Venison is the world’s most misunderstood meat…
People say it’s too strong, too dark and too bloody. Over the course of serving this amazing meat to thousands of people, I have heard every reason under the sun for why it’s somehow unpleasant.
The truth is, Venison, whether it’s Moose, Whitetail, Fallow or Muntjac is delicious, mild and stunning to eat. It just has to be shot right, bled and gutted quickly and well, dressed impeccably, and the carcass must be looked after.
This means proper hanging and neat skinning. Hanging should be done in the skin (ideally) and in a chilled environment. We hang most of our deer for no more than 5 days, then skin them, then one more day before butchering. A buck in the rut will need 10 days or so for the testosterone to leave its body.
Then it needs to be cooked right. We will be producing the Robinson guide to bleeding, gutting, skinning and butchery, but for now, here is the undisputed, tried and tested (in my Michelin-starred restaurant) formula for cooking the perfect piece of venison.
Honestly, it works. Juicy, unbloody, mild and succulent venison that melts in your mouth…
PERFECTLY COOKED DEER…
- Start with a 200 gram, 7 oz piece of fillet or haunch (leg) at least 1 inch thick. Or 2 or 4 or 6…
- Allow the meat to come to room temperature
- Season the meat well with salt and pepper
- Heat up a pan or skillet till it’s very hot
- Add a tablespoon of plain oil to the pan and place the meat on the heat. Add a knob of butter.
- Leave the venison alone for 1 minute until beautifully coloured, then turn and repeat. You want a golden brown crust.
- Place the skillet in the oven at 120c for 10 minutes (medium rare), 12 minutes (medium) or 15 minutes (medium/well).
- Remove from the oven (don’t burn yourself) and add a big knob of butter. Add a little more salt and pepper and toss the meat in foaming butter for a few seconds.
- Take the venison out of the pan and place it onto a wooden chopping board, rest it uncovered for 5 or 6 minutes. This is VITAL.
- Carve the meat across the grain into 4 or 5 thick slices. It will be pink from edge to edge but cooked evenly, juicy, tender as the night and will melt in you mouth…