I’m going to wrap up my Riverford Organic month with the final item from the meat box, and it’s a goody. A beautiful haunch of venison, boned and rolled at a petite 650g. I had previously cooked another venison dish from the same box – see venison goulash – but this joint seemed to come from an altogether different breed. It felt so velvety smooth and did the weird thing when you press it and it doesn’t spring back (I guess that’s like edema.. which is gross).
People have differing views on how to cook venison joints – some say it needs to be ‘larded’ to avoid drying out i.e. wrapped in bacon. But some, like me, don’t like the taste of bacon. So I went for a very simple rendition with a Japanese twist, as inspired by this beef joint recipe on the Riverford website.
Teriyaki venison haunch
The joint was marinaded in a teriyaki sauce overnight:
- 3 tbsps dark soya sauce
- 3 tbsps Chinese cooking wine or sherry
- 2 tbsps sugar
- Minced ginger and garlic
- Black pepper
To roast, I put it in the oven at 220C for 15 minutes. Then I reduced the heat to 180C. After a little trial and error, I managed to cook the joint to rare after a further 25 minutes in the oven. Perhaps the joint and/or my oven was a little cold, but it needed more time than advised.
While the venison was resting, I used the remaining marinade to make a sauce, to which two tsps horseradish sauce were added to give it a spicy kick. I served thin slices of the venison on a rocket, watercress and spinach salad, drizzled with extra virgin oil and the hot teriyaki sauce.
The haunch was visually beautiful, so so tender, with a game duck-like flavour balanced perfectly by the sweetness of the glaze and kick of the horseradish. The trick to maintaining moisture is to cook it rare, and quickly. It was definitely one of my favourite dishes I’ve cooked so far, and Chris agreed! If you ever need an introduction to venison, then this is the way to try it.