An Introduction to ‘Cooking by Cut’ and How to Butcher Wild Game

Knowing what you want to cook with the meat you just harvested in the field is the best way to ensure you are fully enjoying your trophy meal. Justin walks us through the concept of cooking by cut with the idea that each quarter can be used for a delicious meal. Planning your cuts is not just for home butchers but for those taking their animals to the processors as well. Go into the processing/butchering phase with a good idea of what cuts you want to have available to cook. 

Many of the cuts of wild game can be prepared similarly to domestic cuts of meat. You just need to identify those cuts and have a recipe available to use. Pay attention to cooking temperatures and cooking times. There is not much fat on wild game which makes it not as forgiving to overcooking. 

The loin of most wild game animals can be sliced up into steaks and prepared over high heat to a nice medium or medium rare temperature.

The front shoulder can either be divided up into individual cuts like the flat iron, mock tender, arm roast, and shanks or be braised whole. Each of those cuts has a unique preparation method. 

The back quarter or hind quarter can be divided up into cuts, like the top round, bottom round, top sirloin, and tri-tip, that suit well for roasts and steaks. Those cuts also make great additions to ground meat or jerky, depending on the cut. 

The shanks are my absolute favorite cut of meat. These four cuts carry the most flavor and are best when slow-cooked, smoked, or braised down so the connective tissue melts into collagen and forms a delicious sauce. 

Lastly, inside the body cavity are the tenderloins. These two cuts of meat are one of the most prized cuts on the animal, next to the shank in my opinion, and are best served seared on high heat. 

Of note, pay attention to cooking temperatures for meats like wild pork and bear as they may carry parasites. Do your research so you are serving delicious, safe meat to your friends and family. 

Check out our Wild Pig Hunting Skills Camp

This segment originally aired on the Sporting Chef on the Outdoor Channel. View new episodes on Mondays at 9:30 PM ET in October and November 2023. 

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Lost Creek Ranch, Man Therapy, and Walton’s

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