Venison has become the most popular choice of game in the UK and it is easy to see why. However if the carcass is not correctly prepared, hung and stored at the required temperature the quality of the meat will not be great. This rich, flavoursome meat has very little fat, is high in protein and low in cholesterol. It also freezes well and is widely available, which makes it both a healthy and convenient alternative to other meats. The haunch makes a fantastic roast, while older, tougher cuts are best marinated and make excellent winter stews. Venison loin is very tender and therefore requires little cooking time.
Roast: Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Brush the venison with olive oil and season well with salt and cracked black pepper. Heat a large frying pan until very hot and sear the venison until brown all over, about 1-2 minutes each side. Place the venison in a roasting tray and cook for 10-12 minutes, basting often (we recommend eating pink but cooking time can vary according to your liking). Remove from the oven and allow to rest on a warm plate for at least ten minutes.
Steaks: Brush with olive oil or butter before cooking. Steaks can be grilled, pan-fried or cooked in a griddle-pan; either method will require about 3-4 minutes on each side, followed by resting to let the juices re-distribute.
Goes well with:
Sweet potato mash, beetroot, bacon, lentils, anchovies, chestnuts, shallots, red cabbage, juniper berries, redcurrent jelly, thyme, rosemary, port and red wine.