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Ossie

Hanging

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My dad used to hang Pheasants by one of their tail feathers and wait for them to drop off it. They used so smell pretty bad and were usually a bit green/purple around the bum/bottom of the breast. Didn't look to bad once cooked though but tasted a bit strong for me.

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I noticed a lot of topics asking the same questions about hanging, so i thought i'd get my arse in gear & type a guide up. i lifted this from a book i have, called "The Sporting Wife - Game and Fish Cooking". The book was published in 1971, so some of the game listed below is off the menu, but i have included them for curiosity value (and roadkill is still a legal eat ;) ). I hope this is helpful:

 

 

 

 

Hanging

The real purpose of hanging game is to enable the fibres of the flesh to break down and decompose so that the meat will be more tender. It is very difficult to give exact times as it depends entirely on personal taste. Some prefer slightly tougher meat with a fresh taste, while others enjoy very tender meat with a decidedly 'high' smell and flavour. These times therefore are only very approximate, and are for average seasonable temperatures. If the weather is hotter than average, hang for the shortest length of time given, and if colder than usual, for the longest. The older the game, the longer it must hang. Birds are ready for cooking when the tail, inside leg, or breast feathers can be plucked out easily. Game birds are always hung by the neck (although some say you should hang a pheasant by its feet, until the body drops!). Overhung flesh will have blueish patches on it. Game should always be hung in a shaded place in a current of air, well out of the reach of cats, dogs or foxes.

 

 

Partridge: 5-12 days

Pheasant: 3 days to 2 weeks

Grouse: 3-10 days

Blackcock: 3-4 days

Ptarmigan: 3-4 days

Capercaillie: Bury it in the ground for a few days, or hang it until it is really tender.

Pigeon: 2-3 days

Quail: Can be eaten straight away, or hung for up to 2 days

Woodcock

And Snipe: Can be eaten straight away, or kept for up to 6 days, but remember that woodcock and snipe are often cooked with the entrails left in them, so They shouldn't be left too long.

Wild Duck

(Mallard, Teal,

Widgeon, etc): can be eaten straight away, or hung up to 2 days. If left any longer the flesh is liable to turn rank.

Wild Goose: 1-2 days

Hare: About 1 week without paunching, a little longer in cold weather. Suspend it by the hind feet with a bucket under the nose to catch the blood, which makes good gravy.

Rabbit: Eat straight away, with no hanging.

Venison: 3 days to 2 weeks. There is a great deal of difference between these times, but apart from taste, it depends on many factors. A young roe deer in perfect condition will only need about 3 days, while a tough old fallow or red deer could need a good 2 weeks to make it tender.

For the average taste, test the hung meat every day by running a skewer into the haunch.So long as the skewer has no unpleasant smell when withdrawn the meat is in good condition, but if it does get rather too "high", wash it in warm water and dry it well before cooking.

If there is no fly-free larder available, rub the carcase with a mixture of flour, powdered ginger, and pepper. The furrow of the backbone should be well dressed with pepper. Wrap the carcase in muslin before hanging in the larder, but inspect it every day and give it a fresh coating of flour and ginger when necessary. Wipe with a cloth to remove any moisture which may have formed.

 

 

How long you can hang depends on the temperature, in a cold-snap or if you have a chiller you can hang game for much longer than in warmer weather. If you hang a roe buck for 2 weeks at ambient temperatures in the summer, even if you can keep the flies off it will be completely rotten and uneatable. The advice about Capercaillie is wrong - I would say bury it and leave it buried unless you like the taste of pine resin!

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do u leave the guts in it i tried it with a hare and when i gutted it .it was green and smell really bad. can you explian to me please what way is should look etc thanks

Always hang them with the guts in get it skinned then gutted much easyer its perfect nice broth with it ;)

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As you say hanging is to allOw the meat to decompose so become softer. That was because when this method was commonly used the pressure cooker hadn't Been invented. Slow cook fresh kill and it's still tender roasted birds will need hanging still

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Great post Ossie, cheers. Tender stretch hanging we call it, in most parts of Australia north of Victoria and southern NSW's the weather is too warm during the day, even in winter, to be able to hang meat successfully without refrigeration, you guys have a truly remarkable climate over there that lends itself to being able to hang and cure game meat outside refrigeration. I have heard of pheasant being hung until it falls off the hook, I would love to eat some of this.

 

Thanks again for the post, any recipes by chance?

This will work in both the oven or slow cooker.

Take an oven prepared goose (greylag, canada), best if you have shot and prepared the bird yourself, and place on a house brick in cooker. Add 2 lemons to the birds cavity and 1/2 lb shallotts to the pan and cover with foil.

Leave on a medium heat for about 5 hours taking the foil off after 4 hours and remove some of the juices and put to one side.

After the last hour remove from the oven, throw away the goose and eat the brick with some of the reserved stock.

I've heard this often. Now I've cooked Greylags, Canada's and other geese, I can only conclude that this is from folk who are shiite cooks, as everyone I've served them too has said they were delicious ;)

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As you say hanging is to allOw the meat to decompose so become softer. That was because when this method was commonly used the pressure cooker hadn't Been invented. Slow cook fresh kill and it's still tender roasted birds will need hanging still

It's not so much that the meat itself decomposes, more that the collagen in the meat (the stuff that can make it tough) is broken down by lactic acid.

Collagen builds up over time in an animal, hence why a young rabbit you could almost eat raw, whilst older buck rabbits need slow cooking; the older animals have considerably more collagen built up in their muscles through time and activity.

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Great post Ossie, cheers. Tender stretch hanging we call it, in most parts of Australia north of Victoria and southern NSW's the weather is too warm during the day, even in winter, to be able to hang meat successfully without refrigeration, you guys have a truly remarkable climate over there that lends itself to being able to hang and cure game meat outside refrigeration. I have heard of pheasant being hung until it falls off the hook, I would love to eat some of this.

 

Thanks again for the post, any recipes by chance?

This will work in both the oven or slow cooker.

Take an oven prepared goose (greylag, canada), best if you have shot and prepared the bird yourself, and place on a house brick in cooker. Add 2 lemons to the birds cavity and 1/2 lb shallotts to the pan and cover with foil.

Leave on a medium heat for about 5 hours taking the foil off after 4 hours and remove some of the juices and put to one side.

After the last hour remove from the oven, throw away the goose and eat the brick with some of the reserved stock.

haha! quality. had me hook line and sinker, engrosed. Quietly thinking to myself whats this cooking on a brick all about . . . . . .B*****D!?!?!

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Canada Goose. Shoot. Take home. Stick it in any space you have for a day. Pluck. Gut. Singe. Dig a fairly longish pit somewhere in the garden. Line said pit with loads of dried grass and twigs, dry, preferably hardwood, ignite, Bird on tray ,cover generously with more dried grass and twigs, leave until the smoke has ceased coming up from the prepared chimney, Let cool, take out , inspect, and throw the ffing thing in the river. Jok.

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