The success of today’s Sunday roast has left me no choice but to focus a post upon it. It was just described as “possibly the best roast ever”, and I agreed that it was certainly up there in the top 5!
Its roots were in the meeting of The Wild Game Co at Broadway Market on Saturday, where Andy (complete with Kilt!) recommended the boned shoulder of venison and was so enthusiastic about it I couldn’t resist. I like the fact that the produce is sourced from his family’s game-butchery up in the Scottish Highlands and that apparently he could have told me where and by whom it was shot, but I wasn’t too fussed by the detail, it looked lovely.
The stall really stood out with some stuffed game birds hanging from the frame, antlers on top of the counter and a really beautiful display of fresh game. I also really love the packaging – to me, it makes game more approachable, less messy and a little less scary. I haven’t cooked with it a huge amount which is probably because I’m a little lazy and always thought it would take a lot of effort to buy and cook.
I bought the venison along with some pheasant thighs (stew made ready to eat with dumplings in the week), and took a mental note of the recipe that Andy recommended. I am far from a proficient recipe writer, but if you would like to replicate what could be one of your best roasts ever, follow the instructions below.
Ingredients (this served 2, but can easily be increased to serve more)
Boned shoulder of venison
300ml venison/ beef/ lamb stock (I used a Knorr lamb stock cube)
300ml red wine
3 carrots each cut into 8 large batons
1- 2 parsnips also cut into 8 large batons
1 medium onion, quartered
1 tbsp port/ rowan/ redcurrant jelly (I had some port jelly in the cupboard so used that)
4 cloves garlic
A few sprigs of rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Place all vegetables into medium sized roasting tin and place venison on top. Add liquid and spread fruit based jelly on top of meat and season. Cover with foil and tighten around the sides of the roasting tin. Place in oven and check after 2 hours. I needed to give the meat a wiggle and settle it further into the juices so that it didn’t dry out too much.
The meat will be best after 3-4 hours depending on its size, so half an hour before you wish to eat take out all the parsnips and all but 2 – 3 of the carrots and place onto another baking tray with some olive oil to crisp them up. After another 10 minutes take the meat out and wrap in foil to rest. Pour all the juices and remaining veg through a sieve into a small saucepan and mash/ squidge through as much as you can. I found my ‘jus’ a little thin so then added a teaspoon of cornflour with water to thicken.
All you need to do now is slice the meat and plate up with the crispy, caramelised vegetables, fresh cabbage and the rich sauce to top it. I also had a little redcurrant jelly on the side, but it already has a lovely sweetness running through it.
Whether you try this recipe or not, I would certainly recommend giving game a go!