SADDLE OF VENISON
A cut with a reputation that says party time: In fact it’s several cuts in one. Properly cooked and correctly carved, it’s a sight for sore eyes on the dinner table. You don’t even need an oven to cook a saddle of venison but it does make life easier.
Keep in mind
This cut will be larger from a red deer than from a fallow deer. The meat of a red deer can have a stronger gamey flavor and a slightly coarser texture than fallow deer.
Never cook a fillet, inner thigh or other tender cuts of fallow deer 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 sticky, doughy consistency otherwise.
How to cook saddle of venison
Think of a saddle of venison 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 cook the other fillet side for about 4 minutes.
- Finish off by cooking the other side of the saddle for 10-16 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. It doesn’t need to rest in a hot place. It’s enough to put the roasting dish next to the oven.
Saddle of venison with red wine sauce and roast vegetables.