Because all venison in Ireland is from the wild there is an intensity of flavour and firmness of meat that makes it a very tasty option. Overcooking venison should be avoided, as it is a meat almost devoid of fat and a marinade that includes oil is essential when cooking the leaner cuts. Juniper berries are a natural partner with venison.
- 1 leg of venison
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 6 bacon rashers
- 250ml/ ½ pint red wine
- 150ml/5 fl oz olive oil
- 1 strip orange peel, sprigs of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and 1 bay leaf, tied with string into a bouquet garni.
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 10 each juniper berries and black peppercorns
Combine all marinade ingredients and mix well in a bowl large enough to hold the meat. Leave the meat to marinade overnight. When ready to cook, remove the joint and dry it well, and brush with the melted butter.
Lay the rashers over the leg, and place in a roasting pan, covered with foil.
Place in an oven that has been pre-heated to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for about 1 hour per kg/ 30 minutes per lb and then 15 minutes more.
Strain the marinade, and simmer over a low heat until it has reduced by half. Thicken with a little cornflour which has been mixed with ½ cup beef stock, and add to the sauce, along with juices from the cooked venison.
Rest the meat for at least 15 minutes before carving, and serve with potato and red cabbage.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Handweavers Rathcoole and Kilmacanogue, Dunnes Stores Cornelscourt, Rathmines and Swords in Dublin. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers