Some general tips and advice on getting the best from your Venison Roasting Joints.
There are basically two methods – fast or slow!
You can roast venison on a high oven temperature, at speed, if you like it rare, medium rare or just no longer pink…. but it must be with speed so that the venison has no chance to dry out. Prolonged cooking at a great heat will cause any meat to harden, and because this is a low fat meat it would dry out very badly. If slow roasting, this is best done when the joint is still on the bone, as it stays more succulent. This method will also produce a marvellous gravy. Make sure you “lard” the joint to protect it – a good quick method is to stab the joint all over and press a knob of butter or lard or margarine into the holes as you go. You could also introduce herbs and garlic at this point, and remember the joint is not marbled with fat so this is necessary.
Best practice is to brown the joint, then roast it and then rest it … do not miss out a stage!!
Not necessary to lard this joint, unless the joint is large i.e. over 3.5kg.
Brown the joint by rolling around in hot oil in a frying pan until brown on all sides. Lift the joint into a roasting tin, pour juices and remaining oil over and season (freshly milled black pepper, crushed juniper berries, small sprinkling of salt). You can baste with perhaps a small amount of wine, beer or orange juice to compensate for the lack of juices. Don’t over do it though or the joint will stew. General guidelines for fast cooking times are a very hot oven, 230 degrees C, (450 F) and about 20 mins/kg for rare venison, 30 – 40 mins/ kg for medium rare. Always allow a little resting time for more cooking, so undercook !! If using a meat thermometer use the beef temperatures as a guide.
Allow about 85 mins / kg for slow roasting, and cover the tin with foil or a lid. The temperature should be about 170 degrees C (325 F). The times can be reduced for larger joints, to perhaps 65 mins / kg for 3kg and above. Use the same basting liquid as described above, but remember the joint will lose juices into the pan and will require basting.
The more often you baste, the better the gravy and more juicy the venison will be. You do not need to rest slow roasted venison.
(If in doubt, divide kg cooking times by two for weight in pounds)