Saddle of venison with juniper and rosemary

Recipe for an elegant feast

Recipes

Saddle of venison is characterised by its delicate flavour – perhaps that’s because the deer themselves are foodies! They always seek out the most tender shoots. Juniper berries give the dish a fruity, sharp note.

Deer are not just shy forest dwellers, they’re also gourmets. They love young, vitamin-rich shoots and buds and fresh leaves – and as a result their meat is extremely healthy and tender. It is the most delicious of all game. As a flight animal, deer are always on their guard and on the move so they don’t tend to put on fat. At around 100 calories per 100 grams, their meat is extremely lean compared to pork or beef. The tender venison is also usually wild, as the animals are not raised in a barn but usually left to grow up in their natural habitat. The juniper berries give the dish a fruity, sharp flavour. The berries contain essential oils that can promote digestion, and create an explosion of flavour when combined with aromatic rosemary.

Preparation time: 60-70 minutes
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes
Portions: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 saddle of venison (approx. 1,500 g)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary or 1 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 150 g bacon slices
  • 400 ml game stock
  • 200 ml cream
  • 2 tbsp sauce thickener
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Utensils: Roasting pan

Recommended setting:
Function: Top/bottom heat
Temperature: 200-210°C
Oven position: second-lowest shelf
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes + preheating

Alternative oven setting:
Function: Fan plus
Temperature: 190-200°C
Oven position: second-lowest shelf
Cooking time: 35-40 minutes + preheating

Hob setting:
Level: 9-8
Cooking time: 1-2 minutes

Preparation:

  1. Coarsely crush peppercorns and juniper berries and mix with oil, rosemary leaves and crushed garlic.
  2. Score the venison along the top of the bone and brush with the marinade.
  3. Pre-heat the oven. Season the meat with salt and pepper and cover it with bacon, place it in the roasting pan and place it in the preheated oven.
  4. After 20 minutes, add half of the stock and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the remaining stock.
  5. Remove the meat and leave it to rest wrapped in foil for around 10 minutes. Sieve the stock and add cream. Stir in sauce thickener and bring to the boil.
  6. Remove the venison from the bone, carve and serve with the sauce.

Tip: The sauce can be refined with dry red wine to taste.

Photo: © Miele

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