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Three marinade recipes for game and venison

Perfect when you're barbecuing this summer

barbecue pheasant marinade

Barbecued pheasant marinade

Why marinate meat?

Planning ahead and creating marinades for game and venison is really worthwhile. So if you’re planning a barbecue, soak the meat in a marinade for a few days before cooking. This will help to tenderise it by breaking down the muscle fibres. Don’t leave it in the marinade for more than three days though as the mixture will start to draw out the moisture from the meat. After soaking the meat, discard a marinade (unless it is part of the recipe).

A marinade usually consists of three basic ingredients – citrus juice, vinegar and water. Here are three marinades for game and venison to try.

A venison marinade

This is particularly good for a roast leg of venison although of course you could also use it to soak venison steaks.


  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4-6 fresh parsley sprigs
  • 4-6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 15 ml black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 750 ml red wine
  • 60 ml vegetable oil


Make the marinade by placing the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, wine and oil in a non-metal dish large enough to hold the venison, then add the venison and turn to coat. Cover the dish and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 days, turning occasionally.

Thanks to chef Jamie Polito at The Cricketers On The Green, Surrey for contributing this recipe.

Light marinade for partridge, quail or rabbit


  • 30g fennel Seeds
  • 20g coriander seeds
  • 10g white peppercorns
  • 1 x Star Anise


Make the marinade by placing the ingredients in a non metal dish. Cover the dish and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 days, turning the meat occasionally.  Thanks to chef Liam Dillon at The Boat Inn for this marinade recipe.

marinades for game

Barbecued pheasant

BBQ pheasant marinade


  • 200g teriyaki sauce
  • 15g oyster sauce
  • 15g tomato ketchup
  • 15g honey
  • 20g brown sugar
  • (This is enough to marinate four pheasant thighs and four pheasant legs)


Make the marinade up and then placing the pheasant legs and thighs in a non-metal dish, pouring the marinade over. Cover with cling film and put in fridge for at least 30 minutes (or a day).

When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180°C. Once hot, arrange the marinated pheasant on a lightly greased roasting tray and cook for 45 minutes, until browned and sticky.

The BBQ pheasant marinade goes perfectly with Asian slaw, which is quick and easy to make.

Asian slaw ingredients

  • 2x large carrots
  • 1/4 red cabbage
  • 1x large leek
  • 20g sesame seeds
  • 100g  mayonnaise
  • 1x lime
  • 15g coriander, chopped
  • 75g peanuts
  • 1x sweetcorn cob


  1. Cut all the vegetables into thin strips, or roughly grate them if you find it easier, and mix with the mayonnaise and sesame seeds.
  2. Season the slaw with a touch of salt and lime juice, add the 15g of chopped coriander and mix well.
  3. Finally, prepare the garnishes. Spread the peanuts evenly on a roasting tray and toast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden-brown. Place the corn under a hot grill until it starts to blister, then slice into pieces.
  4. Once the pheasant is ready, start plating up. Place a handful of the Asian slaw in the middle of each plate or board, and rest a portion of the pheasant on top. Garnish with a sprinkling of the toasted peanuts and a few sprigs of coriander, finish with the corn and serve.

Thanks to the British Game Alliance for this recipe