(There are two pages today, a new thing for me here. Please be sure to read both pages)
I was digging through my chest freezer a few days ago, and ran across a package of venison, simply labelled “bs”. Now if you’ve read ANY of my other posts, you must be thinking that this is the reason I’m so full of it, I keep packages of “bs” in my freezer. While I am full of bs, I am not usually full of this type. In this case the “bs” stands for “backstrap” not the other option. This particular backstrap was venison, I was in luck, having lost a package of some mighty fine eats in the bottom of my freezer.
Backstrap is sometimes erroneously called the tenderloin. For clarification’s sake, I opted to call upon one of my esteemed colleagues, BlueTang the difference between a tenderloin and a backstrap. BT earned an MS in Agriculture from the University of Florida in Meat Science. Not only does my buddy own seven smokers and grills, he actually has the education to know what he is doing. While I may not believe some of his stories, the ones regarding meat I take as gospel. Here is his reply to my question:
The backstrap in a deer is the longissimus dorsi muscle, there are two and the backstraps run along the length of the spine. The ld is the longest muscle in the body. In beef, it would be the eye of the ribeye and the strip loin. It diminishes into the shoulder and sirloin. Some call the deer backstrap the tenderloin. The tenderloin is actually the psoas major muscle(and to a lesser extent the psoas minor) and is located beneath and in back (towards the rear of the animal)of the ribs, next to the backbone. In beef, it would be the smaller muscle in a porterhouse steak. The tenderloin is also called the filet or filet Mignon as a steak. It is also used in the dishes Chateaubriand and Beef Wellington.
Impressive, isn’t he?
As I was saying, I found a long, lost backstrap. However, I hadn’t been deer hunting since November 2011, and this package was from the year before that! This package was roughly twenty eight months old! I did a little research, and found this at EatByDate.com in regards to beef, a meat very similar to venison:
By the standards set for frozen beef, it looks like I about 20 months expired. What should I do with a package THAT old? Eat it? Dog food? And if I fed it to the dog, would it kill the dog? I hate to waste food….but I’d hate to kill my dog too….What should I have done???
Before you answer, let me add a few details. BlueTang was the one that had cut and wrapped it for me. (Have I mentioned how handy he is to have around?) With his meat handling knowledge and skills, he wrapped it they way is SHOULD be wrapped, tightly, with NO air in the package, and then well sealed.
So, a twenty eight month old package of backstrap, wrapped by an individual with higher education in preparing meat. Let’s step out on a limb, and call him a professional in the process. Back to my question, what should I have done? What would YOU do in this situation?
(Continued on Page 2 – click below)