This is a truly delicious Sunday roast treat – perfect for the upcoming Easter weekend. Even my eleven year old nephew who had never eaten venison before came back for third helpings when I served it! Venison doesn’t carry the layers of fat that other red meats do but that shouldn’t affect your confidence in cooking it without drying it out. Barding it with some streaky bacon fat will add a little extra flavour and ensure that it stays moist and tender. Roasting it on a layer of vegetables will help to flavour the stock for the gravy.
You will need…
- A *haunch of venison – see below for cooking times (I fed 9 hungry people with a haunch of 1.75kg)
- 3 strips of streaky bacon
- A carrot, an onion and a stick of celery – peeled and chopped into chunks
- 2 whole cloves of garlic – keep them in the skin to prevent them roasting
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 200ml red wine
- 50ml Madeira
- Vegetable water saved from the vegetables you’ll be serving with the venison
- 1 tbsp of plain flour
- Salt and pepper
- Take the venison out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Prepare the venison for roasting. Cut small pieces of fat from one of the pieces of streaky bacon. Using the tip of a sharp knife, puncture the joint with small holes and push the bacon fat deep into the slits in the meat. Season the skin with salt and pepper and place it on top of the chopped vegetables in a roasting tin that holds the joint snugly. This will prevent any juices from burning. Lay the thyme over the meat and then layer the strips of steaky bacon on top.
- Once the oven is up to temperature, place the joint in the oven on the middle shelf and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 160°C and cook for 15 minutes per 500g for a joint under 2kg, For joints over 3kg, sizzle for 30 minutes and roast for 12 minutes per 500g.
- Rest the joint covered under a tent of foil for a good 30 minutes before carving. The resting stage is as vital as the cooking stage so work out your timings carefully. Remove the bacon and thyme before carving.
- To make the gravy, pop the garlic out of its skin and discard the husk. Add the flour to the roasting fat and cook through for a few minutes on the hob. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and the Madeira. Add the vegetable water to bring it up to the consistency you prefer. Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and blitz the veg with a stick blender. Adjust the seasoning and serve in a warmed jug.
* The venison for this roast was supplied by Discover Venison.