You might struggle to find a shoulder joint of venison on supermarket shelves but you should be able to request one from your local butcher. Doing so is well worth the effort: venison shoulder makes a delicious Sunday roast and the meat can be used in a wide variety of tasty pies and casseroles. However, this joint contains very little fat and it can easily dry out when cooked at a high temperature. It therefore benefits from cooking sous vide, since this method uses a very low temperature and locks in moisture.
- 1 venison shoulder weighing approximately 1.5kg
- 15g of rock salt
- 1 sprig of thyme, finely chopped
- 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 50ml of vegetable oil
- Mix together the chopped herbs, the garlic and the salt and massage into the venison shoulder. Set aside for 6 hours to cure.
- While the venison is curing, preheat the water bath to a temperature of 85⁰C.
- Wipe the venison all over with kitchen paper to brush off any excess salt, then seal the joint inside a large vacuum bag with the vegetable oil.
- Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 8 hours.
- Remove the joint from the vacuum bag, quickly fry in a hot pan and serve. Alternatively, strip the meat from the bone for use in another dish, such as a pie or casserole.
To enhance the depth of flavour in the meat, place the cured raw joint in a hot pan and sear on all sides, then seal it inside the vacuum bag with the oil plus 50ml of reduced red wine and 100ml of beef or veal stock.
You could also try adding different herbs and spices to the salt rub. Juniper, star anise and bay leaf would all work well.
Use your sous-vide venison shoulder to make a hearty main for a winter weekend. You might like to try the Galvin brothers’ Daube of venison with quince and chestnuts or James Mackenzie’s Venison and juniper suet pudding with chanterelle mushrooms.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com