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  1. #26

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    Who me? LOL

    I do try & hang the whole elk if I can, after gutting ,in the shade. If I can.
    You let them rest thru rigor phase on the bone to cool ,the meat will be tender as it has time to tighten then relax while still being attached to bone. Otherwise it just contracts & remains tight.

  2. #27

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    nuevo- neither.

    After I'd posted that leaving meat on the bone helps with tenderness, someone else posted that not leaving it on the bone couldn't be the reason it was tougher. As you posted, Hank Shaw agrees with the thought that leaving it on the bone helps, hence my smartass comment. Sorry for the confusion.
    Last edited by TBass; 02-03-2018 at 08:01 AM.

  3. #28

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    T bass no problemo buddy. lol
    Shaw & I share a name & passion for good food. Like names think alike at times. I learned the hang thing from cattle & butcher buddies that hunted.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Bozeman, MT
    Posts
    4,371

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    On the two that were tough I remember the backstrap muscles "twitching" when they were being cut out. I assume this is the same principle that Galvani used to make the legs of a dead frog twitch until the nerves die. Maybe this caused the muscles to stay contracted after cut out. Perhaps a better way to field process an elk is to cut off a leg, pack it out, and then return and do the rest of the animal. That way the meat has a chance to relax while on the bone. I dunno, sometimes you do the same thing and get different results.

    rg

  5. #30

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    I've never been able to age elk backstraps on the bone. I also notice they aren't always as tender as I hope, at least at first. I tend to stash those grilling type cuts at the bottom of the freezer and when I break them out for summer grilling they are much more tender. This year I aged my straps in the fridge on a rack, loosely covered by foil for about a week. Haven't had any yet so not sure if that helped. Any critter I age on the bone is usually much more tender so there may be something to that.
    We salute you, tender creature, for the sacrifice of your juicy meat.

  6. #31

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    That's a really interesting observation about the twitching. I think I'll try real hard to leave it on longer while I do the other side but that would only buy me an hour, tops.

    Tbass, thanks for the response - all good!

  7. #32

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    Maybe she slept on her back every night!! Made her tough. Sorry im no help

  8. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    In the middle
    Posts
    974

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    I sometimes wonder why folks recommend shooting cows or does. BFDs, or big fat does, of course, are always fat supposedly. Alhough I have not found this always to be true. In fact, the does might, more often than bucks, be old and skinny and tough. I find it is hard to tell under that thick winter hair, when the light is bad, the view partially obscured by brush, and the animal moving along.

    Indeed, the best eating ungulates for me tend to be spikes, raghorns, and young basket racks, if only because I can tell their approximate age with much greater accuracy and much more quickly than evaluating the sway in the back or the length of the nose of a doe or a cow.

    Make my meat animals spikes whenever possible, please.

  9. #34

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    That is a bit weird, I guess I've had backstrap that wasn't as tender as I expected, but it wasn't tough either. I'll second the idea of using a Jaccard blade type tenderizer, I used it on a Mtn goat and it worked great (talk about tough!).

  10. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Central Minnesota
    Posts
    721

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    I ended up eating some more of the back strap last week and it turned out to be more tender than the previous pieces.

    Still not as tender as the round cuts, but much more tender than the earlier back straps I cooked. Prepared them in a similar manner, so I'm not sure what the difference was.

  11. #36

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    if the meat hasn't had a chance to age prior to cutting it off of the animal, I recommend letting it age after it thaws. I often have to cut up the animal immediately for packing it out and therefore don't have a chance to let it go through rigamortis. In these cases, I try to always age the steaks and roasts for 4-5 days before wrapping and freezing and/or age it 4-5 days in the fridge before grilling.

    If you cant let an animal go through rigamortis prior to cutting it off of the bone, the best way to break down the toughness is through time (aging). Just my opinion, but I've dealt with this issue in the past.
    If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.
    ― Theodore Roosevelt

  12. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCushman View Post
    Try using a jaccard type pounder/stabber on the backstrap chops.

    That there is a crime.
    >>>---------------->
    Hostess Donettes pro staff

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walkathon View Post
    I ended up eating some more of the back strap last week and it turned out to be more tender than the previous pieces.

    Still not as tender as the round cuts, but much more tender than the earlier back straps I cooked. Prepared them in a similar manner, so I'm not sure what the difference was.

    not sure how you prepare it but cooking a longer piece as a roast on the grill will maximize tenderness versus cooking steaks. I do that most of the time then slice after it rests.
    >>>---------------->
    Hostess Donettes pro staff

  14. #39

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    I had a similar experience. I hunt for meat and was unbelievably excited to get an elk because I had read so many times how superior it is to whitetail meat. The first meal I had with my elk was a brined and smoked backstrap that I served to my extended family. I cooked it perfect! The taste was awesome! And it was probably the toughest cut of meat I have ever eaten or served.

    Looking back, it was less than 24hours between kill and freezer paper for him. Im guessing the meat needed more time to relax. I decided to let the choice cuts age and saved them for this summer. Grilling up some sirloin Carne Asada this Saturday for the 5th. Hopefully the meat is more tender this time around.

  15. #40

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    I've had tough elk backstraps a time or two, solved the problem by pounding the heck out of them with a heavy meat mallet and marinating them. As I recall, the tough backstraps came off a spike and a young cow if I remember correctly.

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