Hook & Barrel
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ted nugent venison

Uncle Ted waxes poetic about gamey venison. His conclusion? Well, read on to find out.

Gamey! You’re darn tootin’ my venison is gamey! That’s exactly why it is celebrated around the world as the most desirable, delicious, nutritious, natural, organic, healthy food on planet Earth.

Let us all dedicate ourselves to destroy the bastardization of the once glowingly positive term gamey! Gamey does not mean nasty, rancid, or yucky! Originally when describing wild game meat, the term gamey was universally considered the ultimate positive compliment anyone could use to describe how special and delicious venison is.

Does Your Venison Taste Bad? It’s Probably Your Fault

Somewhere along the line, as mankind migrated away from the independent hunting lifestyle of self-sufficiency and rugged individualism, some hunters became increasingly nonchalant and disconnected from the spiritual respect for the animals we hunt and became less considerate on how they handled the hard-earned carcass.

That’s when they messed up and foolishly allowed urine, body fluids, bile, guts, and all sorts of flavor-destroying gunk to infect the meat. Somebody somewhere took a bite of mishandled venison and got a suckerpunch of nastiness that turned them off from the flesh of game.

Knowing that they had a bad taste experience with game meat, they kneejerkingly pronounced they didn’t like the gamey punch of venison. And it all went downhill from there.

A Well-Tended Piece of “Gamey” Meat Tastes Good!

Gamey is supposed to mean delicious in a tastebud stimulating way. Special, robust, unique, and yummy! In my lifetime of rock-n-roll globetrotting adventure, satisfying my extremely demanding pallet has brought me to some of the world’s finest eating establishments, served by world class chefs and kitchen creationists. With my reputation as a gung ho American hunter, most chefs come out of the kitchen to meet me and say hello, always eager to discuss their basic worship of game meat as the foundation of the best meals possible. Passionate dialog ensues about the joys of hunting, killing, gutting, aging, butchering, preparing, grilling, serving, and eating what we all know to be the best, most exciting meal there is; venison in all its varied and exciting forms and species and presentations.

The worst crimes of flesh mishandling come in many sundry forms. Bad hits on game can and will happen, but dedication to aim small miss small shot placement can make or break a quality meal.

Avoid Bad Hits, Sloppy Gutting, Sun & Heat Exposure

If a bad hit is made, all the tainted flesh exposed to any body fluids must be carved away from the desirable cuts.

Another inexcusable mistake is a sloppy gutting process. There is no hurry. Nobody gets an award for the fastest gutting time. Care and caution should always be the modus operandi for keeping undesirable fluids off the meat. Take your time and use a real sharp knife very carefully.

Another bizzarro failure I witness all too often is the horror of carting a dead deer in the back of a pickup truck exposed to sunlight and warm temperatures. Getting the carcass cleaned and cooled as soon as possible is Job1 for us deer hunters. Walk-in coolers are a Godsend, but getting the quarters in the shade or cooled down any way possible will spell the difference between so-so venison and great venison.

Cooking Counts!

gamey venison

Then of course the final cooking process is the end-all deciding factor for killer tablefare, and keeping it simple and rare to medium rare regardless of the preferred cooking process makes all the difference in the world. I have unlimited killer ways to cook my sacred flesh, but the easiest and still one of the best is aged backstrap with all the fat, muscle, and silver removed, marinated for an hour or so in really good olive oil and melted duckfat, covered with herbs and seasonings of choice. I stab small slices into the strap and insert shards of fresh garlic. I grill it relatively quickly over hot, glowing wood coals until singed on the outside, then roasted off heat for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Served with onions, peppers, garlic, and small potatoes cooked in the drippings, and what you have is the most unbelievable tastebud exhilarating gamey meal you can imagine.

Venison is game meat. It’s supposed to be gamey delicious, and when handled with genuine loving care from field to table, nothing comes close.

Game on! Gamey on!

I’m Ted Nugent, And I’m A Hunter       
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