Tips For a Venison Roast Please?
A friend of mine is an avid hunter, but not a seasoned chef, and asked if I'd make him a roast with some of his venison. The cut of meat he's given me is about 4 lbs and he just calls it a "rump roast," but because his father processes their catch he couldn't tell me exactly where on the deer it came from (ie. top, bottom, etc.).
So far I've placed the roast in my refrigerator for a few reasons. One to thaw it, two to dry age it for a few days (dinner is Saturday) and lastly because it's a bit freezer burned in places and I want to be able to carve those portions away. Beyond that, can I go ahead and cook this like any other red meat/beef roast? I'm thinking it should be kept on the rarer side, maybe roast to 130 degrees for a medium-rare roast at the most because most game animals are fairly lean.
Any other tips or specific recipes that I could use as guidelines would be much appreciated, thanks.
You are absolutely correct that venison needs to be cooked rare or med-rare. You can't cook venison like a beef tenderloin, standing rib, etc. unless you have the loin, which I doubt, because it would be obvious to you that you had a long, cylindrical piece that looks like a miniature beef tenderloin. A hunter might call that piece the "backstrap".
I think your only choice is to braise it. I have made the braesolo (i'm sure I've spelled that wrong) from the Zuni cookbook with a venison and roast, and it turned out nice. You cook the roast slowly in a dutch oven w/ beef stock and red wine, if I remember correctly. It's a homey dish, nice for winter served w/ white bean or some other vegetable puree.
Or, you can cut it into cubes and use a beef burgandy or daube recipe. It's actually a lot easier to get the meat to be tender in cubes.
Hope that helped.