Video: How to Make a French Cut Venison Rib Roast
Don’t let the name throw you. Call it the Freedom Cut if you want, but you really should learn the absolute coolest way to remove and prepare your deer ribs and loin.
A French Cut Rib Roast is really just a piece of the loin or backstrap left attached to the tops of a few ribs. It’s a common product in a fancy package, the kind of meal you’d make for a special occasion or special people, like a Christmas dinner or a big date. It looks cool on the plate and will make it look like you really know what you’re doing as a wild game chef. All you need is a good knife and a reciprocating saw or hand saw.
The first step is to remove any fascia and thin flank meat covering the loin and ribcage. Slice this stuff away and put any edible meat in the grind pile.
Next, visualize how you’d divide your ribs lengthwise, roughly into thirds. I like to make shallow guide cuts with my knife to track with the saw, one below the loin and one above the sternum. All that matters is you leave a good 3-4 inches of rib that extends beyond the loin. You can either saw the whole ribcage at once or just take out a four- or five-rib section as I show in the video. Either way, cut a point at which to insert your saw blade. I use a Sawzall and a stainless-steel blade with the teeth reversed. Saw through the ribs as cleanly as you can along the upper guide cut, then cut through the lower portion. This will leave you with three rib segments, the baby back or rib lips along the bottom of the ribcage, a nice rib platter out of the middle, and the upper ribs to remove with the backstrap to make the French cut rib roast.
Next, slice along the outsides of the first and last ribs to the spine, in between these cuts lie your rib roast. Then, cut down along the spinous processes just like you would to remove the backstrap. A flexible blade helps you get in close to those vertebrae to remove the most meat possible.
Once the loin is free, reach up inside the ribcage and fold your ribs back to expose the joints where they attach to the spine. With a little pressure from a sharp knife you can cut through the sinew holding the ribs to the vertebrae. Keep slicing and working the ribs up and down until they come free from the spine.
The last step is to clean up your French cut to make a fancy and clean presentation. Presentation is why you did this in the first place. First, find the sinew line where the loin muscle ends and trim away that small section of tough meat to expose the tips of your ribs. Then cut away the meat on and between the ribs up to the loin. Make sure to reserve all this trimmed meat for burger. Score the membrane along the inside of the ribs then tear it off. Finally, peel off the prominent line of silver skin along the outside of the loin with light pressure from your knife blade.
When you’re all done cleaning away any fascia, silver skin, and damaged meat, you’ll be left with a loose French cut roast. The red meat should contrast beautifully against the white rib bones, if the bones aren’t white, clean them some more. You can then truss your loin to the rib rack with some butcher’s twine or leave it loose and re-assemble when it’s time to plate and serve. The French cut rib roast is a good option when serving non game eaters, as it makes something wild look familiar. Whoever you serve it to is bound to be impressed with your handiwork.