Remove Gamey Taste/This is How I Age Duck

Discussion in 'Cooking Forum' started by ValleyFlak, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    :tuAged duck meat, done right, tastes great!!!:tu

    Last year finally got a hunting partner to try aged duck and now he ages his duck meat. I age from 4 to 8 days.


    How I Age Duck Breast...

    1. I cut out breast meat the same day bird was shot. Put meat in a large bowl with cool tap water and repeatedly squeeze the meat to get as much blood out of the meat while in the water. Pour out bloody water, refill with tap water and repeatedly squeeze meat again (I do this bout three to four times).

    2. The last refill of tap water I add salt to the water and soak the duck breast for about 20 minutes (in my mind this will lower the bacterial count) then drain salt water from the bowl.

    3. Refill bowl with clean tap water and do a final rinse of the meat to remove salt from the meat. Add ice into water to cool duck meat down for about 10 minutes. Drain the water.

    4. Pad dry each breast with napkin and put duck breasts on cookie sheet (separate and spaced)then put in refridgerator.

    5. About an hour later, use napkins to pad dry the upside of the meat, lift individual breast meat and dry bottom of meat and the cookie sheet replace each breast on cookie sheet.

    6. Cover cookie sheet loosely with suran wrap leaving small ventilation gaps around the edges (how much ventilation varies with each refridgerator and how moist or dry you prefer). I don't like too much dryness around the edges but it still tastes the same either way.

    7. Cook meat on day 5 through day 8 and you won't be able to taste the difference between a spoonie and a teal. Cook it like a round steak on a hot skillet with cooking oil, fast on both sides and not overcooked. Add a little salt and pepper. You won't believe how good it tastes.

    My hunting partner said he tried a snow goose aged for eight days and it tasted great too! I recommend cooking your first one like a round steak so that you can appreciate the good flavor of the duck by itself. Then the subsequent breasts, cook them with your other favorite recipes. You might find yourself using less seasoning because now you want to taste the duck rather than covering it up!


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  2. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Here is how I do it..............


    1. Hang duck / goose for 5-7 days.

    2. Clean and eat.
     
  3. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    That's definately an option that I've done before and the meat tasted good. But I was just not comfortable eating the meat. I am more comfortable cleaning the meat out as soon as possible. When the bird hits the water at the refuge or rice, swamp water enters the wounds and I would rather get that swamp water out of the wounds the same or next day rather than 5 to 7 days later.

    There is a lot of bacteria in swamp water without considering fecal matter from coyotes, skunks, racoons and hunters that remember their roll of TP. My priorities that make me comfortable eating duck meat that is cooked medium rare ( or still looks rare inside/whatever chefs call it) are:

    1. Get the crap out of the meat by repeated rinsing.

    2. Get the blood out of the meat by same repeated rinsing.

    3. Lower the bacteria count by soaking in salt water.

    4. Keep the meat semi-dry and cold while ageing in fridge to slow bacterial growth.


    Alll these things I do, I have picked and chosen here and there from other refuge members over the years and put this combination together that allows me to enjoy eating half raw, aged duck meat. If it tasted better cooked well done then I would have no problem going back to hanging birds for a few days.:tu


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  4. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Yea. I think Dad was sneaking duck meat into my bottle in the crib. So, been eating it for over 50 years, using my method above. No problems. Many of my early years were hunting sewage ponds in Vegas.

    I think you are over-thinking the bacteria thing. However, since you aren't making me do it, and it works for you, keep it up.
     
  5. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    :tu I honestly would go back to just hanging birds for days like you do and enjoy the good flavor. I would never go back to when I would kill ducks, cut the meat out, leave the blood in, cook them in a day or two, and everyone complains about the smell and taste!

    I hear you about "over-thinking" the bacteria thing. People that over-sterilize their environment are usually not as healthy as people that have a bit of, let's say, "immune stimulation" around. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger (no sarcasm intended and probably an exaggeration for the topic). I would still clean birds that were torn up pretty good on the same day. Overall, hanging birds for days seems safe (as far as we refuge members know:dv).
     
  6. Meats

    Meats Elite Refuge Member

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    Please tell me how salt kills bacteria:scratch
     
  7. ValleyFlak

    ValleyFlak Elite Refuge Member

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    I'm guessing that when bacteria come in contact with very salty water, the salt water draws water out of the bacteria to a point of hopefully killing it. The way I'm doing it will only kill surface bacteria on the meat (my guess/could be wrong). I assume that is ok because I'm cleaning the birds the same day and not allowing the bacteria to grow a few days before cleaning the birds. For little I know, if you clean birds the same day shot, just rinsing the meat with plain water might have the same effect of rinsing off surface bacteria as with salt water.

    So soaking in salt water for 20 minutes might be an unnecessary step (?). I honestly don't know. But skipping the step where you soak in salt water for 20 minutes and following the rest of the steps will still result in awsome tasting duck meat. I can guarantee you that!
     
  8. john5657

    john5657 Senior Refuge Member

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    i age mine also - more like NV ducker than Valley Flak. I prefer to hang the birds whole for a few days then clean them - but it's a bit cold out now so you just get frozen birds. So I will breast out ducks and soak the breasts in a bowl of water in the refrigerator for a few days. Geese I skin - I may age the entire carcass for a few days in the refrig, or I may debone - If I debone I'll soak the breasts for a few days and just freeze the leg/wing meat for sausage later.

    I used to use salt water, but have read such mixed reviews as to whether or not the salt does anything, I've just gone to tap water - haven't noticed any difference. I can't say I change the water as frequently as recommended either.

    From what I've read, from a tenderness standpoint - aging should be 'on the bone'. I don't know if it maters with waterfowl or not.

    john
     
  9. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    My concern with the 'salt bath' process is, are you actually 'aging' the meat, or just soaking it?

    Info from another site:
    To allow the enzymes in the meat to break down the collagen and complex proteins in the carcass, aging must be a process of holding carcasses or cuts of meat at temperatures of 34 degrees to 37 degrees Fahrenheit for three to seven days.


    I would think the salt would interfere with the enzymes doing their work. I think the salt bath idea is more akin to brining, which is another animal entirely.
     
  10. john5657

    john5657 Senior Refuge Member

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    "I would think the salt would interfere with the enzymes doing their work. I think the salt bath idea is more akin to brining, which is another animal entirely."

    Sounds right to me. I know the bad bugs don't grow at these temps, but unless you used a nitrate/nitrite I don't think even salt actually kills them either. To tell the truth I'm not sure what function the salt has in the preservation process- but killing the enzymes that allow the meat to decompose sounds right.

    I May have to go read up on that a bit. Salt may very well inhibit the aging process. What I've read is that some folks think that salt in the bath aides in pulling out the blood - but I don't really notice any difference between salt water and tap water as far as blood goes.

    from wiki:

    Table salt (sodium chloride) is the primary ingredient used in meat curing.[2] Removal of water and addition of salt to meat creates a solute-rich environment where osmotic pressure draws water out of microorganisms, retarding their growth.[2][3] Doing this requires a concentration of salt of nearly 20%.[3] In addition, salt causes the soluble meat proteins to come to the surface of the meat particles within sausages. These proteins coagulate when the sausage is heated, helping to hold the sausage together.[4] Finally, salt slows the oxidation process, effectively preventing the meat from going rancid.[3]
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