A roast is welcome anytime of the year and there is nothing tastier for a roast than venison. This pot roasted saddle of venison is a quick meal, so don't feel you have to save it for Sunday!
2½b (1.2kg) saddle of venison
450g mushrooms (any type available)
½ bottle red wine
300ml game stock or beef if game
30 asparagus spears
1 large leek
4 cloves garlic
Juice of ½ lemon
For this dish use a well-fatted saddle of venison, rolled and tied as in the picture. Country butchers and gamedealers will be able to prepare the joint for you. As this is a prime cut, roasting time is kept to a minimum.
Use a heavy-bottomed metal skillet with just enough cooking oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add a smashed clove of garlic (sliced garlic can easily burn and turn bitter). Seal the venison on all sides, then transfer to a preheated oven at 180 ̊C/350 ̊F/gas 4.
Check after four minutes and turn before roasting for another four minutes. The entire roasting process will depend on the size of the joint but should take from 10 to 15 minutes for medium rare, longer if you prefer the venison well done. To stop the meat sticking to the pan you can roast it on a bed of thick, raw potato slices.
Test the venison by touch once you have taken it out of the oven. A rare joint will still be spongy and becomes firmer as it cooks through. Again, resting the meat in a warm oven will turn a rare joint to medium rare.
Mushrooms and venison are a perfect combination. Here we have used blewitt mushrooms and some larger eringi ones, which have been sliced and scored before frying until golden. After frying the smaller mushrooms add leek strips, salt and pepper and heat through before serving.
For the asparagus, the preferred cooking method is poach and roast. Boil a kettle, place the trimmed asparagus spears in a pan and half cover with boiling water. Add a knob of butter and cook on a fairly high heat until the water has evaporated and the asparagus has ‘roasted’ in the butter until it is al dente. Season lightly with salt and pepper and finish with lemon juice before serving.