Big game hunting season has come to an end here in Montana, and with it comes the time for cooking and preparing our venison to keep us full until next September. Of course, if you have a “River Bottom” tag like I do, you’ll get another six weeks to drag home whitetail does.
Venison is a fine, lean meat that is somewhat richer than beef. Venison is a particularly healthy red meat, as it is lower in fat and calories than comparable cuts of beef, and it is quite a bit cheaper if you’ve cleaned and cut up the deer yourself.
If you’re looking for a way to preserve the tenderness and flavor of a venison roast without drying it out or overcooking it, smoking is the way to go. Smoking will always lend the meat a tender, fresh quality that’s hard to beat. This recipe is a simple and straightforward way to create a mouthwatering roast fit for a 5-star restaurant in your home. This recipe can also be prepared using several different cuts of venison.
Smoked Roast Venison
5-7 pound Venison Roast, Loin, or Shoulder
½ pound of Bacon, finely chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, slivered
Fresh ground Pepper, to taste
1 c. Red Wine, dry
½ c. Olive oil
Reserved pan juice
1 c. Beef Broth
2 slices of Bacon
3 T. Flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste
First trim the skin and fat from the meat. Using a small sharp knife, cut slits across the surface of the roast. Stuff the slits with garlic slivers and some of the chopped bacon. Using a meat brush, coat the roast with olive oil and sprinkle with the fresh ground pepper to taste.
Prepare your smoker for the roast by filling the water pan with water and ½ c. of the red wine. Place the prepared smoker over a hot fire.
After setting the roast on the smoker rack, cover and let it smoke for 5 hours. Make sure to feed the fire with charcoal briquettes at even intervals to maintain the cooking temperature. Baste the meat once an hour with the remaining olive oil. Be sure not to leave the smoker lid open for very long or your cooking temperature will drop.
When the internal temperature of the roast reaches 130-135 degrees, move it to a Dutch oven or cast iron frying pan and add the remaining ½ c. of red wine. Simmer for 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 165-170 degrees.
Reserve the pan juice from the roast for the gravy.
Directions for Gravy:
First dice the bacon and sauté, which will render the fat. Using a stiff whisk, stir in the flour a little at a time. Gradually add the reserved pan juices and beef broth. Stir until the gravy is smooth and thick, adding salt and pepper t taste.
Serve the roast hot and smothered in gravy, or refrigerate and serve cold.
Photo courtesy CitizenKayt