Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slow roasted venison: amazing!

I recently made a slow cooked 31/2 pound venison roast; it was roasted with a raisin/orange juice sauce that gave it a wonderfully sweet taste. There is enough of the raisin concoction to use as a condiment served with the meal, as well.
It cooked in the oven for over 4 hours, but, wow, was it worth the wait! I've had venison roasts often over the years, but rarely used them because I wasn't sure how to cook them; plus, some of my escapades with the cut were chewy and dry: Figured it out!!
The recipe is from a fantastic book by Shannon Hayes, called "The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook": Love this book! If you cook grass fed meats, I suggest you pick up a copy; every recipe seems better than the next.
As usual, I support grass fed (pastured) meats because of the incredible nutritional value; the support to local and small farmers; and the environmentally sound and more humane approach. Funny, but I just commented on an article written by a vegan who was bashing the organic poultry and meat farmers. The commercial organic farmers are guilty of all the crimes he suggested, but I brought up the need to let his readers know about pastured animals for the reasons I mentioned above.
Hope you try the recipe and the grass fed meats! Here's the recipe:

For the raisin sauce:
2 T unsalted butter
1 sm. onion, finely diced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
2 c. raisins
1/3 c honey
2 c fresh orange juice
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
2 T orange zest

For the roast:
Oregano-Salt Rub
   1 t dried rosemary
   2 T dried oregano
   2 t coarse salt
   1 t freshly ground black pepper
1 venison raost, about 3 pounds
4 slices thick-cut bacon (also grass fed if possible)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
To make the raisin sauce: Heat the butter in a medium-size saucepan. Add the onion and apple, and saute over medium heat until soft. Add the raisins, and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in the honey and the orange and lemon juices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook until the sauce is reduced by one-third. Add the zest, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes longer.
Using a potato masher, squash half of the fruit to blend it with the liquid. Remove 3/4 cup of the sauce ot use for basting the roast. Reserve the rest to serve alongside the cooked meat.
Rub the Oregano-Salt Rub into the meat. Lay the strips of bacon on top of the roast, blanketing it as completely as possible. Set the meat on a rack in a roasting pan. roast for 30 minutes at 250 degrees, basting at least twice with the raisin sauce. Turn the heat down to 170 degrees, insert a meat thermometer, and cook until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 130-135 degrees, about 3-4 hours. Baste every 30 minutes with the raisin sauce.
Remove the roast from the oven, and tent loosely with foil. Allow the meat to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before carving. Spoon any pan juices on top of the sliced venson adn bacon, and pass the reserved raisin sauce seperately.


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