Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Venison haunch, chocolate oil

I had friends around for dinner on Friday, which gave me a good excuse to do something with the venison haunch I had been saving in the freezer. I hadn't cooked this cut of venison before, but I thought it would benefit from cooking sous vide. There is very little fat in venison, so sealing in all the juices could only work in its favour (larding is recommended if roasting conventionally).

I took a gamble and cooked it medium rare: an hour and a half in a 54.5℃ water bath worked a treat, yielding beautifully pink and tender meat. (Holding the meat for a while in a water bath at this temperature will do it no harm, so this is also a great way to cook if your guests are driving from Oxford and liable to get stuck in traffic.) Just before serving, I seared it quickly in a smoking hot pan. The chocolate oil was a bit of a gimmick, but worked well with the venison.

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