How to Cook Roast Venison

People often don't know how to cook roast venison. But it is such a wonderful meat, full of goodness, low in fat, that it is a pity more people don't cook it. It makes a wonderful alternative to Roast Turkey for special occasions such as Christmas, Thanksgiving (not a Scottish custom) or the famous Hogmanay. Maybe serve the rich Clootie Dumpling with it for dessert, or perhaps the lighter, but equally delicious Crannachan or Tipsy Laird.

A fact you might find interesting is that the Pilgrim Fathers ate venison at their very first "Thanksgiving" in the year 1661. It is believed that it was given to them by the Native Americans. Mayflower veteran Edward Winslow, said, "went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others." Whether they had the now-traditional turkey as well as the venision at their celebration is not recorded. However, if YOU have a Scottish Recipe you'd like to share with others on this site, please contribute HERE

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Of course there are so many ways of serving venison, but let's just look at how to cook roast venison. Buying good quality venison is important of course, as this is usually so tender. When the meat is good quality, a marinade is not necessary, but using a marinade will not only make it tender, but will give you the basis for a delicious sauce. It can be fiddly, but not hard to cook roast venison.

Serving a large haunch of venison on a special occasion can really impress your guests, but of course like turkey or other large joints, the carving it at the table takes a measure of skill. You can, of course, carve it in the kitchen and serve it sliced with the sauce more over. I cheat I'm afraid; I usually get a joint that it already boned, so I don't have the hassle of carving it.

There are so many ways to cook roast venison with a variety of different marinades and sauces, but this one below is fairly traditional. Serve it with plain Rowan Jelly, or the Rowanberry and Port Sauce.

However, before you start this recipe to cook roast venison, remember that we have a number of perhaps simpler dishes such as Scotch Pies, or our famous Traditional Fish and Chips in Batter., or the Forfar Bridie you can try. Lorne Sausages or simple Trout in oatmeal as well Scotch Eggs, or the simple meat and potato dish we call Stovies and of course the famous Haggis are traditional and authentic recipes you could serve.

But I hope you enjoy this recipe on how to cook roast venison.

Cook Roast Venison

How to Cook Roast Venison (Traditional Recipe)


6lb / 3 kg haunch of venison
8oz / 250kg chopped bacon.
2 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The Marinade

1 bottle of red wine
4 tbs olive oil
2 carrots finely chopped
4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 crushed garlic gloves (optional)
1 bay leaf
12 black peppercorns
Fresh rosemary
Juniper berries

The Sauce
1 tbs butter
1 tbs plain flour
1 tbs rownaberry jelly
5 fl oz / 150 ml port.



  • Gently cook the shallots and carrots in the oil in a large pan (large enough to hold the venison).

  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

  • Put in the venison and leave to marinade for 2 days, turning the joint at least 3 times a day.

The Meat

  • After 2 days, remove meat and dry on kitchen roll.

  • Put oil and butter into large oven-proof pan with a lid (large enough to hold the meat)

  • Gently brown the bacon.

  • Add meat and brown on all sides.

  • Meanwhile, in another pot, boil the marinade rapidly until it is reduced.

  • Put through a strainer and pour over meat.

  • Put lid on pan and cook in the oven 170 C / 375 F for around 30 minutes per lb (500g).

  • If you're going to make a sauce, then cover the meat in kitchen foil to keep it warm.

Rowanberry and Port Sauce
  • Strain all the juices into a pot, bring to the boil.

  • Melt the butter, mix in the flour.

  • Whisk the butter and flour mix with the liquid, ensuring no lumps.

  • Simmer until sauce is reduced and thickens.

  • Whisk in the rowanberry jelly and port.

  • Season if necessary with salt and pepper.

Either pour the Sauce over the carved meat or serve separately in a gravy boat.

If you've enjoyed this recipe on how to cook roast venison, try some of these other recipes.

Easter Sunday Menu - Have a look at the recipes I've chosen for Easter Sunday - Cream of Carrot & Coriander Soup, Roast Lamb, followed by profiteroles.
Valentine's Meal - Try the recipes I've chosen for Valentine's Day - starting with Smoked Salmon Mousse followed by Steak in a Whisky and Pepper Sauce, and finishing with a delicious Chocolate Cream.
Mothers' Day - A simple menu of Cottage Pie followed by rhubarb crumble.
Christmas Cake - Do try this recipe for a traditional Christmas cake.
Black Bun This is traditionally served at Hogmanay when bringing in the New Year.
Clootie Dumpling - This rich and traditional dish is a favourite all year round but especially at Christmas time.
Christmas Pudding - This traditional pudding is usually served on Christmas day throughout the UK as well as Scotland.
Cullen Skink - This famous fish soup is made with smoked haddock.
Trout in oatmeal - This traditional and famous dish made with local ingredients.
Roast Turkey Recipe - This simple recipe will be idea for Christmas or Thanksgiving
Best Scone Recipes - Try the plain, fruit or the cheese scones.
Famous Shortbread Recipes - Have a look at some variations of shortbread recipes.
Haggis - Try this world-famous dish.
Pretend Haggis - If you can't face the 'real' thing, try this easy-to-make pretend haggis recipe.
Forfar Bridie - Try this filling meat 'pastie'.
Raspberry Recipes - See what you can do with a punnet of delicious raspberries, including the famous dessert, Crannachan.
Scotch Broth - See the recipe for hearty Scotch Broth.
Scotch Eggs - A simple recipe for you to try. Can be served hot or cold.
Scotch Pancakes - A quick, inexpensive treat for your guests.
Potato Scones - Serve Potato (or tattie) scone as part of the traditional Scottish Breakfast.
Tablet - Indulge in this delicious, but sweet Scottish confectionery.
Scottish Leek Soup Recipes - Try these two famous Scottish Leek Soup Recipes.
Scottish Lorne Sausages - Try this everyday dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Scotch Pies - This Traditional pie is made with mutton or lamb.
Savoury Mince Pies - This pie is made with minced beef (or hamburger meat).
Traditional Fish and Chips in Batter. - If you're visiting Scotland - do try this from a good Fish and Chip Shop. But if you want to make it yourself, here's the recipe. Serve with 'mushy' peas.
Stovies - Try this simple, everyday dish, can be made with lamb, corned beef or even sausages.
Tipsy Laird - This delicious whisky trifle (similar to sherry trifle) is traditionally served at a Burns Supper.
Burns Supper - Learn a bit more about a Burns Supper and get the Menu and recipe for Haggis, chappit potatoes and bashed neeps.
Hogmanay - See how we bring in the New Year in Scotland.
Traditional Scottish Christmas - Have a look at some Scottish Christmas traditions.
Porridge - Try a bowl of this famous Scottish breakfast dish.
Savoury Mince Pie - This delicious but simple pie is served in households across Scotland.
Salmon Patties - A variation on the Fish Cake - but using Scottish oats.

Also look at some of the recipes contributed by visitors to this site.
Grandma Wright's Clootie Dumpling, Mince and Tatties, Quick Microwave Christmas Pudding, Cup of Tea Cake, Scottish Recipe against a Sore Throat, Gaelic Coffee, Mealy Potatoes, Scot's Pepper Pleasure Boat

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