One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to go deer hunting. Even better than that for me is being able to take the time to butcher the deer myself. I am still working out the best way to butcher a deer, but have gotten pretty good at breaking down an animal and packaging it. When I breakdown the hind quarters I usually break it down into three large pieces of meat. There is something very satisfying to me about bringing and animal home breaking it down and putting it in the freezer. I know that my deer, the one I hunted and shot, is in the freezer. Growing up I went hunting with my father and grandfather and when we shot deer my dad would take it to the local butcher and we would get our deer back in 3-5 weeks. The deer I shot this year was shot on a Friday and in my freezer on Sunday. There was no waiting and no doubt that the deer I shot was the one I put in the freezer. I can not say that of the deer I shot in my youth. So to celebrate this I treated myself to a larded venison roast. I love the flavors that thyme and rosemary add to venison. If you get a chance give this recipe a try, I think you will enjoy it.
2 Lbs. venison roast
1/2 Lbs. bacon
2 cloves of garlic cut into slivers
2 Tbls. unsalted butter cut into slivers plus a tablespoon for the roasting pan
2 tsp. dry thyme
2 tsp. dry rosemary
The rump roast as I call it is a nice piece of meat and very lean. The trick to cooking it is to not dry it out. I find the best way to do this is to cook it at a lower temperature and add some fat. So what I like to do is to make incisions into the meat and into each incision I add a sliver of garlic and a sliver of unsalted butter. Next I like to add Rosemary and Thyme and then wrap the whole thing in bacon. Using butchers twine I tie the bacon around the roast and then brown the whole thing over medium heat on the stove top, about 2 minutes per side. I transfer the roast to a roasting pan and add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Leave the bacon grease in the pan for use later. Then into the oven at 275 degrees for 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 155 degrees. Baste the roast every thirty minutes.
Roasted Root Vegetables
2 small turnips
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
To serve with this I really like Root vegetables. Cut up some leeks, yams, parsnips and turnips and toss with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the pan with the bacon grease and stir to coat. Add some rosemary and thyme and put in the oven with the roast. Stir the vegetables at the same time you baste the roast. After two hours or so remove the roast and the vegetables from the oven and let the roast stand for 5 to 10 minutes then slice and serve. I like to pour some the juices in the roasting pan over the meat.
What you end up with is a beautiful and warm meal that really makes you feel like you have done something right with your life. The meat is tender and juicy and delicious and the vegetables have wonderful earthy flavor that compliment the meat. There really is nothing better on a cool fall evening, I had a glass of Guinness with my dinner and it was perfect. My wife who has said over and again that she didn't like venison really enjoyed it as well.