Cooking a deer roast to a moist and tender state requires a combination of a tenderizing agent, such as a marinade, and a moist-heat cooking method, such as braising. Although the spices used in a marinade can vary according to personal tastes, it must contain an acid, such as red wine, to create the enzyme action needed to uncoil the dense, tightly wound protein fibers that contribute to a chewy texture. The liquid used for braising also allows for choice regarding personal taste, as stock, ale or even water generate enough steam during cooking to dissolve the connective tissue that makes venison tough.
Things You'll Need
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- Food-storage container
- Heavy-duty food-storage bag
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for searing
- 1/2 cup tannic red wine
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Shallow baking dish
- Stock, water or other braising liquid
- Olive oil
- Cast-iron skillet
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 chopped celery stalks
- 1 chopped carrot
- 1 California bay leaf
- 3 black peppercorns
- Aluminum foil
- Meat thermometer
Mix together one gallon of cold water and 1 tbsp. of kosher salt in a food-storage container and place the deer roast in it. Cover the roast with ice, cover and place on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Purge the deer roast in the ice water for two hours and remove. Rinse the roast in cool-running water and pat dry. Place the deer roast in a heavy-duty food-storage bag.
Mix together 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of tannic red wine, 2 tbsp. of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp. of lemon juice, three crushed garlic cloves, 1 tsp. of kosher salt and 1 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper and pour it in the food-storage bag with the deer roast. Place the toast in a shallow baking dish and place it in the refrigerator.
Marinate the deer for 24 hours. Turn the bag over halfway through marinating. Coat a cast-iron skillet with olive oil and place it over high heat.
Sear the deer roast on all sides until golden-brown, approximately five minutes total. Transfer the roast to a baking dish.
Pour enough stock or water in the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the roast. Heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Add one chopped onion, two chopped celery stalks, one chopped carrot, one California bay leaf and three black peppercorns to the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
Braise the venison one hour for every pound until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately four hours for a 3 to 4 lb. roast.