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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

(Kind of a , not really a ) Cookbook post: Leg of Venison

O.K., I've already admitted I have a massive cookbook collection and want to go through them all for blog posts. So what do I make this week- a magazine recipe. I actually found this recipe while flipping through a Field and Stream magazine this past summer at the boyfriend's buddy's house. Here is a link:
I hadn't really though about it again until this past weekend when I was enlisted to help my boyfriend and his friend butcher the deer they had gotten this past gun season. Luckily I remembered and requested that we just leave 2 of the hind legs intact.
I know it kind sound kind of gross to the squeamish, but I thought the butchering process was actually pretty interesting; finding all the cuts of meat, separating muscle from bone, etc...
Anywho, here's what went down. First I got all my spices together: don't they look pretty in their little dishes?
I didn't quite have enough black peppercorns for the recipe, so I substituted these pretty pink ones:
This recipe also gave me a reason to use the Juniper berries I bought awhile back: Their not just for gin anymore:)
Mixed peppercorns and juniper; purty:
And into the coffee grinder: (I find it easier than the crushing called for in the recipe)
My dry rub ingredients, I used dried rosemary and thyme because that's what I had in the house, I'm poor, and fresh herbs are pricey. (I used 1/3 of the fresh amount called for)

The haunch! That is a big hunk of meat.

I completed my rub with the olive oil (more than called for in the recipe, most likely because my herbs were dried and ground finer)and minced garlic, and gave the leg a nice invigorating massage (resist urge to make inappropriate happy ending joke)
The leg was wrapped in plastic and went onto the fridge overnight
And into the oven this bad boy went. In the recipe you bake for an hour, flip and baste, then roast for another hour and flip and baste again. After this you are supposed to pop it back in the oven for another 15 minutes before starting to check the temperature of the thickest portion (looking for 126-129 for rare to medium rare). Luckily I decided to check before continuing and saw that my roast already registered at 160ish- yikes! The roast "rested" for twenty-odd minutes where the potatoes (onion soup mix style) and my friend Nicole's awesome stuffed mushrooms (in the background below) finished up
My carving skills are pretty awful, but this was soooo good! Moist, tender, and delicious. I have heard complaints about venison from others, but honestly I have never had any that tasted off or gamey. I think it all depends on proper cleaning and good cooking. I don't think anyone would guess that this wasn't a lean beef roast without knowing beforehand. I'm sure the rub would work equally well with beef for those without access to venison.
I still have another leg in the freezer- I might just have to pull this one out for a special occasion (it is a LOT of meat); though now that I did this I am tempted to attempt smoking the other one on the grill.

1 comment:

  1. It was Awesome and i could go for some right now! I would love this recipe! Thanks again!