SADDLE OF ROE DEER
A classic party dish, this uses the whole back of a roe deer; loin, sirloin and ribs. The fillets from a roe deer are very small, so a saddle that keeps them in is an extra festive touch. But it will be tender and tasty whatever you do, as long as you keep an eye on the temperature.
Keep in mind
The popularity of this cut and this dish is because game is juicier and tastier when cooked on the bone.
Never cook a fillet, silverside or other tender cuts of roe deer at a low temperature, especially if they’re from young animals. Stick to 125°C and higher. The meat has such a fine texture that it can take on a sticky, doughy consistency otherwise.
You can actually cook saddle of roe deer in a frying pan, but most people prefer the oven.
How to cook saddle of roe deer
Think of a saddle as a spectacular joint with the bone still in. It’s important that the venison 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 to rest for at least 20 minutes, or to 90 minutes tops. The saddle doesn’t need to rest in a hot place. It’s enough to put the baking tray next to the oven.
Saddle of roe deer with red wine sauce and a root vegetable gratin.