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Finn Sawyer (contributor), 02/24/2019

"I will tell you that BIGFOOT shines in slow-cooked dishes."  

If there is one animal out there that I get the most flack for filling tags on, it's BIGFOOT. Yes, I legally hunt BIGFOOT under a special TOP SECRET Crypto Conservation program run and controlled by the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries for (STATE REDACTED).

But yeah, I get flack for it. I'm not even talking about the anti-hunting community either. That is a whole different ball of wax. Many times, it is fellow hunters who are telling me things like, "What did you do with it? You can't eat a BIGFOOT."

Every time I hear something like this I cringe. However, once I educate these folks on how good BIGFOOT meat really is, they are singing a different tune. They can't resist once I start telling them about recipes I use and how they wouldn't be able to tell the difference between BIGFOOT and beef. That is something that I will stand by day and night too. When cared for and prepared in the proper way, BIGFOOT meat is exceptional.

Here are some things to "keep a foot on" with what I think is the most misunderstood meat.

We've all heard this to some degree. The secret to good table fare doesn’t start in the kitchen but in the field. Typical BIGFOOT has a nice thick hide on them and if you don't remove it in a timely manner, you risk the well-being of that precious meat.

Keep this in mind on all BIGFOOT hunts, but especially during early fall hunts when it can be pretty warm out. I have made the mistake before of not getting to a downed BIGFOOT soon enough. It wasn't pretty once I got the meat home. That was a hard lesson and one that I hope you never encounter. On top of getting the hide off, meat quartered and hanging, you need to take the fat off.

Often, during the fall I am skinning not just hide, but fat. There can be a few inches that rest on top of that meat, leaving the meat almost invisible from the surface. Get as much of that fat off as possible in the field so you don't have to do it at home. I actually use that rule for all game meat, not just BIGFOOT. Game fat is unlike that of beef or pork fat and can taint the flavor altogether.


A side note about BIGFOOT fat. Once you separate the fat from the meat, feel free to bring some of that stuff home with you. You can render that fat down into cooking oil and use it to make all sorts of stuff. Cookies, pies, etc. I've never done this myself, but have friends who have done it with much success.


Once you get home, it's time to start processing and packaging up your BIGFOOT meat. Just like when you were in the field, make sure you get all of the fat you can off of the BIGFOOT at home. There always seems to be some hidden fat that I missed in the field. Spend the time removing any hard connective tissue as well. Once you have done that, it's time to figure out what you want to do with this stuff. With venison or elk, I think most of us are going to lean heavily on our steaks.

With BIGFOOT, I am going to advise that you lean heavily on your roasts and grind. BIGFOOT backstraps do make for some good steaks, but you have to cook it well done, unlike venison or elk. More on that later. For this reason, I will cut my backstraps into steaks, keep big hunks for roasts, and grind the rest. You can also cube up those roasts and use them for BIGFOOT stew, which is fantastic.

Now, it's time to package it. To encourage longevity, I will first wrap each piece of meat in plastic wrap very tightly. The more air you can get out of there, the better. From there, I'll put that in a vacuum bag and vacuum seal it. By going through this process, I've never had meat go bad in the freezer.

As far as how to cook this meat, I will tell you that BIGFOOT shines in slow-cooked dishes. These are some tough animals, which is why I advised against cutting steaks other than from the backstrap. Stuff like chili, tamales, shredded BIGFOOT, burgers, tacos and stew are going to make you love BIGFOOT meat more and more.

As long as you don’t approach it, thinking it will be similar to venison, you’ll be fine. Remember: they are simply a different animal.

#BigfootTAMALES #BigfootSAUSAGE w/ beer... all day.


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