YOU CAN HAVE DELICIOUS VENISON
NOTE: Alice Walker, along with her husband Bob,
owns the R&J Smokehouse, in Livingston, Alabama, that specializes in deer-meat
processing. Here she provides some of her famous venison recipes. The
Walker process deer for me and my family, and we enjoy their unique custom
cuts and ready-to-prepare venison.
QUESTION: Alice, what's the biggest mistake most hunters
make after killing a deer, in terms of preserving the meat?
ANSWER: They don't bring it straight into the meat house. Some hunters
gut the deer and then drag them through mud and fields. By the time they
reach the truck, the deer is covered in flies and dirt. For the best-tasting
venison, once you bag a deer, put it in your truck, and bring the deer
to us. We'll deal with it properly and keep it in the cooler until we
QUESTION: What do you do as soon as a deer arrives at
your meat-processing place?
ANSWER: Well, we skin it, gut it and then put the deer in the cooler with
a tag on it that has instructions as to how the meat is to be cut.
Why is refrigeration so important to the quality of the venison?
ANSWER: Refrigeration keeps the meat from deteriorating and preserves
QUESTION: How do you process the meat after refrigeration?
ANSWER: We read the instructions given to us by the customer as to how
they want it cut. We offer a wide variety of different ways to prepare
the venison. We can make hamburger meat, cubed steak, London-broil, fillets,
meatloaf, stew meat, several types of sausage, summer sausage, link sausage,
bratwurst, jerky and a bacon burger that the customers love.
QUESTION: How long does processing a deer take?
ANSWER: On a typical day with a full crew, we can process 25 to 30 deer.
We need more time for processing any deer that have to go into the smokehouse
for curing or making sausages.
What're some of the recipes that a person can use for cooking venison
meat after they get it back from you?
ANSWER: One of my favorites dishes is meatloaf. Our meatloaf is already
seasoned, ready to be thawed-out and put in a casserole dish. Once I unthaw
our venison meatloaf mixture, I pour a jar of salsa on top, cover it and
bake it for an hour and a half at 350 degrees. You also can top it with
onions, bell peppers and tomato paste. I've had customers say they cut
the meat up and eat it like a hamburger.
For more information about R&J Smokehouse, and the company's
mouth-watering Cajun-injected turkey breasts, smoked turkey breasts and
smoked and spiral hams as well as venison processing, write the company
at PO Box 537 Livingston, AL 35470, call (205) 652-2489.
TOMORROW: CUBED STEAK