- 750g wild venison haunch
- 1 garlic bulb
- A handful of rosemary, leaves only
- 8 juniper berries
- 8 shallots
- A handful of thyme
- 40g honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Get started: Pull 1 clove from the garlic bulb. Peel and finely slice it. Pick the leaves from the rosemary sprigs. Tip 8 juniper berries into a mortar and crush with pestle, or use a small bowl and the bottom of a jam jar, or the end of a rolling pin, to crush them.
Cooking indoors: Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Remove all packaging and string from the meat. Make 1½cm-deep incisions in it, about 12 in total, spaced out across the joint. Poke a sliver of garlic and a few rosemary leaves into each hole (keep a little rosemary for later). Rub with 1 tbsp olive oil, some salt, pepper and the crushed juniper. Let the joint sit for 30 mins to come to room temperature.
Pop the venison and the remaining garlic in a tin and slide into the oven. Roast for 40 mins for medium-rare, or add 10-15 mins for a more welldone haunch. Pop on a plate to rest for 30 mins.
While the venison roasts, peel and halve the shallots. Take a large square of kitchen foil and add the shallots, along with the remaining rosemary, the honey, thyme sprigs, 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss everything together and fold the foil into a loose parcel. Slide into the oven and roast for 20-25 mins while the venison rests.
Slice the venison thinly and serve with the honeyed shallots and roast garlic cloves.
Cooking Outdoors: Light your barbecue and let cool to a medium heat. Unwrap the meat and unroll it to flatten out. Make 1½cm-deep incisions in the joint, about 12 in total, spaced out across the meat. Poke a sliver of garlic and a few rosemary leaves into each hole (keep a little rosemary for later). Rub with 1 tbsp olive oil, seasoning and the crushed juniper.
Place the joint on the hottest part of the barbecue and cook for 2-5 mins each side, till well coloured. Move to the coolest part and cover. Barbecue for 30-35 mins, then pop on a board. Rest for 20 mins.
Meanwhile, peel and halve the shallots. Take a large square of kitchen foil and add the shallots, remaining rosemary, the honey, thyme, 1 tbsp oil and a pinch of seasoning. Toss together and fold the foil into a loose parcel. While the meat rests, pop the parcel onto the coolest part of the grill. Cook for 25 mins, till the shallots are caramelised.
Slice the venison thinly and serve with the honeyed shallots and roasted garlic cloves.
Know your grill: When lighting your barbecue, lay the bulk of your coals to one side, gently sloping 3/4 of the way to the other side. This helps to regulate the heat, giving you fierce 'direct' heat to brown your meat over, and gently 'indirect' heat to slowly finish it off.
Game for a barbecue?
The subtle rich gaminess of venison lends itself perfectly to cooking over the coals. When the meat is on the grill, carefully use your fingers to prod the meat to test how well it is cooked (making sure you don't burn them), much as you would a steak. Lean venison is best eaten medium-rare, so look for firm texture with a slight spring.
Next week in the Summer Roast Box:
Harissa Pulled Lamb. That's right, lamb so soft that it can be shredded with the merest suggestion of two forks.
Something on the side?
Next week our recipe maestro Jassy has magicked up some Super Salads that will provide the complete seasonal feast. Her Turkish Shepherd's Salad with Toasted Flatbreads is just crying out for a pile of spicy, meltingly tender lamb. You can order the Super Salad Box on our website.