October 2019 Moose Processing (46 Photos)
46. Since I got steady back into Moose hunting 10 years or so ago the part I really enjoy is processing our meat ourselves rather than dropping it off at a butcher and hoping for the best. At first it began with de-boning and bagging meat & roasts while getting Hans Noseworthy to make my sausages, but last year I began grinding my own meat and making my own sausages.
45. This season Bassan, Roger and I began processing a little earlier than usual as the weather was due to warm up. As moose is a lean meat it really does not have to hang very long, a couple days tops before you can begin processing. Everyone has their own opinion and argument, but that's been our experience.
44. Bassan was hard at work separating muscle groups and cutting out roasts while Roger and I set about deboning all the scrappy meat for the grinder. We are picky and cut out and discard most of the moose fat as it has a sour taste as well as any discolored or off looking meat to keep the quality of our ground meat high. Id rather have high quality with slightly less quantity.
43. Make sure to remove the extra hard bits!
41. We also trim up roast meat as best as possible to save time later when you go to cook it.
39. There are 4 of us in our hunting group where one of us gets a license each year. Instead of taking a front 1/4 or rear 1/4 each, we cut out all the meat and divide the entire animal worth of roasts, ground and stewing meat into 4 equal portions.
38. Roger and I both have the heavy duty meat grinder attachment for our Kitchen Aids which work extremely well, especially on the 575 watt pro unit like my wife has.
37. Meat is best cut into 1"x1" strips and fed into the grinder, we use the medium disc which creates a fantastic one pass finished product.
35. When finished you can put the meat into freezer bags. We usually use Medium Ziplock Freezer bags for meal size portions of 2lbs. Large Ziplock Freezer bags easily hold 5-6lbs of ground meat which is a great portion size for doing sausages later down the road.
34. Today Bassan and I mixed up a 40lb batch of Oktoberfest sausages while Roger bagged the remaining ground meat. We used 9lbs of lean ground pork from Costco, 31 lbs Moose and a sausage mix kit from Outdoor Pros (not a sponsor) following the recipe on the package for spice vs meat vs water.
32. Last year on my first sausage making attempt I used the sausage stuffer that came with my Kitchen Aid grinder. It was OK but was slow as it had to be constantly fed and required 2 people to operate. This year I picked up this awesome 5lb stainless steel sausage stuffer on sale at Princess Auto.
31. You simply fill the tub, slide on your casings and slowly crank the handle to stuff. It works very well, is easy to use, makes consistent size sausages, and is way faster than the stuffer attached to a meat grinder.
29. Once all the stuffing was complete we twisted into links and placed into freezer bags with 8 sausages in each which equals a meal portion size of about 1lb.
28. Again bagged ground meat made meal portion sizes of about 2lbs per bag.
27. Later that week I decided to thaw and grind up all of the oldest left over moose meat in my freezer and turn it into something I'll enjoy a lot more - more sausages! Today I mixed up a batch of Italian and a batch of Wild Game flavors using the same Pork to Moose ratio as before and again using kits from Outdoor Pros.
26. Today I wanted to make some 1lb and 2lb portions of bagged sausage meat which I can thaw and form into sausage rounds, kickass flavorful burgers or awesome flavored meat to add in a pasta sauce. I bagged the entire 20lb batch of Italian sausages and about half of the 40lb batch of Wild Game sausages this way and I use them a lot!
25. I also picked up a couple more of these meat totes from Princess Auto which are awesome to use while processing moose and other wild game and are fantastic for mixing meats with sausage spices by hand.
24. When mixing sausage meat its very important to sample fry some of it before bagging or stuffing. At this point if you don't like them you can add more spice or add more meat if they are to spicy or, as is the case if you add too much sausage mix, too salty.
23. This second batch of 2019 sausages went even faster, clamping the stuffer down made it an easy solo operation.
21. A big spoon makes loading the stuffing machine a quick and easy breeze.
19. This year Mark & Matthew French also got in on the at home Moose Meat Processing. They have often cut out a set of front quarters for canning/bottling, but this year they went full bore tackling the full animal, making their own ground and for the first time their own sausages.
17. French picked up this great grinder on sale at Princess Auto (not a sponsor) and it had no trouble keeping up with the grinding action.
14. Matthew also has the big brother of my Sausage stuffer in his massive 20lb unit! Its a great machine that is refilled a lot less than mine and works just as well.
13. After a quick YouTube (not a sponsor) search, Matthew was slinging sausages into links like a pro!
9. Later in the fall I picked up a Snackin Sticks kit from Princess Auto on the recommendation of Matthew French.
8. I thawed out my ground moose meat and Costco ground pork a day ahead to be ready to mix.
7. The mixture has to be well mixed, again these meat tubs worked out very well.
6. The casings in the kit are the same size as my regular sausages except they are a reddish color and seem thicker or heavier duty.
5. I was 4 snackin sticks short of red casings so I did the last 4 in standard white casings. Once stuffed they have to be covered and refrigerated to cure for 24 hours before the cooking process.
4. For cooking there are a bunch of options including using a smoker, since I don't have one I followed the oven instructions baking the snackin sticks for about 2.5 hours at 200F. Every half hour I siphoned off liquid with a turkey baster, rotated the trays end for end and swapped top rack to bottom rack. In all I had two full batches to do or 8 trays like pictured above.
3. After baking they were left to cool on racks for a few hours until dead cold.
2. I decided to vacuum seal the snackin sticks as they have no preservatives and are a fully cooked ready to eat product. They will need to be frozen and this sealer is the best way to prevent freezer burn.
1. All of our products turned out absolutely amazing, and I am picky when it comes to this stuff. Our sausages are better and more consistent than anything I've had done before, and these snackin sticks are simply amazing. Its a real pleasure to harvest an animal and have full control of the process from beginning to end especially when it comes to cleanliness and quality!
Copyright © 2011 Michael Smith