This weekend we have been busy mincing and making sausages for the freezer, but not just any old sausages, venison sausages!
Deerstalking is currently in open season for most species (at time of writing) and this particular Fallow Deer was dispatched with landowners permission as part of a dear management plan. Female Fallow (doe’s) can be culled 1st November – 31st March, where as the open season for males is slightly longer (1st August-30th April). This particular bambi was humanely dispatched using appropriate methods and has provided us with plenty of meat from shanks and steaks to several kilograms of mince and a great number of sausages. We are most grateful for our bounty as this will provide many meals for us and there is also a very happy farmer out there, whose herd continues to be managed and crops live to see another day.
In the winter months we source a lot of our own meat from pheasant and partridge to duck and venison, of which we shoot ourselves and it gets popped in the freezer. This is far more preferable to buying in the supermarkets as not only do we know where our meat comes from, but we know how well it has lived, how it was dispatched and how it has been processed. Personally, I have always disliked the idea of anything produced on a mass scale (in particular where animals are concerned) so I am encouraged to source from field to fork, and would happily take a day’s shooting over a trip to the supermarket any day!
Roe deer are managed in our area across the neighboring farms, however Fallow are much larger and carry far more meat, this was therefore a full scale family operation. From butchering the carcass and seasoning the mince to commandeering the farmhouse kitchen; we all played our part (the caravan kitchen was definitely not up to the job!). We got our additional ingredients from the butcher, little one helped make the sausages and of course, everyone was around to taste test!
Now, as someone who in their former years was almost vegetarian, my meat-eating journey has mostly only evolved in the last 10 years. When I was yonger my decision not to eat meat was mainly due to the texture (dad insisted on meat being very ‘well done’ – aka chewy and tough) so it was only in my late twenties that I, the former ‘vegetarian’ discovered this huge revelation… that I liked my meat RARE!
What a Game Changer
Having studied Animal Science for over 5 years and evolving from very little meat eating to being a fully fledged carnivore, it is no great surprise that welfare has always been a high priority for me. I passionately Back British Farming and we do our absolute best to buy British where ever we can (none of this ‘produced in the UK’ nonsense) and knowing where my meat comes from is important.
Living a field to fork lifestyle is a great step towards sustainable living and whilst it is not available to everyone we are very thankful for having this option and being able to utilise the oppourtunities provided. As keen cooks we are forever on the search for new recipes and have plenty of meal ideas (which is fortunate as we will be eating venision for some time to come) so if you have any wonderful recipes then please do share with us, get in touch direct via the Chasing Your Tail website or on social media @Chasing_YourTail
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Regional Reporter - South West England
Harriet lives on a dairy farm in Somerset with her partner and their dogs. Life on the Mendips is a combination of stunning, peaceful, and exceptionally lonely – so, she likes to talk! With her dog of a lifetime, Tally (not that anyone is picking favourites) at her side they enjoy trying new things, and will turn their hand to whatever comes their way. Having grown up in the Cotswolds, life in Somerset is still a fairly new venture to Harriet and Tally so there is plenty to be seen, learnt and shared.