Tendin’ To The Tendons

While cutting up meat to make deer jerky, I didn’t want to lose the valuable source called sinew for making strong cordage. I want to show what sinew looks like and how you can easier separate it from the meat. Yes, you can find larger easier to get pieces of sinew on the back and legs, but you can also get the smaller pieces and not end up wasting them. I believe in using the whole animal, and scraping the sinew from the meat doesn’t require much labor.

You can identify sinew by the shiny white/silvery strands you see attached to the meat:

Basically you just take a knife or a sharp stone, lay the meat flat with the sinew side down and than saw & scrape the meat away from the sinew. In the top video you can see me using an obsidian blade. While the knife works the best, an obsidian blade does the job as well.

[youtube ByaQwUTHIRI]

[youtube 8eGIswy4VgM]

In the end you have just the white strands of sinew:

Next you can leave them to dry in the sun but I prefer to just throw them in my dehydrator as I dehydrate the other meat for jerky.

A few hours later…

Now I have a bunch more sinew to store for later use. Someday I’ll show you what to do with this stuff in order to make it into rope!

All the little bits of meat that you scrape off ends up working out as ground meat. I had enough to make a venison burger for Penny and a venison burger for myself. I chopped up some onions and garlic and mixed them in with the meat and cooked them on the barbecue. Because deer meat doesn’t have much fat, I didn’t expect the burgers to hold together that well but they did fine… A little gamey-tasting even with the seasoning. Probably because they came from the leg that got hit the worst and had many blood clots in it. We had a side salad with the burgers made of chickweed and dandelions. A nice, mostly wild dinner and a bunch of sinew to make things with.

3 Comments on “Tendin’ To The Tendons”

  1. Goddess these wild green salads taste great! Praise Spring in Cascadia and all the sprouting plant beings!

    On Monday, I prepared a dinner of many wild greens for my neighbors and my girlfriend: steamed volunteer garden greens and nettles from Powell Butte gathered over the weekend; and a luscious salad of dandelion greens, bitter cress, nipple wort, some incredibly delicious sorrel, dead nettle, oregano…Yum! But I can’t say I had a venison burger. Wish I could. God it sounds like some amazing (if gamey) goodness.

    About how much sinew can one collect from a dead adult deer? Did that handful come from the tendons of a whole leg (or all the jerky you made) or just a smallish piece?

  2. The handfull just came from the one leg, that’s not even including all the sinew from the lower legs that I already dried before. So that handfull is just the upper leg, the thigh I guess of one leg. I still haven’t scraped the backstrap… no wait, maybe I did. I can’t remember not. Oh well.