We have been fortunate enough to be gifted roe deer haunches on more than one occasion. We have cooked them as a whole haunch, and we have tunnelled boned out the haunch and roasted them that way. More recently we have been separating the haunch into its constituent muscles. This keeps wastage down to an absolute minimum. The haunch from a small roe deer will yield a number of joints that would serve 2-4 people, together with venison trim that makes an excellent casseroling meat. (Scott Rea – has lots of good videos on how to do this sort of thing – like this one here) Butchering a venison haunch is really easy. Most of the butchering with venison can be done with your fingers with little need for a knife. This makes it a great meat to work with if you want to learn some simple butchering skills.
The picture to the left illustrated the primal cuts from the haunch. The largest of these, outlined in green, is the topside. This was tied with butchers string to both shape the joint and facilitate cooking. You can see this in the picture on the right where the joint has been seasoned and sat on a bed of fresh rosemary. With small joints like this you can also use food grade elasticated poultry bands – this makes it all very easy.
The plan was to quickly pan roast the topside over direct heat and then oven roast it to a core temperature of 50C. Often this would be done on a Kamado by reverse searing but as this is such a quick cook (the joint is just 500g) this really isn’t necessary. This conventional ‘sear then roast’ is more controllable for a small joint. Adding the cold platesetter drops the cooking temperature enough for a short roast even in a Kamado. We heated one of our Tefal Ingenio pans, without its handle, on the MiniMax. Olive oil and a little butter was heated in the pan and the topside added. The topside was rolled round the pan until it took on an even golden colour. At this point the core temperature was around 30C.
The BGE was converted to indirect cooking by adding the cold platesetter. The browned topside was sat on a bed of fresh rosemary and the pan was returned to the MiniMax and allowed to continue cooking until the core temperature reached just over 50C. The meat was removed, covered with foil and left to rest for around 20 mins whilst the rest of the meal was prepared.
Topside always benefits from slicing reasonably thinly but this is perhaps less important with venison than say beef. The venison is so intrinsically tender as long as its is not overcooked and allowed to rest well.
The venison was served with a selection of seasonal vegetables and a shallot, venison and red currant sauce.
……………………. do give it a go!!
Pan Roasted Topside of Venison
A topside of venison pan roasted with rosemary and served medium rare
- 1 Topside of Venison
- Butchers string or poultry bands
- Fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil and butter
- Step 1 Tie the joint as shown – with a small joint like this it is much easier to use food grade elasticated poultry bands. Rub with olive oil, season and sit on a bed of rosemary until ready.
- Step 2 Heat a handless pan over direct heat on the BGE. Keep turning the joint until all sides are nicely browned.
- Step 3 Remove the pan and the meat and set up the BGE for indirect cooking – this will immediately lower the temperature as the platesetter is cold. Put the rosemary in the base of the pan and sit the venison on top. Cook indirectly until a core temperature of 50C is reached
- Step 4 Remove the venison and the rosemary and cover with foil – rest for around 20 mins. During this time the core temperature will rise to around 55C
- Step 5 Slice thinly and serve with seasonal vegetables, a rich sauce or a simple compound butter