Pot-roasted venison with juniper, shallots and bacon

Pot-roasted venison with juniper, shallots and bacon

By
From
Meat
Serves
6
Photographer
Dean Cambray

Game meats, whether furry or feathered, are naturally very lean and nearly always need some sort of extra fat added to stop them drying out. Barding is a simple and effective method where you drape or wrap the meat in fat. Lardo (salted, cured pork back fat) is perfect for this dish, but smoky bacon or pancetta will also do the job.

This is a deceptively simple dish that results in lovely moist meat. And I find the rather herbal and aromatic flavour of juniper goes brilliantly with venison’s intense flavour. Try to use a casserole dish that will contain the meat snugly. I sit the shallots and garlic cloves underneath the meat so they caramelise and melt during the long, slow cooking. If you like, they can then be blended into some of the reduced cooking liquid, or a cup of jus, to make a beautifully tasty sauce.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg venison topside or silverside
salt
freshly ground black pepper
200g thick-cut rashers smoky bacon or lardo
75g butter
10 shallots
3 garlic cloves
2 juniper berries
1 tablespoon sage, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
2 cups good-quality chicken stock

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Season the venison all over with salt and pepper then drape the surface neatly with slices of bacon or lardo.
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy-based casserole dish. When it sizzles, add the shallots, garlic, juniper berries and herbs and sauté for 5 minutes until they begin to colour and soften. Add the stock to the casserole and bring it to the boil. Place the venison in the casserole, barded-side up – the stock should come no more than half-way up the meat. Place in the oven and roast for around 1 hour. Check from time to time to ensure the bacon is not browning too quickly. If it does, cover the casserole with foil.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow the venison to rest for 15 minutes before serving with the pan juices.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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