I’m tired of butchering. I’m tired of writing about butchering. I’m tired of making you read about it. I’m done. So very, very thankfully, this was the end of the butchering road for 2010. No more. By next fall, I’ll be stoked to get back at it, I’m sure, but for now I’m happy to pack away the knives and butcher paper for the year and call her quits.
How on earth do I have a cow elk to butcher, you ask? A friend offered to share, and I opted for a hind quarter of a cow or side of calf if they were successful – and they were. I picked the quarter up this morning and gave the guys a hand butchering, then cut my quarter here and there throughout the day – one of the perks of having a cellar sitting at 1C: I can now hang animals and tackle them whenever makes sense. Of note here is the copious fat on a later-season elk – I can’t say I’ve cut a game animal with this much fat, although my dad says all the elk in Nov/Dec are fat like this. As per Hank’s advice, I melted some fat in a pan to smell it and assess its quality and keep-ability – and it actually wasn’t all that bad. I expected worse. It had a fried-cheese-fat vibe, actually, that I’m sure some folks would be quite into. I kept a fat-on top sirloin roast for the first time in my life.
It’s been a pretty big year in the big game hunting department, my freezer sporting sections of antelope, calf moose, bull elk, and now cow elk. I also partook in tenderloin of both white tail and mule deer thanks to friends’ sharing. Quite the cornucopia of wild meats. The work is now done. Time to enjoy some winter rest.