broken arrow animal pound
These are some of the most frequently asked questions from our gourmet customers. Our Helpful Information and Recipes sections may also be beneficial to you. If you have any other questions please contact us and we will be happy to help. What is the “Broken Arrow Ranch”? We are a working ranch, based in the Texas Hill Country, where we harvest and process wild game meat, such as venison, antelope, and wild boar, under full inspection by the Texas Department of Health.
We are not a “store front” purveyor who only warehouses meat from other sources or suppliers. (top) Can I book a private hunt on the Broken Arrow Ranch? Sorry, but we do not allow private, recreational hunts on our ranch. A good source to find hunting ranches is the Exotic Wildlife Association. (top) Do all of the deer and antelope harvested come from the Broken Arrow Ranch? No. We harvest deer from the Broken Arrow Ranch several times a year, but most of the animals are harvested on other area ranches.
Ranchers use our harvests to maintain a naturally sustainable population on their property. If the population was not managed then overgrazing, starvation, and disease would occur. An additional incentive for the ranchers is that we pay them for the animals we harvest. A true win-win all around.(top) Where do you get your deer and antelope? We work with many ranches throughout Texas to bring you the finest free-range venison and antelope meat available.
None of the deer and antelope we harvest are penned or farmed. Rather, they are truly wild game roaming the open ranges available down here in Texas. (top) How are the deer and antelope harvested? Our process is unique in the world - the only fully inspected year-round harvesting of truly free-range wild game. Avoiding stress during slaughter is a major factor in controlling meat quality. Our field harvesting technique is to quietly search the ranch for animals ready for harvesting and killing the animals by a single long-range head shot from a suppressed rifle.
The free-range deer and antelope we harvest are never under any stress and the resulting meat quality is the highest possible. The meat is then processed on the ranch in our proprietary mobile processing facility under full inspection. (top) Are your harvesting techniques humane? We take the utmost care to ensure that all our animals are harvested in a humane and respectful manner with no stress to the animal.
For one thing, it’s the right thing to do. Additionally, harvesting stress-free animals results in meat of superior quality. We strongly support sustainable agriculture efforts, and many of the ranches we work with utilize us as an integral part of their game management plan. The animals we harvest are not native to the United States and, thus, have no natural predators. Were it not for our services many deer and antelope would begin to starve due to overpopulation.
(top) Why do you field harvest the deer and antelope? Harvesting truly wild deer and antelope is always a challenge. If they were trapped and transported live to a traditional slaughter plant the animals would be put under a tremendous amount of stress and the meat quality would suffer. So instead of taking the animals to the plant we take the plant to the animals. We pioneered the mobile processing concept in 1983 as a way to harvest animals in a stress-free manner while still satisfying all of the necessary food safety and government inspection regulations(top) What is different about Broken Arrow Ranch game meats? Harvesting and processing our own meat allows us to maintain the high quality of the products we sell.
The products we provide are available only by ordering directly from us. Obviously, there are other sources of venison and wild game meats, but there are distinct and important differences. About 85% of the venison sold in America is raised on deer farms in New Zealand. All of the deer and antelope we harvest live as free-range animals wild on large open ranches. They subsist on a widely varying diet that gives the meat a rich and complex flavor.
Another important difference is the unique way in which our deer and antelope are harvested. (top) Is it legal to sell meat from wild animals? Many people falsely believe that it is illegal to sell meat from wild (not farmed) animals. The correct assertion is that it is illegal to sell meat from any animal that has not passed inspection by a government meat inspector. However, the only way to harvest a wild animal in the field so that it can pass inspection is to take a government inspector out of the plant and into the field with you.
Well, that's exactly what we do. More information can be found in our articles about our field harvest technique and unique wild game meat inspection requirements. (top) Are Broken Arrow Ranch's products "organic"? “Organic” is a term that is often confused and misused. A general designation for “organic” products is those that are grown naturally, as opposed to products grown synthetically or with enhancements.
The South Texas Antelope and Axis Deer harvested by Broken Arrow Ranch range freely on open land that is not treated with herbicides or pesticides. They choose the food they eat from many species of grasses, bushes, herbs, trees, berries and nuts. The animals grow at a natural rate, without artificial stimulation. We do not specifically label our wild game meat as “organic” but it is indeed an all-natural product.
(top) How do Broken Arrow Ranch products compare in price? We cannot produce the very highest quality at the lowest cost. The steps we take to provide you with the highest quality wild game meat do add cost to our products. We think the extra effort is worth it, though, and many fine dining chefs agree. (top) What species of deer and antelope meat do you offer? For our gourmet customers we offer high quality products from the following animals: Axis Deer – Axis venison is considered by many to be the finest venison in the world.
A native of India, the Axis deer was introduced to ranches in the Texas Hill Country over 50 years ago. The meat is finely textured and tender. More information about Axis Deer can be found here. South Texas Antelope – Our best selling game meat. These animals are native to the Himalayan foothills of India and Nepal and are traditionally called “nilgai” antelope, translated as “blue bull.” The meat has a mild flavor with a good texture – much like veal.
It is extremely low in fat, averaging less than 1% for most cuts. More information about the South Texas Antelope can be found here. Wild Boar – Wild boar have been used as a source of food on every continent except Antarctica. We employ the services of several trappers who catch the boar in trap boxes and bring them live for slaughter under USDA inspection. These wild boar produce the hormone androstenone that gives the meat a unique flavor, distinct from ordinary pork.
More information about wild boar can be found here. (top) Will my meat be delivered fresh or frozen? Typically, all of our meat is delivered frozen. Everything we do is intended to provide you with meat of the highest quality possible, including why and how we freeze it. We can provide some of our meat fresh, but that is a custom order not available through the website and requires a bit of lead time.
(top) Why do you freeze the meat? After field harvesting the animals we age the meat on the bone for 21-28 days. This aging process creates a more tender and flavorful meat by allowing natural enzymes in the muscles to break down connective tissue and allowing muscle fibers to "relax." (Just like aged beef sold at high-end steakhouses.) Once the meat is fully aged we cut it, package it, and flash-freeze it.
So, by delivering frozen meat we are able to ensure that you are getting meat that is at the absolute peak of its quality. An important distinction here is that our meat is FULLY AGED BEFORE FREEZING. The meat will not get any better than it is at the moment it is frozen and freezing it naturally preserves that perfection for you to enjoy. This technique is time consuming and expensive, but it produces a superior product - and to our knowledge we are the only producer in the world who does it this way.
Fresh does not necessarily equal better in this case. (top) How do you freeze the meat and doesn't freezing affect the quality? Like many things, there is a right way to freeze meat and a wrong way. You can be certain that we didn't put so much effort to produce high quality meat just to "ruin" it during the freezing process. The difference between meat that is frozen slowly (wrong way) and meat that is frozen quickly (right way, our way) happens at the molecular level.
When meat is frozen slowly the water molecules inside expand and destroy cellular walls. This results in poor texture and significant purge (loss of moisture) when thawed. However, when meat is quickly frozen the water molecules do not have time to expand and there is little to no cellular destruction. This meat maintains a quality and texture that is almost indistinguishable from fresh meat. (top) Are there any restaurants near me that serve Broken Arrow Ranch products? Broken Arrow Ranch products are served in hundreds of fine dining establishments nationwide.
If you live near a major metropolitan market, then chances are that someone near you is using Broken Arrow Ranch products. Some offer it periodically as a "Chef's Special" for a limited time, but others keep Broken Arrow Ranch products on their menu full time. If you see venison, antelope or wild boar offered and want to be sure you're getting the best, ask your waiter if they are serving Broken Arrow Ranch products.
Click here for a list of recent restaurant customers.(top) How can I order your wild game meat? We have many free-range, high quality wild game meat products available online here on our website. If you have any questions or experience any problems please call us at (830) 367-5875 or use the "contact us" form. (top) Is there a minimum order quantity? Yes, any order must include at least $50 of product.
This is to ensure that the products ordered can be shipped safely to our customers. All website orders are shipped overnight in insulated coolers, and the product mix/quantity achieved with a $50 order is appropriate for safe transport in our smallest cooler. This minimum order level is a safeguard that prevents us from shipping products in a mostly "empty" cooler where quick thawing may occur. (top) When will my order ship? Click here to view our shipping schedule.
(top) How will my order be shipped? All consumer orders are shipped in a reusable insulated container, chilled by gel packs and delivered to your door. We use UPS overnight service for shipping. Standard overnight service will have your product delivered by 4:30 PM the next business day after shipping. Our Shipping Information section provides additional details. (top) How much meat should I order? How many people can I feed with each cut? People often ask how much wild game meat they should order, especially for parties.
The answer depends on many things. The number of people, the number of courses, big eaters vs. light eaters, the cut of meat all must be taken into consideration. To help you estimate how much you will need follow this link to some estimated serving information. (top) Can I have an order shipped outside of the US or to an APO address? Unfortunately, due to our shipping methods we are unable to ship orders to addresses outside of the 50 U.
S. states. (top) Can I place an order now and have it shipped later on a specified date? Yes. When you checkout online there is a "Comments" field available where you enter your credit card information. Simply put a message in the "Comments" field indicating the date you would like the product shipped. Please note that we only ship orders on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Our Shipping Information section provides additional details.
Also, your credit card will not be charged until the day your package is shipped. This is because most charges are based on actual weight and those will not be known until the the product is packed. (top) I want to ship a gift, but I do not want any cost or payment information included in the box. Can I do this? Yes. When we receive an order where the "Ship To" name is different from the "Bill To" name we assume it is a gift.
A packing slip, with product descriptions but no prices, will be included in the package. A copy of the invoice, with prices, will be mailed to the "Bill To" address. (top) What am I getting when I order venison from Broken Arrow Ranch? Venison is a general term used to describe the meat of a deer or antelope. Here on the ranch we make a distinction between the two so our customers know exactly what they are getting.
Many products are labeled with the specific animal species, such as Axis deer or South Texas Antelope (also called nilgai antelope). There are subtle and interesting differences in flavor between the two, but both make outstanding dishes. Our products labeled as “venison” may contain a mixture of deer and antelope meat. (top) How long can I store my wild game meat? Venison and antelope in packages with tight seals can be stored in your freezer for up to 1 year.
Wild boar and quail can be stored in your freezer for up to 6 months. Once thawed the meat should be cooked or refrozen within 5 days. Meat stored in your freezer for longer than the recommended time is still safe to eat but the quality (texture, flavor, etc.) may have diminished. (top) How should I thaw my meat and how long will it take? Refrigerator Method (Best) - Thawing meat in the refrigerator is the slowest but safest method and will result in the least amount of moisture loss in comparison to the other methods.
The temperature of the refrigerator should be maintained at 35°F to 40°F to discourage growth of harmful organisms as the meat thaws. Leave the meat wrapped and placed on a platter or a tray to catch any drippings. Allow 4-5 hours per pound of meat to fully thaw. After thawing in the refrigerator the meat can be refrigerated safely for 3 to 5 days. If you decide not to cook the meat within this time, the meat can be refrozen.
Remember however, that each time the meat is frozen it loses a little of its flavor and texture quality. Do not refreeze meat that has been thawed using the cold water or microwave methods. Cold Water Method (Quickest) - Thawing meat in cold water is a faster method than thawing in the refrigerator and it is safe as long as the proper precautions are taken. However, there may be a slight loss of moisture during the faster thawing process that can result in meat that is more dry to the taste.
Fill the sink with enough cold tap water to cover the cut of meat, keep the meat in its vacuum packaging and put it into the cold water. Be sure that the meat is sealed tightly so that it is not exposed to the water. Meat exposed to the water will result in flavor and color loss, and will have a greater chance of bacterial growth. The water must be replaced with fresh cold water every 30 minutes. Do not use warm or hot water because it will encourage the growth of bacteria and even more moisture loss.
Allow 30 minutes to 1 hour for smaller cuts and up to 3 hours for larger cuts/roasts. (top) How should I cook my antelope, venison or wild boar meat? Depending on the cut of meat you are preparing, wild game meat should be cooked in one of two ways: a little or a lot. Tender cuts (such as loins and filets) should not be cooked past medium rare. If done so the meat will become tough and dry. Working cuts (such as those from the shoulder or leg) should be cooked at low temperature for several hours.
This process breaks up the natural connective tissue of the muscle creating extremely tender and flavorful dishes. As a rule of thumb, you can substitute Broken Arrow Ranch venison in almost any of your favorite beef, lamb, or pork recipes. For more detailed directions check out our recipes and tips we have compiled from years of cooking here on the ranch and from our customers. Our article on How to Cook Venison is also helpful.
(top)See Also: North County Animal Control
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Click to Print This Page There are many different opinions on how to properly smoke meat. This is what has worked in my experience, but there are certainly other successful methods. Experiment and have fun. Working muscles (shoulders, ribs and legs) benefit most from long slow cooking methods like smoking or braising. The basic issues to control when smoking meat are: 1. Maintain a low cooking temperature2.
Maximize moisture retention in the meat. Low Cooking Temperature I keep my cooking temperature around 200°F - 225°F. The goal is to slowly raise the internal temperature of the meat to 180°F and then hold it there for about an hour. “Slow and low” is the mantra. Cooking time will be about 1.5 – 2 hours per pound of meat, but can vary based on thickness and whether or not it’s bone-in or bone-out.
Many recipes will tell you to pull the meat when it reaches an internal temperature of 190°F or even 200°F. That advice works because it takes about an hour for a modest size piece of meat to increase from 180°F to 190°F. I would not recommend going much higher than that for very long because you begin to lose moisture in the form of steam. Lower cooking temperatures of 180°F - 200°F can be used to great success, but the cooking time will be much longer.
Cooking at temperatures above 250°F is not recommended because the meat cooks too quickly causing increased moisture loss and does not allow ample time for the collagen to break down (it makes for dry, tough meat). Why 180°F internal temperature?Meat contains muscle fibers and connective tissue (collagen). It is the collagen that makes the working cuts “tough and chewy” when not properly cooked.
Collagen does not break down into liquid gelatin until it reaches 180°F. You must break down that collagen by getting the internal temperature to at least 180°F and stay there for about 1 hour. Once you’ve broken down the collagen you will have fork tender meat. Moisture Retention Moisture retention is especially important when smoking wild game meats because they are typically much leaner than other meats.
Brining – Moisture can be added to the meat prior to cooking by brining it. Moisture will still cook out of your meat, but since you’re starting with more moisture the end result will be juicier. A basic brine recipe is 1 cup of table salt per 1 gallon of water. Subtle flavorings can be infused into the meat by including sugar (1/2 cup per 1 gallon of water), garlic cloves, onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, herbs, or just about anything else.
However, the primary purpose of brining is to increase the moisture content of the meat prior to cooking. Stir the salt into the water until it dissolves. For large quantities it may be necessary to heat the water to make the salt dissolve. (If you do heat the brine it must be cooled off again prior to adding the meat.) Add the meat and allow it soak for several hours in the refrigerator. For shoulders and legs (2 - 6 lb pieces) soaking overnight is just right.
When the soak is finished remove the meat from the brine, briefly rinse it under cold water and then pat dry. Add your rub/spices and you’re ready to cook. Injecting – Some inject their meat with liquid and spices prior to cooking. Like brining, this increases the moisture content prior to cooking so there will be more moisture left in the meat when it is finished. Basting – Basting is done by periodically coating the meat with liquid to add moisture and flavor as it cooks.
Just about any liquid will do as long as it is low in sugar. Sugar burns quickly so only add glazes and BBQ sauces (which are loaded with sugar) during the last 20 minutes of cooking and only long enough from them to firm up. Barding – Covering the meat with fatty bacon or other fats while it cooks is another technique. This is typically used on very lean meats that lack sufficient natural fat so the bacon acts as a substitute.
This is a great way to add fat and moisture during the cooking process, but I also find that you end up tasting bacon more than the meat. Wrapping – Once the meat has smoked for a few hours and absorbed a sufficient quantity of smoke flavor the meat can be tightly wrapped in foil. This wrap will reduce moisture evaporation into the open air and keep the juices close to the meat (acting more like a braise than BBQ).
It’s also a great way to capture the juices for use in a sauce. If you want a crispy exterior (a “bark”) then don’t use a foil wrap and cook a little longer. If you want some insurance on getting a tender, moist final product then use the wrap. Smoke and Wood Wood Choice – Just about any hardwood will do. Oak and hickory are some of the most popular and most commonly available. Mesquite, maple and fruitwoods can add a sweetness to the meat, but don’t overdo it.
Herb woods like basil, rosemary and thyme can be used in small quantities to add a deeper flavor profile. Avoid softwoods (evergreen trees) because the high resin levels will give your meat an unpleasant taste. Smoke Ring – The “smoke ring” is a reddish/pink coloration just under the surface of the meat. It’s formed by a chemical reaction between the nitrogen dioxide in the smoke and the myoglobin in meat (which creates nitric acid and colors the meat).
A good smoke ring is prized in BBQ because it usually indicates that the meat was successfully cooked slowly at a low temperature. The smoke ring gradually forms until the meat (just under the surface) reaches 140°F, then the formation stops. The thickness of your smoke ring depends on how long it takes for the meat to reach this temperature. Knowing how a smoke ring forms gives us two practical applications: 1.
To maximize your smoke ring take the meat directly from the refrigerator to the cooker. Conventional wisdom instructs you to bring the meat to room temperature before cooking, but starting straight from a cooler temperature will give your meat more time to develop a smoke ring. 2. Since smoke ring formation stops at 140°F you only need to worry about generating smoke for the first 4 hours of cooking (roughly).
After that the meat will not be absorbing any more smoke flavor or coloring. After 4 hours, just concentrate on keeping a steady low temperature until the meat is done. The Oven Option Not everyone is blessed with the time, space, and/or patience to play with a smoker. Take heart - you can still get good results with an oven. Heat your oven to 200°F - 225°F. Wrap the meat in foil. Put it in the oven until done as described above.
About 1.5 - 2 hours per pound. If you want smoke flavor use your smoker/BBQ pit for the first 1 - 2 hours to infuse some smoke flavor into the meat. Then finish the cooking in the oven. If you don't have a smoker or don't want to bother with it - skip this step. It will still be good.