Introduction: How to Process Venison Back Straps Into Delicious Butterfly Steaks.
One of the best and easiest cuts of meat off any big game animal is the back straps. There are two, one laying off each side of the spine and stretching from the animals pelvis all the way to the base of the neck. They are very easy to remove and are perfect for butterfly steaks. I'm going to teach you how.
Step 1: Gathering Suppllies.
The first step to your future venison steak is gathering everything needed. Your list may differ from mine.
1. Knifes- I use a flexible fillet knife, and a chopping blade.
2. Cutting boards/mats. Believe me, your significant other will not be happy with you using their counter tops.
3. Multiple bowls for sorting processed meat, trim, etc.
4. Wild game back straps of course!
Vacuum sealer- This is my method of storing meat, but regular freezer wrap will work fine.
Knife sharpener- Although not require, it will make the whole process a lot smoother.
Step 2: Cutting the Meat Into Steak Sections
With your slab of meat on the cutting board, you're going to need to decide how thick of cuts you want. When you're aiming for butterfly steaks you need to know that each cut will later be cut vertical down the middle (shaped like a butterfly's wings when unfolded) so you need to cut them thick enough to do so.
There are many ways to process wild game. I choose to leave the tendons and silver skin on until later. Its the easiest way for me to clean up the meat.
Step 3: Cleaning the Meat
The next step is to trim off the dried outer layer and anything that you don't wish to ingest. I do so by laying the cut on its side and gently "filleting" off the unwanted parts with a fish fillet knife. The sharper the knife the better!
Step 4: Cutting Sections Into Butterfly Steaks
After you are satisfied with the cleaning process you will then need to butterfly the cuts. This step is optional however, you will end up with smaller steaks. With the cut on its side, slice the meat vertically and directly down the center but not completely in half!!! I usually stop the slice about a half-inch from the bottom.
Step 5: Packaging for the Feezer
NOTE- (First photo)- The smaller chunks of meat to the left of the steaks are smaller pieces that i save for stew meat or the grinder.
After you finish and have a nice bowl of steaks, you will need to package your meat for the freezer. I use a vacuum sealer, but freezer wrap and paper works fine and a lot of hunters believe it works better!
First, determine the size of each package based on how many people you will be feeding. I seal my steaks in packages of 5-6 depending on size. This is perfect for my small family of 4 and usually means that I will have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Next you will need to cut your vacuum bags or plastic wrap to an appropriate size.
Labeling note- I choose to label my bags before I fill them. Its easier this way as the vacuum sealer bags are flat. I use a black sharpie and include the type of animal, the cut of meat and the date. The date is important so you know the meat is not too old.
After you wrap/seal your portions, they are ready to be froze and saved for a later date.