Saturday, December 19, 2009

Roast venison haunch in bacon

There's a bit of debate about whether marinading venison is necessary or not, but I don't have enough experience of buying or cooking it to add anything to this, other than to say that marinading is the safe option. If the meat is young and tender, the marinade won't do it any harm, and if you don't marinade an older piece of meat it may end up very dry. Anyway, this came out really well - the meat was tender and juicy and slightly pink in the middle.

This recipe is a bit of a hybrid, drawing on Raining Sideways for the marinade, and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for the roasting, with the usual adjustments which come from road-testing any recipe.

The marinade
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1 small onion
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 large bunch of parsley
1 teaspoon of juniper berries
1 dash of white wine vinegar
1 splosh of olive oil

The meat
1.5 kg rolled haunch of venison
salt and black pepper
3 large sprigs of rosemary
12 rashers streaky bacon
(butcher's string, if your haunch is not wrapped)

The gravy
½ glass red wine
250ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon of redcurrant jelly

Day 1: marinading
If your venison comes rolled up in a little string sock, then carefully remove the sock (and keep it for later), unroll the haunch, place in a large bowl and cover with the marinade ingredients. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

Day 2: roasting
  1. Preheat the oven to 220oC.
  2. Season the haunch, place the rosemary sprigs inside it, roll it up tightly and hold it together with a couple of skewers. If your haunch came with a sock, then slip it a little way over the meat, cover the topside of the roll with streaky bacon, then roll the sock up to cover it, removing the skewers as you go.(If your haunch did not come with a sock, then cover the joint with the bacon, and tie it up with butcher's string to hold it in place.)
  3. Roast the joint in a roasting tray for 20 minutes to brown.
  4. Turn down the oven to 170oC, and roast for a further 12 minutes per 0.5 kg for medium-rare. (So a further 36 minutes for a 1.5 kg joint.)
  5. Remove the meat from the tin, cover with foil and leave in a warm place to rest for 20 minutes. (For roasting times for a larger joint, see Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's Guardian article.)
  6. In the meantime, make the gravy. Put the tin with its juices over a low heat, and deglaze with the wine, stirring well and scraping up any bits of caramelised meat stuck to the bottom of the tin. Add the stock, turn up the heat and boil to reduce and concentrate the sauce, stir in the redcurrant jelly, taste and add salt if necessary.

I was trying to think of something pithy and funny to write about the following poster (spotted on Princes St in Edinburgh), but I think it speaks for itself.

RBS, of course, is the Royal Bank of Scotland, which went bust and was then nationalised in all but name. One wonders what "facts of finance" it has been teaching to children. What next? Sex education being taught by convicted rapists?

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