We were given a venison joint by a good friend! The details of the beast from which it came were a little unclear – the cut was in doubt too (but probably boned leg)! It was thought to be Red Deer but we did not know how old the animal was. When ever in doubt as to the age of the animal I tend to assume that it would be old. This way we treat the meat as though it may be a little tough and cook accordingly. So for this reason we planned a ‘slow cook,’ cooking at a low temperature but for a longer time. Now with venison there is another slight problem in that because it is so lean it is possible to leave the meat dry. So the plan was a sort of pot roast, over a trivet of slowly cooking onions, which would release enough moisture to ‘almost braise’ the meat when cooked in the BGE.
The onions were diced and lightly sautéd till they started to go translucent. Meanwhile the boned leg was unrolled and the inner surfaces were salted and peppered and some fennel seeds were also added and the leg then rerolled and tied. Whilst the onions were being sautéd in a cast iron skillet the venison was browned off – this can be done in a heavy bottomed pan – or as we did here by rolling the leg over a cast iron cooking surface on the grill.
Once the onions were ready and the venison browned the EGG was converted into indirect mode and the venison placed on top of the onions. The temperature was held at around 130C and the meat left to cook for around 90 mins. After about an hour and a half we added some good chicken stock to the onions and continued with the cooking for another 90 mins or so topping up with stock as necessary (picture at the top of the page). At this point a little red currant jelly was stirred into the soft onion and stock mix. The cooking continued until the core temperature of the venison reached around 75-78C.
The meat was removed, wrapped in foil and popped into a warm oven at 50C to rest for around 20 mins. The onion jam was then heated gently on the hob to drive off the excess liquid and thicken the sauce. The meat was cut into generous slices and served with fried Brussel Sprouts and pancetta and the onion jam.
The meat was deliciously soft and had the most gentle of smoke rings as can be seen above. The onion Jam set the whole dish off beautifully! Most importantly, although cooked past the point where I would normally serve venison (I do like it pink!), because it had been treated gently it repaid this care and presented a moist, succulently soft and beautifully tasting piece of wild game!
Pot roasted Venison Leg with Onion Jam
Pot roasted boned leg braised on a bed of onions that were then converted to an onion jam
- Boned leg of venison
- Salt and Pepper
- Fennel seeds
- 2 large onions
- Red currant jelly
- Step 1 Season the inner surface of the venison with salt, pepper and fennel seeds and roll and tie the leg
- Step 2 Chop the onions into medium size pieces and lightly sauté untill they started to go translucent.
- Step 3 Brown off the outside of the leg by rolling over a cast iron cooking surface on the grill.
- Step 4 Convert the BGE into indirect mode at 130C and place the venison onto the trivet of onions. Cook for around 90 mins, after which time add some good chicken stock to the onions. Continue with the cooking for another 90 mins or so topping up with stock as necessary. At this point add some red currant jelly and stir into the soft onion and stock mix. Continue the cooking until the core temperature of the venison reached around 75-78C.
- Step 5 Remove the meat, wrap in foil and pop into a warm oven at 50C to rest for around 20 mins.
- Step 6 Gently heat the onion jam on the hob to drive off the excess liquid and thicken the sauce.
- Step 7 Cut the venison into generous slices and serve with fried Brussel Sprouts and pancetta together with the onion jam