two Chicago Tribune reporters take to the field and gun hunt their own venison.
They quickly understood the observation hunters have made for many years, to wit: Hunting is the most natural, organic, “sustainable” way to eat meat.
After several trips into the woods with no success, one reporter nevertheless volunteers to help skin, clean and butcher another hunter’s deer.
Yes, some would consider the video content graphic and may not wish to watch.
Youtube video description:
Chicago Tribune staff reporters Monica Eng and Barbara Brotman go on their first hunting expedition for deer, where they learn how to properly track, kill and butcher their prey. (Viewer discretion is advised)
As I advised John Richardson over at No Lawyers, Only Guns and Money, (CLICK LINK HERE) I have been reliably informed the key to high volume readership of a gun blog is—Cookie Recipes.
Thus, for my New Year’s Resolution, I am determined to sprinkle more selections from the Culinary Arts and other Branches of Domestic Economy into this blog after the fashion of David Codrea’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY.
My contributions will be entitled THIS DAY IN GASTRONOME.
Sadly, as I perused my copy of Housekeeping In Old Virginia, (Copyright 1879) I realized in 1879 very few Housekeepers focused their attention on the preparation of cookies.