Pot-roast venison with root vegetables
An inner muscle from a good-sized deer won’t take too much cooking at all and, like a fillet of beef, should be cooked quite rare. A cut like this really needs very little doing to it, but again, if the meat is from a young animal, you may just want to give it a brief overnight marinade. You can use whatever root vege-tables you can get your hands on, such as carrots, swedes, parsnips or Jerusalem artichokes.
1 or 2 inner muscle joints from the haunch weighing about 1kg–1.2kg
1tbspn vegetable or corn oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper Marinade if required, consisting of red wine, crushed juniper berries and black peppercorns, thyme and bay leaf
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced in 1cm thick slices on the slant
2 medium parsnips, peeled if necessary, halved lengthways and cut into chunks
250g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved if large
1 small swede, peeled and cut into similar sized chunks as the rest of the vegetables
4 medium onions, peeled and quartered
A few sprigs of thyme
1 glass of port
Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 5. Place the vegetables in a tight-fitting casserole with the butter and thyme, then season. Cover and cook in the oven for one hour, stirring every so often until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, season the venison, heat the vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan and brown the meat. Place the meat on the vegetables and cook for 12–15 minutes, keeping it rare and basting it a couple of times. Depending on its thickness, it may take a little longer or shorter, so keep checking it and make sure it doesn’t overcook. Remove the meat and leave it to rest on a plate to catch the juices. Place the pan with the vegetables on the stove on a medium heat, pour in the port and cook on a high heat, stirring the vegetables every so often until they’re nicely glazed. Slice the meat in thick-ish chunks and serve on top of the vegetables.