UNIVERSITY PARK — Deer hunting is an old tradition worth preserving. And when it comes to preserving venison, according to a food scientist in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences, an old traditional method for preserving meat might be best. Too often, successful hunters will take their deer carcasses to the butcher and have all but the steaks ground, noted Martin Bucknavage, senior extension associate in food science. “For all the effort put into hunting the deer, it’s a shame that all we can show for it is hamburger patties that probably were blended with beef or pork,” he said. “One way to better utilize parts of the deer you would normally grind is by canning them. With little effort, you can take the shoulder or the hind quarter and convert it into a product that can be used in many meat dishes.” Canning has a number of advantages, Bucknavage pointed out. For one, the canning process will make the tougher cuts of meat more tender. This process also serves to neutralize some of the strong, gamey flavor that can be associated with deer. Once canned, this venison is ready to be added to most any meat dish. “You can add it to stew, chili or a meat casserole with little or no preparation of the meat,” he said. “Having it in a canning jar also means that less of your freezer will be filled with packaged venison.” When canning venison, it is better to cut the meat into chunks or cubes, Bucknavage explained. Meat first should be trimmed to remove fat and connective tissue and then cut into 1-inch cubes. “There are two basic ways to can — hot pack or cold pack,” he said. “In hot pack, the chunks of meat are seared in a frying pan and then ladled into a jar along with boiling meat juices or broth. In the cold pack method, the chunks are packed loosely into a jar and the jar is sealed without adding any extra broth.” A pressure canner is a must if you are canning venison or any other meat, Bucknavage stressed. Once the jars are prepared, they are placed into the pressure canner, and following established processing procedures, the jars are heated under pressure for a given amount of time. “Once complete, and the pressure canner is cooled, the jars are removed and stored for future use,” he said. “Then, whenever you have a hankering for venison, it is on the shelf and ready to go. There are no worries about thawing out the meat, freezer burn or the venison being too tough to enjoy.” The National Center for Home Food Preservation web site lists all of the processing times and temperatures for cubed meat or any other product you wish to preserve. It is important to follow these established processing times to prevent foodborne illness, Bucknavage noted. Bucknavage suggested contacting your county Penn State Cooperative Extension office if you have questions about home canning. A series of online publications, titled Let’s Preserve, also is available for download. To access the publications, go to http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/Publications.asp and type “canning” into the title/description search field.
- 5/20/2013 Tamarack Osprey Photo Gallery
Canadohta Lake Ice Fishing Tournament on for Saturday
The Canadohta Lake Ice Fishing Tournament has been rescheduled for Saturday after the original Feb. 9 tournament date was canceled.
Area trout stocking schedule is set
With another long and cold winter pretty much behind us, many Pennsylvania anglers are already looking ahead to our state’s trout season opener. As in the past several years, the opening day of trout season will vary depending on what region you plan to fish. For trout fishermen fishing in Crawford County and the eight-county northwest region, opening day is April 13. In certain other regions, opening day will be earlier, so check the 2013 Fishing Regulations book. New for 2013, fishermen will have a choice among buying a one-year, three-year or five-year fishing license.
Man claims he saw Bigfoot on Texas river
A Texas man was cleaning graves in Port Neches, Texas, when he claims he saw two Bigfoot-like creatures standing across the river.
Local event features noted outdoorsman giving whitetail seminar
The First Baptist Church of Linesville holds a sportsman’s banquet on March 16 at 5 p.m. in the church’s Fellowship Hall.
Local hunter-trapper education classes set
Two hunter/trapper education courses will be held at area facilities in March.
Fall turkey season appears to be headed for a change in most of Crawford County
It appears fall turkey season is headed for a significant change in much of Crawford County.
Col. Crawford Park to be renamed Woodcock Lake Park
When is Col. Crawford Park no longer Col. Crawford Park?
Perfect weather for this weekend's Winter Fun Days
The 37th Annual Winter Fun Days, presented by the Pymatuning Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club, take place on Saturday and Sunday at Shelter No. 4 at the Old Jamestown Beach in Pymatuning State Park in Jamestown, and given the snow coming down Friday and expected into Saturday, the weather is perfect.
Officials: Let nature 'take its course' on dead whale
A dead whale, estimated to be about 54 feet long, lied sprawled across the beachfront after washing ashore over the weekend.
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