Loin is one of the most expensive cuts of deer — and it is also one of the tastiest. Here Cai ap Bryn packages up an ‘all-time’ venison favourite. Serves 2-3 people.

These bacon-wrapped venison parcels probably make my all-time favourite venison recipe — it’s a great one to keep up your sleeve for a small dinner party. I know I always say that all recipes are my favourites but, rest assured, this one really sits at the top of the tree.

Venison loin is one of the most expensive cuts from a deer. It’s lean, 
tasty and tender. A lot of people 
would cut them up and cook them as medallions or even wrap them in pastry 
to form a venison wellington. However, 
this parcel is a foolproof and juicy way to make sure the loin retains as much flavour as possible.
In this instance I’m using fallow but red and sika also work well as larger loins are best for this recipe.

Ingredients for bacon wrapped venison parcels

  • 6in trimmed piece 
venison loin (fallow, 
roe or sika)
  • 250g seasoned pork mince (½tsp salt, ½tsp of black pepper, ½tsp of sage)
  • 250g good quality 
streaky bacon
  • 2tbsp ketchup
  • 1tsp soy sauce
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 1tsp tabasco

Method

1. Place the loin on a chopping board and slice a fifth from the bottom all 
along the length, stopping around 5mm from the end. It doesn’t have to be exact, I use this as a guideline. Now push over the thicker end. Use the thinner piece you have cut as a guide and do the same again. Keep doing this until you have a reasonably flat piece of meat.
2. Cover the rolled-out loin in a couple of layers of cling film and gently bash with a steak hammer (or rolling pin) — not too hard but enough to flatten it even more. Once flat, use a sharp knife to square off the sides for presentation.
3. Use a fork to prick the meat all over. I do this to help the fat from the pork to pass through, making it extra moist. It is a great way to stop the meat drying out. Cover the top of the venison with a layer of seasoned sausage meat to almost the same thickness as the venison. On the side furthest away, leave a 1cm gap to ensure that when you roll it over, the sausage meat is not pushed out.
4. Now it is ready to roll. Keep it as tight as possible and roll it back round like a pin wheel. When this is done, sit the loin down with the fold at the bottom, so the weight holds it in place. Either refrigerate it like this or go straight to the next stage.
5. Any meal with bacon in it is always a winner. It is so versatile and excellent, especially for wrapping meat packages. For this, I use streaky bacon. I lay out a whole pack on the prep surface, two or three strips wide with a gentle overlap. Use the rolled loin as a guide to how wide the bacon wrap will need to be. Then, lay an extra two rashers coming out at the ends so they stick out enough to wrap the ends and fold back in. This will probably need around 220g to 250g of good-quality bacon.
6. Once the bacon is laid out, place the loin in the middle. Fold over 
the bacon ends first, which will seal in the end of the loin. Then take one side of bacon and place it over the loin. Roll the loin and bacon over to the remaining side of bacon. Now you should have a sealed and wrapped 
loin of venison.
7. Make sure to roll it over on the bacon creases, to hold it in place.
8. At this point, if you want to or know how to, tie up the parcel 
with butcher’s twine. It helps to keep the bacon firmly in place during cooking. It is not a necessity, but it helps with presentation.

The glaze

I use two tablespoons of ketchup, half a teaspoon of soy sauce, a tablespoon of honey and a teaspoon of Tabasco. Mix together and brush all over the parcel.

Cooking

Preheat oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

Place the parcel on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches around 74°C. The venison and pork must be cooked through as we are using pork mince.

Resting

I cover the parcel in foil and leave for 10 minutes before slicing. This can be served with roasted potatoes, vegetables and a nice, rich jus. A tray of dauphinoise potatoes also goes extremely well with this recipe.