Try Venison this Christmas
Dependant on how many people you are cooking for this festive period, there are two ‘prime’ cuts – a saddle of venison will feed about four to six, or you can go for a roast haunch of venison which will do about six to eight.
Venison has a tendency of being easily overcooked, so to keep it tender, you’re going to want to give it a good basting. You’ll want to go for a slow, long cook to prevent over drying of the meat.
An amazing way of giving your venison a more ‘traditional’ feel is to create a stuffing to use – this can be rolled up inside the joint, which should then be retied. You can also stick your joint with spears of venison fat to help it lard – this is optional. You’ll want to keep your joint wrapped tightly in foil for all but the last 40 or so minutes depending on size – where you’ll then want to just use the foil to cover the whole cooking tray. Allowing it to cook the last bit with the foil over the tin will get the juices flowing. Throughout the cooking process you’ll want to baste regularly and let the meat to rest for about half an hour once you’re done.
So why not stuff turkey this Christmas and try out something new and sure to be delicious.
Matt’s tips for a stress-free (ish) Christmas lunch
Prepare your vegetables the night before. This tip isn’t just for restaurants – all vegetables can be done ahead of time. If you want to be super-prepared, you can braise your red cabbage up to a month ahead of time and freeze it, it keeps exceptionally well.
Turkey is obviously the traditional choice, but a rolled turkey breast will feed up to a dozen people. Why not do that and a Christmas ham as well – something else that can be done the day before, and makes great Boxing Day sandwiches.
If you do decide to do a whole bird, then make sure you butter it and cover it in tin foil to keep the moisture in and prevent it from drying out. Cook it slow and low and allow at least an hour resting time before you carve it up for eating.
Related Articles: A Very Oxfordshire Christmas Dinner