Big game


A classic party dish, this uses the whole back of a reindeer; loin, sirloin and ribs. In fact you don’t need an oven at all to cook a saddle of reindeer. But it does make it a bit easier.

Keep in mind

The point of this cut, and the dish itself, is that game tastes juicier if it’s cooked on the bone.

Never cook a fillet, silverside or other tender cuts of reindeer at a low temperature, especially if they’re from young animals. Preheat the oven to at least 125°C. The meat has such a fine texture that it can take on a doughy consistency otherwise.

How to cook saddle of reindeer

Think of a saddle as a spectacular joint with the bone still in. It’s important that the reindeer fillet – which is part of the saddle – isn’t cooked at a low temperature. So this is the best option:

  • Prepare the saddle and preheat the oven to 250°C.
  • Heat oil and butter in a roasting dish in the oven.
  • Once the roasting dish is hot, cook the saddle of venison with one fillet side down for about 4 minutes.
  • Turn and fry the other fillet side for about 4 minutes.
  • Finish off by cooking the other side of the saddle for 12 minutes.
  • Take the saddle out of the oven when the internal temperature reaches approximately 55-60°C.
  • Season, wrap in foil and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes.
  • Cut out the fillets, put them back inside the saddle and serve.

Leaving a saddle to rest: Take it out of the oven and place on a large piece of aluminum foil, season and wrap it carefully. Leave it to rest for at least 20 minutes, or to 90 minutes tops. It doesn’t need to rest in a hot place. It’s enough to put the roasting dish next to the oven.

The classic

Saddle of reindeer with new potatoes and a red wine sauce.

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