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Venison Haunch Spun Over Fire with Rum Salmuera and Wild Chimichurri​

Venison Haunch Spun Over Fire with Rum Salmuera and Wild Chimichurri

This is a great dish to cook on a lazy Sunday when you have a good few hours to spare. Lovingly tending to a glorious haunch of venison, roasting over the crackling fire! In this recipe, The wild venison haunch is stuffed, tied and cooked slowly. The weight of the leg under the string should be enough to keep it spinning – although every now and again it will need a little helping hand with a quick twist of the wrist.

 We’ve kept the stuffing of this leg super simple with a smattering of garlic and herbs, but that’s not to say that the addition of some fiery n’duja wouldn’t make for a handsome kick of heat if you fancied it (whilst also helping to lubricate the joint).

 

This recipe calls for an incredibly moreish rum salmuera, an Argentinean brine brushed over the meat as it’s cooking, which adds moisture and seasons the meat to its core! 

wild venison, butchery, haunch

 

For this recipe,  we used a beautiful leg from a roe deer that was merrily skipping round a field munching its way through a local farmer’s crops. Deer have a habit of decimating crops as they move through farmland nibbling away as they go. Having relatively small stomachs they need to feed between 8-12 times a day –  now that’s a lot of food!

Roe deer are often seen as both a positive and negative influence in the countryside. They can cause damage to young woodlands and agricultural crops, thus many landowners utilise the stalking of Roe deer and the sale of venison as a substantial supplementary income. It really is essential to balance the needs of a sustainable healthy population of deer with those of the environment.

So pull up a chair, pop the cork of a nice bottle of plonk and watch as the venison transforms before your eyes into a stunning roast for the family.

For the rum salmuera

ingredients

80 ml Spiced rum
100 ml Soy
50 g Sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
20 ml Water
1 tbsp Salt
Bunch of rosemary
1 stick or wooden spoon

salmuera, brine

Making the Salmuera

 

Take a large bunch of rosemary and a tie around a hazel stick or wooden spoon.

Set your herby wand to the side until later.

Place the rest of the rum salmuera ingredients into a pot.

Bring to the boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Set aside to cool.

For the wild chimichurri

ingredients

½ bunch parsley
Large handful of ground ivy

Small basket full of nettles, blanched, refreshed and patted dry

If you cant find ground ivy or nettles you can use ½ bunch of oregano
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2 spring onions, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
A good drizzle of olive oil
1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice and zest of one lime
Salt and pepper

chimichurri, wild food, foraging

For the wild chimichurri

 

Finely chop the herbs and place into a bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients, season well and mix everything together.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed​

For the venison

ingredients

1 Haunch of venison, thigh bone removed
3 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs rosemary
6 sprigs thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

venison, wild food,

Stuff your haunch of venison

 

Finely chop the garlic, rosemary and thyme.

Scatter this over the inside of the leg and season well with salt and pepper.​

butchers knot, butchery, stuffed haunch

Tie up the haunch

 

Roll your joint back up and tie three strings around it to hold it nice and tight.

Tie another string through the tendon and around the leg, creating a loop that we can hang the leg from.​

 

Make a hanging loop

 

Roll your joint back up and tie three strings around it to hold it nice and tight.

Tie another string through the tendon and around the leg creating a loop that we can hang the leg from.

wild food, fire, food over fire

 

Allow the venison to come up to room temperature so that it cooks more evenly over the fire.

 

So now we have everything ready, it’s time to set our fire. Gather some nice dry tinder, kindling and a wheelbarrow full of logs.

 

Light a fire in the base of a fire pit, once lit we are looking to create a wall of fire so build up a pile of logs to one side of your bowl raking some coals into a bed in the centre. In other words, we are aiming for a nice radiant heat from the pile of logs to cook the haunch indirectly.

 

Rub the wild venison haunch with some rape seed oil and season liberally with salt and pepper, using the loop of string hang the haunch from a hook on a tripod over your fire.

 

Carefully place your hand just in front of the venison, you need to be able to hold your hand there for around 10 seconds. If it’s too hot rake the fire away a little and if too cool a little closer. Place a cast iron skillet under the leg to catch any juices that drip from the leg.

 

Start Basting and Stoke That Fire

 

After about 15 minutes apply the first coat of salmuera marinade, using the rosemary brush. Do this every 10-15 minutes brushing the salmuera all over.

 

Keep feeding the fire wall with logs to keep a consistent heat through out, checking that the venison is close enough by holding your hand in front of the leg for 10 seconds.

venison, wild food, fire, food over fire

Are we done yet?

 

Your venison haunch will need between 2 to 2 1/2 hours depending on it’s size, an instant read thermometer is a really handy tool to check if it’s done. We’re looking for a core temperature of 57.c for medium rare.

 

Remove the venison from the fire when the thermometer reads 50.c as the temperature of the haunch will continue to rise a the meat rests. Place the venison in a tray with any extra meat juices from the skillet and rest covered with foil.

 

Rest the venison haunch for at least 15 minutes before carving.​

wild food, fire, food over fire

Time to carve!

 

Carve slices of the stuffed venison haunch and drizzle over the wild chimichurri.


Charred purple sprouting broccoli is the perfect accompaniment to your fire roast venison. Explore more of our recipes below!​

Photo Credit

Simon Weller

Venison Sourced From

Tom G / Local Stalker

Our Foraging tips

Before you set off there are a few foraging guidelines to keep in mind to avoid any injury to yourself or the natural habitats you encounter.

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Always forage small amounts for personal use, leaving adequate produce for animals and insects to indulge on, as well as other foragers! 

IF IN DOUBT, LEAVE IT OUT.

Only eat something if you are 100% sure of its identification, as some plants can make you unwell, or worse still – some are even deadly. Books are very helpful for this; one of our favourites is ‘Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland‘, ‘Food for Free‘ and ‘The Forager’s Handbook‘. Websites and social media groups can also be helpful, but make sure you trust the source entirely before you eat your finds

PICK FROM PLENTIFUL PLANTS

Only forage from plants that have produced plenty of fruit as the plant depends on this to reproduce.

WATCH YOUR STEP

Choose carefully how you access your foraging finds. Avoid crushing plants and habitats underfoot whilst hunting for wild foods.

LEAVE ROOM FOR RE-GROWTH

Avoid taking too much twig and never uproot a plant so that it is always able to regrow after you have foraged from it.

BE PREPARED

Your foraging kit should include – a small legal carry knife or secateurs, gloves to protect your hands from plants that may sting (the humble nettle) and thorns, and a basket/container or three. Don’t forget to wear long trousers and long-sleeved tops to protect your arms and legs from natural nasties such as ticks (find out more about ticks here.)

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