Roast Venison: A Classic Scottish Recipe

by Jennifer Iannolo

Scotland is famous for the quality and preparation of its venison. Jennifer discovered this recipe in her Scottish grandmother’s cooking notes, which though yellowed with age, still have a powerful ability to inspire visions of flavor. This recipe initially called for a two-day marinating time, as it was used for freshly killed meat. If you are sourcing your venison from a reputable purveyor, you can reduce the marinating time to several hours.

Serves 12

Ingredients

1 6-lb. venison roast (approximate)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
½ lb. salt pork or bacon, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the marinade:
1 750ml bottle of Burgundy wine
1 clove garlic
1 bay leaf
1 carrot
1 onion
4 tablespoons olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
Sprig of fresh rosemary

Preparation

Prepare the marinade:
Add 4 tablespoons olive oil to a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and place over medium heat. Slice and peel the onion and carrot, add to the olive oil, and reduce heat to low. Cook gently until tender, but do not allow to brown. Remove from heat.

Combine onion and carrots with other marinade ingredients in a large glass or ceramic bowl (large enough to submerge roast at least halfway) and place the meat into the liquid. Soak for 2 days, turning several times a day. When ready, remove from the liquid and dry with a clean cloth.

[Chef’s Note: If you are sourcing your venison meat from a high-quality purveyor, reduce the marination time to 4 hours, turning the meat every 30 minutes.]

Prepare the roast:
Heat the butter and oil in an oven-safe skillet. Add the diced salt pork or bacon, and fry until crisped. Add the venison and brown on all sides.

Reduce the marinade to half by boiling it rapidly on top of the stove for at least one minute, and strain it through a fine sieve. Season to taste, and pour over venison. Cover skillet with a tightly-fitting lid and bake at 325˚ for 30 minutes per pound of meat.

Prepare a pan sauce:
½ cup port wine
1 tablespoon red currant jelly
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
Pan juices from venison roast

Strain the pan juices through a sieve and simmer on high heat until reduced by half. In the meantime, add the flour and butter to a small bowl and rub together with your fingers. Add to the sauce to thicken, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add port and current jelly, and serve over or alongside the venison.

Recipe by Jennifer Iannolo

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