/ Cooking a leg of venison outside

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Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
I'm off to one of my best mates 40th birthday celebrations at a campsite in N Wales in a couple of weeks. He has asked if people can bring various things as well as perform various roles during the weekend and there's a competitive element to it...

Driving home from work a couple of days ago I spotted something in the verge that warranted further investigation and what I discovered was a very clean red deer stag road kill. So I put it in the back of my van and took it home to perform a 'post mortem' and discovered that it had injuries consistent with being struck by a car impacting the chest on the right hand side leading to broken ribs and a punctured lung. Anyway, an hour or so later I had approximately 17lbs of venison in my freezer including two leg haunches weighing about 6lb each.

So, the question is, how to cook one of the haunches at a campsite? Fires are allowed as long as they are in a pit of some sort as are BBQ's.

Options I have considered are:

1) Take my hand wound meat grinder and make burgers and sausages from the meat and then BBQ.

2) Pre-cook the meat slowly before hand then BBQ to re-heat and brown it.

3) Pit roast it in an old beer keg. I know where there are two 22gal beer kegs in a verge which I could cut in half with my angle grinder. I'd then fill it 2/3rds full with sand, build a nice big fire, leave it to die back to embers then bury the haunch for an hour or so. I could even pour some beer in to create a steamer?

4) Flash roast. I'd have to de-bone it then tie with butchers string then wrap in tinfoil. I'd then chuck it directly into hot embers for 12-15 minutes turning once, rest it for 20 minutes and then serve it rare or bleu depending on how it comes out?

I have also considered that I could brine the haunch before cooking with any of the methods above.

Over to UKC, discuss!

snoop6060 - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Brine then number 2.

Or try this if you're brave:
https://naturallore.wordpress.com/2009/08/17/cooking-roe-deer-in-the-ground-part-1/

I'm keen for a crack at this with a whole lamb.

summo on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Debone the legs(presuming rear). You will get some great steaks, similar to rump. Flash fry or BBQ, pink in middle.

With trimmings etc.. premake vension burgers. All food is quick to cook, with limited on site preparation. More time for social.

Presume the fillets were intact, keep them for yourself!

Had to debone a whole deer last week as our freezers are full to bursting. Bit of pain with the shoulders, but I presume your deer's shoulders were smashed up anyway.

malk - on 18 Sep 2016
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to snoop6060:

I think that's the way I am trending - I like the idea of pit roast, but I'm worried it might end up tough and dry and I am keen to keep the visual impact of serving a piece of meat that looks like it belongs in the Flintstones.

Last time I had a road kill deer I brined a shoulder overnight in a weak nitrate brine which meant I could carefully remove all of the meat from the sinew and then followed a recipe for frankfurters... I'm salivating just thinking about it!

I'm thinking I might brine it, confit it then dry rub with Moroccan spices.
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to summo:

Maybe I could de-bone the other leg and do steaks as well! Like your thinking regarding more time for social.

The shoulders were intact, main haemorrhaging was behind in the rib area. Yep I got both fillets, approx. 22" long, though I am probably going to trade one with a mate who supplies me with hops ;-)
Toccata on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Spit roast. I have done this with a whole leg and it was, without exception, the best venison I have ever had. I assumed it would dry out but just the opposite - the flame locks the moisture in and the juices literally run out when you slice it.

Make an A-frame. I knocked a length of copper pipe through the centre the first time I did it (thought it might help the centre cook) but the second time used a steel rod and it also worked fine. Ideally have a wind shield round one side. Place a second rod in the side of the meat at about 30 degrees. The reason for this is that you will not get the centre rod exactly though the middle so the leg will tend to roll to the same side. This second rod allows you to turn it from one side to the other (prop it up with a sick). Ideally you'd turn it continuously but it takes 2-3 hours and you'll be drinking and chatting instead.

Have a good fire without too much flame. Put the meat on at a level where you can hold your hand for 5 seconds or so (so not too hot). Get the meat sealed (10 minutes on each side slightly hotter) then turn it every 10 minutes. Don't bother basting it: the meat is sealed so it doesn't soak in, it drops into the fire creating acrid smoke and finally it doesn't need it. I used a meat thermometer and went for a centre temp of 56C first time (pretty rare) and 65C the second (medium and preferred). Another thing to note is that the meat looks pinkish even when it has cooked. This is odd and I'm not sure why (microwaving the hell out of it the following day it stayed pinkish). Cut the meat and eat it immediately - it will dry out in 5 minutes. Cut from the top not the sides to keep the moisture in. Have some tinfoil handy incase the fire gets too hight so you can prevent it burning. You can cook all sorts of fancy stuff with it but I prefer just flinging some potatoes in the fire and a big salad.

My mouth is watering having written this...
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to malk:

Thanks for the link - I've seen it before and was going to look for it along with the one where he has some Gurkhas dig the pit. If I don't do it this time it on my to do list!
1
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Toccata:

I hadn't considered that - it would certainly add to the visual impact as well as the olfactory impact if folk have to smell it for 2-3 hours! The birthday boy has said that all meat offerings will be judged in 'meaters' - I might suggest we judge in 'kill'o'meaters...
Moley on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Will you already be drunk by the time you all start cooking?
Maybe worth considering before you get too complicated and wish you had gone for the burger option!
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Moley:

I haven't mentioned that I will also be taking a Firkin of 4.8% Grapefruit IPA and a hand pump have I?

I have been researching and I think it's going to be overnight for the whole leg in a brine of 90gsalt per litre, pat dry then 4-6 hours in the oven immersed in lard at 85 degrees c, remove from oil and patted dry again then dry rubbed with Moroccan herbs and spices.

Come party day all I have to do is hand over to the person in charge of the BBQ to complete with a few Maillard reactions ;-)
MonkeyPuzzle - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

> Come party

I'm choosing to take that as an invitation.
Baron Weasel - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Cool as beanz, see you there!
birdie num num - on 18 Sep 2016
In reply to Baron Weasel:

Take some boxes of Vesta Curry, it's much easier than Stags leg. I normally wear a turban when I cook it so folks think it's proper authentic grub
Baron Weasel - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to birdie num num:

Sikh and destroy Vesta Beef Curry. Holy Cow man!
the sheep - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Come party


I'm choosing to take that as an invitation.


I believe that's a special party hosted by Keith Vaz!!

ads.ukclimbing.com
malk - on 19 Sep 2016
In reply to birdie num num:
i see you're a connoisseur of authentic grub- can you recommend a corned beef hash recipe/tin?
preferably the mens' club way.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5BVHqMUdmo
Post edited at 19:53

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