Hey, Don’t Throw Out the Neck From Your Deer

My, oh, my … all the years of watching deer hunters (and myself, I’ll admit) throw away some of the most gorgeous deer meat for some of the dumbest reasons ever.

Mmmm ... slow-cooked venison for supper!

Mmmm … slow-cooked venison for supper!

“Ah, it’s too much trouble to fool with.”

“Naaa, I don’t have time to mess around with a neck.”

“Are you kidding? There’s not enough meat on that bony neck anyway.”

“Neck meat? Ugh, are you serious? There’s enough meat on the hindquarters and backstrap. Just throw it in the gut pile for the coyotes.” 

Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard any of those or said them yourself. Whoa, whoa, not everyone at once!

Seriously, we know some folks use every bit of meat on a deer from the neck to shanks and tender bits to heart and liver. Others cut out the choice parts and toss the rest. We’re not telling anyone they are right or wrong, but I’m definitely here to tell you that you’re missing out on some good meat in the neck (unless you shoot it in the neck with a gun) and can do some fantastic venison recipes with this delicious meat.

So how do you carve a neck roast? Watch Tiffany Haugen on this clip from The Sporting Chef, hosted by our good friend and Better Venison Cookbook author Scott Leysath.

Well, that was easy wasn’t it? How about that? Just imagine the amount of meat you’ve tossed over the years that could have easily become tacos or sandwiches. Sometimes we have time issues that might cause us to just take the choice cuts, but whenever possible it’s just a good deal to use as much of the nutritious, delicious venison we kill and not waste anything.

Leysath has a great recipe for Elk Tostadas at his site, along with other great recipes for wild game and fish, but you can use deer meat for this, too. Take time to get that neck meat, whip up some great slow-cooked venison and enjoy.

Elk Tostadas (with Deer!)

  • 4 cups cooked pulled elk roast meat, warm (see above)
  • 4 large corn tortillas, deep-fried until crispy
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 6 cups romaine or iceberg lettuce, thinly chopped
  • 8 thin slices red onion
  • 2 cups peppered jack cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
  • 1 1/2 cups red or green salsa
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions
For each serving, place a tortilla on a plate. Top with 1/2 cup black beans, 1 1/2 cups lettuce, 1 cup shredded meat, 2 slices red onion, 1/2 cup cheese, 2 tablespoons olives, some salsa and a dollop of sour cream.

Click the photo to learn more ...

Click the photo to learn more …

Want More Great Venison Recipes?
Get some of Scott Leysath’s best venison preparation tips and recipes in his latest book, The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook, and you’ll be on the way to great meals. In 12 chapters you’ll get the best tips for venison recipes, restaurant-grade techniques and more. It’s a fantastic cookbook you definitely need for your home or deer camp. Click to learn more …