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Thread: Terrible tasting deer steak

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Armstrong
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    429

    Terrible tasting deer steak

    Hey all,

    I hope everyone's season is going great so far!

    I'm hoping to get some feedback/thoughts in regards to the deer steaks my husband and I had for dinner last night.

    My husband's steak was phenomenal and the first few bites of mine was fantastic as well but on the next bite, my mouth was filled with that terrible musky/rutty/piss smell of a deer. I just about threw up. I instantly spat it onto my plate and the taste was still incredibly pungent. I actually washed my mouth out a few times and had to have a few sips of a drink to wash it out. It literally tasted like what a tarsal gland smells like. Needless to say, it ruined my dinner. At first my husband thought I was crazy. Admittedly, I have a tendency to over think these things and let them get into my head so I offered him my plate. He took a couple bites and said it was amazing then on the third, he spat it out. Same thing. We both love game but him especially. For him to taste the same thing confirmed I wasn't crazy.

    This wasn't really a gamey taste, more of a gross rutting buck taste if that makes any sense at all? Between myself, my husband and my brother, we've consumed about 5 different deer in a few years hunting (we're still new) and have never come across this. My first buck a couple years ago was even mid-rut and super smelly and it tasted great. The buck that we ate last night was a young 2 point we harvested in early October this year. Not the least bit rutty and I had really high hopes for how he was going to taste. The worst part was that this was a back strap steak as well. Which is why the first few bites were so amazing.

    How could the back strap of a young non-rutting buck get that taste? I'm really confused. Now, I'm generally pretty careful and clean when field dressing and this one was really no exception except that when we were finishing, I had slipped and stabbed myself deeply in the thigh (ouch). The next little bit was a bit of a gong show, between bandaging myself up, getting some help from some passing hunters to load the buck in our truck (priorities, right?) and getting to the hospital, I suppose I could have touched the meat with a dirty knife or something but I can't really wrap my head around it.

    In regards to the meat, like I mentioned, it was a back strap streak and it was cooked (I know I'm going to get lambasted for this) medium well/well done. I know that game can taste poorly if over cooked and I'm trying very hard to convert myself to eating a better cooked steak. That being said, it has never happened before and it was fantastic tasting at first and my husband even agreed and he likes his steaks like a normal person haha. It was just those few bites. I've had some sausage and pepperoni from this deer as well and it's been great so far but I'm really paranoid about the ground and other steaks..

    I'm really curious what others thoughts are on this?
    Last edited by Dash; 11-13-2019 at 05:18 PM.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    4

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    Maybe meat got mixed at the butcher
    Last edited by Bigchief; 11-13-2019 at 05:09 PM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    298

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    Very thoroughly explained. Game meat is strange; some are great, some not so much. Depends on their feed and their hormones. I can not help you very much as to this situation, but my advice is aimed at the longevity of your culinary experiences to come. #1 - expect your game to vary in taste from one to another. #2 - finish your plate. #3 - don't shoot goat or sheep unless you plan on using your jaw/pride muscles. Welcome to the club. The good news is that you will learn how to cook your game. This comes over time. Don't get discouraged.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Armstrong
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    429

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigchief View Post
    Maybe meat got mixed and the butcher
    Yeah that had crossed my mind as well. The butcher I brought it to is very reputable, has amazing reviews and I loved their other products to date but I know mistakes can happen especially with how busy they are this time of year.
    Last edited by Dash; 11-13-2019 at 03:33 PM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Armstrong
    Posts
    429

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    Quote Originally Posted by eatram View Post
    Very thoroughly explained. Game meat is strange; some are great, some not so much. Depends on their feed and their hormones. I can not help you very much as to this situation, but my advice is aimed at the longevity of your culinary experiences to come. #1 - expect your game to vary in taste from one to another. #2 - finish your plate. #3 - don't shoot goat or sheep unless you plan on using your jaw/pride muscles. Welcome to the club. The good news is that you will learn how to cook your game. This comes over time. Don't get discouraged.
    I really appreciate this feedback and advice eatram, thank you!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    298

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    If/when you bag an animal that is hard to keep down, they ALL taste great in curries or stews. Often with the older rams, my wife cooks a curry. Then we don't eat it that day. She heats it up the second day, and then lets it cool off again. The third day is when we taste it for the first time. Chili is similar. Enjoy!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    7A
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    19,281

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    put some BBQ sauce on the pieces that taste like tarsal gland
    "If you ever go into the bush, there are grizzly bears lurking behind just about every bush, waiting to pounce, so you need a powerful gun, with huge bullets" - Gatehouse ~ 2004


  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    346

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    buried inside the muscles of all deer are 'glands' that provide flavour as you describe

    i believe there are 2 in the stern (hind) and 2 up front (shoulder)

    they are white in colour and hide nicely in a fatty pocket inside the hams

    possibly the butcher tainted some meat by inadvertently nicking one


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCYnaUul-d4

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Fraser Valley
    Posts
    164

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    Quote Originally Posted by todbartell View Post
    put some BBQ sauce on the pieces that taste like tarsal gland
    That's not even close to an answer for their question.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Squamish
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    5,213

    Re: Terrible tasting deer steak

    Quote Originally Posted by whognu View Post
    buried inside the muscles of all deer are 'glands' that provide flavour as you describe

    i believe there are 2 in the stern (hind) and 2 up front (shoulder)

    they are white in colour and hide nicely in a fatty pocket inside the hams

    possibly the butcher tainted some meat by inadvertently nicking one


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCYnaUul-d4
    Best answer I've read yet. Especially considering the taste you describe.
    Is Justin Competent, or just incompetent?

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