Smoked Haunch of Venison with Rosemary & Thyme
Choose hindquarter from a younger deer. We prefer 1½-year-old deer; they're old enough that you'll get a nice-size ham but not too old that the meat will be tough. Each hindquarter has two parts: the femur (rounds and sirloin) and the tibia/fibula (shanks). For this recipe, you will only use the meat on the femur. Save the shanks for osso buco or braising later.
Unless your deer was small, chances are, you'll get more than 2½ pounds of meat per ham– trim and tie the meat as you see fit to accommodate your guest list size. Obviously, the bigger the roast, the longer it will take to cook. Figure about 20-25 minutes per pound at 275 degrees.
|Photo Credit: https://grantsofspeyside.co.uk/|
You'll notice that there are no measurements for the herb paste below– make as much or as little paste as you like. We go pretty heavy on ours. Though you can't go wrong with the flavors of rosemary, garlic and thyme during the holidays, feel free to make your own herb rub or paste. You can also wrap the roast in bacon.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- 2½ pounds of de-boned venison hindquarter, minus shank
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Herb paste: bunch of fresh thyme, rosemary, and several cloves of garlic
Special equipment: kitchen twine, probe thermometer
2. Prepare smoker and set temperature to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. While smoker is preheating, heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Pat the meat dry with paper towels. When the oil begins to smoke, quickly sear the meat on all sides for a golden crust.
3. Take meat off heat. To make the herb paste, remove leaves from thyme and rosemary and chop finely. Crush several cloves of garlic and combine with the herbs. Spread it all over the roast. Insert your probe thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, but not passing through to the other side.
4. Smoke the meat at 275 degrees until the internal temperature reads 125 degrees, about 1 hour. Take the meat off the heat and wrap loosely in foil to allow the roast to rest and carry over to 135 degrees for medium rare.
After the roast has come to temperature and has rested for at least 10 minutes, remove and discard kitchen twine. Slice and serve with cranberry or any dark berry-type chutney. This meal was delicious with roasted potatoes and Yorkshire pudding with gravy.