Big game - Reindeer joint
Big game


A joint of reindeer will consist of one or more of the big muscles from the hindquarters of the animal. A joint of reindeer is quite tender on its own, unlike a joint of beef. Don’t leave it in the oven longer than necessary.

Keep in mind

This cut is lean. Cooking a whole joint rather than slicing it first is a good way of stopping it from drying out unnecessarily.

How to cook a joint of reindeer

Bring the joint out to warm to room temperature and salt it (or cure it with 60% sugar and 40% salt) for about 1 1/2 hours before cooking. Brown the joint on all sides in oil for heat and butter for flavor. Cook in the oven at 125°C. Use a thermometer and aim for 55-60°C because the temperature will rise a few more degrees as the meat rests. Enjoy immediately.

Roast reindeer in a different order:

The award-winning game chef KC Wallberg roasts his meat in a roasting bag and doesn’t brown it until it’s finished cooking in the oven. That way you bring the aroma of freshly roasted meat, known as the Maillard effect, right to the table. Chuck a sprig of thyme into the pan.  

The basics when cooking a game joint:

  • Leave it out to reach room temperature.
  • Salt the meat at least an hour in advance.
  • Brown the surface in a mixture of oil and butter.
  • Finish cooking in the oven at 125°C.
  • Use a thermometer and aim for 55-60°C.
  • Leave to rest for approximately 15 minutes – but eat immediately.

If you like your joint rarer: Take it out of the oven when the temperature reaches 48°C.

If you like it more on the pink side: Take it out of the oven when the temperature reaches 52°C.

Slow-cooking from frozen:

  • Preheat the oven to 80°C.
  • Place a deep-frozen joint in a roasting dish at the bottom of the oven.
  • Roast – it usually takes about at least 12 hours – to an internal temperature of about 65°C.
  • Place in a cold, spiced salt solution for about 5 hours.
  • Wipe dry and serve cut into thin slices.

You’ll find more ideas for cooking game under cooking game.

The classic

Roast reindeer with a creamy sauce, potatoes and lingonberries or redcurrant jelly.


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