Buck Ham Breakdown
In this video, I wanted to show how to feel with your hand to locate and remove each muscle group of a whitetail’s hind quarter; the Top Round, Bottom Round, Eye of Round, Ballroast, and Shank.
Do not worry if the first couple of times doing this you cut through muscle groups, just remember these words: “It’s a roast until it’s a steak, it’s a steak until it’s burger”. The more you mess up the farther it moves down the line.
I prefer not to process each cut directly into steaks, rather, I like whole muscle groups in the freezer to leave more options for a later date. I store these large muscle groups in wax freezer paper and tape. Freezer paper is a cheap and rugged method for protecting your meat in the freezer which will last up to a year or better.
A note on freezing primals
The first time I froze an entire deer just broken down into quarters or primals (hind quarters, front legs, neck, backstrap, tenderloins) was out of necessity, not choice. Successfully getting a deer at last light with work the next day, is a happy situation, but a situation none the less.
Leaving the primal cuts intact has other benefits besides speed. With less surface area exposed there is less chance of freezer burn and spoilage. Also, this leaves you with more time to plan out this work.
Instead of rushing through a job that should be taken slow and enjoyed, I will use non-scented trash bags to wrap primals to quickly get them freezer ready. This method is not meant to be left for extended periods of time, but rather, a way to buy you a couple of weeks to get the job done.