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Leg of Venison

Asked by FifiRough. Answered on 28th September 2013

Full question

Hi I've just received a small leg of wild venison (the result of a controlled cull) and I have frozen it until my parents come over from France. Do you think it would be wise to marinate it or would it be OK to roast as is? It's about the size of a leg of lamb Thanks. Fiona

Our answer

Wild meat can often be more flavoursome than the farm-readed variety, but it can also be leaner and sometimes tougher depending on its age and the terrain that it lived in. The rump part of the leg will be more tender than the lower (shank) part.

By all means marinate the leg first if you like, and use a small, sharp, pointed knife to make incisions into the meat to help the marinade penetrate. You could then try as a guideline a recipe such as Nigella's recipe for Gigot Boulangere (from How To Eat) as this uses a leg of lamb about 2 1/4 kg in weight (bone in). The recipe yields pink, but not underdone, meat. One of the advantages of this recipe is that the meat sits on a bed of sliced potatoes which gives a slightly moister environment for cooking, as well as giving a ready-made side dish.

If you are worried that the meat could be very tough then slow roasting may be more helpful, though this is usually better for slightly fattier cuts of meat. You could look at Nigella's Shoulder Of Lamb, With Garlic, Thyme, Black Olives and Rose Wine (from Kitchen) as a guideline and you could switch the rose for red wine for the winter. As the meat is covered and has some liquid in the cooking tin then this will help to keep a leaner cut moist.

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