BBQ116/17: Venison Haunch
When I was on holiday I read the book “Ethical Carnivore” by Louise Gray. Really good book which got me thinking about the meat I am buying and the wealth of amazing food available within Scotland. I have cooked a fair bit of venison over the years but not much on the BBQ. A trip to Perth farmers market later and I had a venison haunch from “Seriously Good Venison“. I had a look online and found a recipe by “The Field” which sounded good.
This venison is farmed which I wasn’t too sure about but reading up on their website there is a lot of information around their high standards and the environmentally friendly approach to rearing the animals that put my mind to rest:
Wild venison may sometimes be marvellous, but all too often has come from old tougher animals, or those stressed due to lack of feed, or the carcass may be badly damaged from shooting at a great distance. The larger game trade cannot cope with specialised hanging, so sometimes there may be very little flavour, sometimes a musty bitter taste. This lack of consistency in flavour and texture often makes it difficult for the consumer to cook wild venison successfully.
Seriously Good Venison offer the finest possible venison, home reared in extensive pastures. Winter feed is local hay, potatoes and carrots, and no growth promoters or unnecessary drugs are given. Only animals under 27 months are used for venison, and they are all on-farm slaughtered, under conditions approved by the Quality Assured Farmed Venison Scheme
Seriously Good’s venison has been hung in the traditional way, not gralloched on the hill but brought immediately to our state of the art processing facility just outside Cupar in Fife, dressed and vet inspected before being transported in a refrigerated vehicle to our butchery in Perth. There it is hung for between 10-14 days for excellent flavour and tenderness.
This all sounded good to me. 1 haunch was just over £20 for 1kg.
The meat was de-boned and had been rolled so I cut the string off and unrolled it. The meat looked good quality, minimal fat and had a nice gamey smell to it.
I then cut into it with my knife to flatten it out a bit and added a few slashes so the marinade would take well.
I blitzed oregano, rapeseed oil, garlic, lemon zest + juice, chilli, salt and pepper into a paste then put the meat in a ziplock bag and poured in half the marinade. I put the bag in the fridge and left it for an hour.
I fired up a full chimney of Oxford Charcoal Hardwood Blend and once it was fully lit I spread it out over the base of the BBQ. I left it a few minutes to take then I placed the grill on top and then placed the meat onto the grill. I added some Gorse Wood Chips from Hot Smoked for some local Scottish smokey goodness! I should have thought about it before I grabbed a fistful but they are really spiky! Take care when handling!!
The recipe says it should take about 20 minutes to cook so I checked it after 10 and flipped it over. The colour was looking great.
After 20 minutes the internal temperature was reading 55C so I took the meat off to rest.
The Venison was looking and smelling fantastic. I left it to rest for 10 minutes then cut into it hoping it was pink inside!
Time to Eat:
I sliced the Venison up then chopped some parsley, added it to the remaining marinade and spooned it over the meat.
We also cooked some cracking roast potatoes using the recipe by Kenji (again!).
This was a great meal. Nice to cook some quality local meat and to cook venison on the BBQ for the first time this year. I have some more cuts in the freezer so I will be cooking it more often. The kids both inhaled the dish so it got a big thumbs up from our table which is always nice!
|Cook Equipment:||Weber Kettle|
|Charcoal:||Oxford Charcoal Hardwood Blend|
|Smoking Wood:||Gorse from Hot Smoked|
|Cook time:||20m plus 10m rest|
|Notes:||Handle the Gorse with care!|