Saturday I pulled a package of venison from my freezer to thaw and hope to make stroganoff with it tonight. However, this morning I noticed that the package (in a bowl) had really released a lot of blood. I have a few questions here:

  1. It hasn't been above 40° F (4.4° C) much, but am I going to run into a moisture or consistency problem? If so, can I do anything in the stroganoff to balance this out?

  2. Also, assuming the meat is safe, and still worth cooking, should I attempt to utilize the blood in building up the sauce; if so how? (I will likely be preparing the sauce using [drippings/blood(?)], a pound or so of mushrooms, and cream/sour cream.)

  • Just to point this out but myoglobin is part of blood as is heamoglobin. Blood is a collection of proteins and fluids, so it is still blood
    – user20632
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 17:20
  • 5
    @aws myoglobin is contained in both blood and muscle. Food animals are drained of blood during butchering, so this fluid is not really blood, even though it contains some of the "ingredients" of blood.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 8, 2013 at 17:51
  • You can find myoglobin in the blood only if there was an injury. Normally you find it in the muscular tissue, not in blood.
    – roetnig
    Commented May 4, 2017 at 6:17

1 Answer 1


To start with, the red, or dark, juice from red meat is not, in fact, blood, which is a common misconception. Most blood is drained from red meat when it is butchered. It is, rather, a protein (myoglobin) and a lot of water.

It is an animal's levels (or lack of) myoglobin, that determine whether it is a 'red' meat or white.

As for its safety after being frozen, this is discussed further here.

Beef stored in the refrigerator for more than 5 days will start to turn brown due to chemical changes in the myoglobin. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has gone bad, though with this length of unfrozen storage, it may have. Best to use your nose to tell for sure, not your eyes

As your venison was frozen, rather than just refrigerated, as mentioned above, I would say you are more than safe to do a nose test, as recommended above.

  • 8
    Until the late 70ies it was common to buy your meat "well hung", so besides a riping process most of the water/fluid would already be gone. Nowadays people think "the fresher the better" and the butcher likes to sell the meat while it's still not lost too much of it's weight, so he will earn more money. So when it comes to your recipe: You will be fine if you prepare your meat without all the juice that comes out of it, since that's how it's meant to be.
    – RBloeth
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 9:51
  • Thanks so much for clearing that up. Is there any culinary use for the myoglobin that is released; or is it best discarded?
    – mfg
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 12:12
  • 2
    @mfg I'm not sure of any recipes, but when you think about it 'meat juices' (albeit cooked when I use it) are the basis for most real gravies (i.e. those not based on hydrated seasoned cornflour bought in a box)
    – johnc
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 21:14
  • 1
    @Augenfeind, I have no argument with the meat being fine if fully drained, but I would take you up on the phrase 'meant to be'. Vegetarian philosophy aside, I would think historically 'wet' meat would be far more prevalent than well hung meat. On a personal note, I hate it when a meat is dried by cooking or preparation.
    – johnc
    Commented Nov 9, 2010 at 21:18
  • 1
    @johnc I must completely agree with what you say about dried meat, but I would say that "well hung" would not result in dry meat, but solely in the fact that while roasting or cutting there won't be that much juice floating out of the meat. Furthermore I assume that most of the classical french recipes of the 18th and 19th century would assume that all your meat would be "well hung" and that wet meat came up mostly since the 1970ies or so...
    – RBloeth
    Commented Nov 10, 2010 at 8:43

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