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The best way to cook Venison Steak

The very first thing to understand when cooking any venison is it is very lean meat, and with severely limited fat to aid the cooking process, it is critical not to overcook it in any way as it will quickly become dry and tough and then you may even be put off this wonderful and versatile meat. The best way to cook the steaks is medium rare, this gives the perfect balance between tenderness and depth of flavour. It will not be as forgiving as one of our beef steaks which are well marbled with fat, which means they can be cooked well done and still remain juicy and tender.

Preparing your Haunch Steaks for Cooking

Ruxstons Venison Haunch steaks will arrive frozen, so the first thing to do is either pop them in the fridge to dethaw or put them in a bowl of tepid water which will make them ready to cook in about 30 minutes. Make sure the water is not too hot, as this can actually dry the meat out when cooking. If you are buying them fresh, then just ensure they have been left at room temperature for about 20 minutes to be fully confident they will cook evenly throughout.

Remove from the packet and lightly season your steak with salt and pepper, I add a tiny bit of ground thyme too, but be careful not to add too much of any seasoning as this can really detract from the flavour of the meat so when I say tiny it is literally just a small pinch.

Cooking Venison

Place some oil or butter in a frying pan, we prefer the big cast iron ones here, and get it nice and hot, ideally smoking, just please keep a window open to avoid the smoke alarm deafening you. When the pan is hot enough, place your steak inside and let it cook.

Resist the temptation to move it or check what it looks like underneath, it will be fine. After a minute or so, flip it over and cook the second side for ever so slightly less time. Obviously, be aware the thicker the steak the longer it will need both sides.

Remove the venison from the pan after the time is up and let it rest for about 4 minutes, this may not seem a long time and is less than would be advised for a beef steak, but these venison steaks are not overly thick so will not need the same amount of time.

Again, there needs to be flexibility and common sense applied here, if the steak is thin and your kitchen cold then don’t leave it so long that your steak ends up cold! If cooking medium rare then when the steak is cut in half the centre should be red with the edges grey/brown. This generally takes practice to achieve perfection, however, a meat thermometer can help if you want great results straight away. If you do choose a thermometer you want approximately 62 degrees celcius for medium rare.

Cooking Wild Venison Haunch Steak

What are the best condiments to use?

We love to use our Quince Jelly that we source from Waterhouse Fayre in Devon. This adds a lovely sweet flavour to the tender and succulent meat. Like the seasoning do be careful on how much you add because this is about cooking venison steaks, not a post on how to cover the flavour of venison with seasoning and condiments. It's a travesty to hear about people buy a grass-fed beef rump steak from our shop and end up covering it in condiments that miss out on the subtle notes of the meat, to the point where they can no longer taste the difference between a Red Devon Steak and a Stabiliser one. The differences in flavour there should be quite noticeable even to a beginner.

What vegetables to pair with venison steak with? This again can be down to individual taste but I love something with an earthy taste with the game, roasted beetroot, potatoes, and swede go down well but if I am in the summer months then some salad, cherry tomatoes, and a basic honey and French mustard dressing.

Rare Wild Venison Haunch Steak
Rare Wild Venison Haunch Steak

Wild Venison For Sale in Somerset

Since Ruxstons have started selling Robert Hawkers Wild shot Venison in Somerset and online, we have found the haunch steaks that he supplied to be the most popular. He also sells Venison Sausages and Burgers. Robert works with the best estates in the Somerset and Devon and responsibly, and not over enthusiastically, culls some deer, which of course have no natural predators in the UK. We strongly recommend anyone who is interested in Venison to give Roberts a go and try this delicious, lean and sustainable meat. However, if you wish to purchase from elsewhere, there are huge numbers of reputable game dealers and Farm Shops across the country where you can buy wild venison. Be sure to check the traceability as deer are an animal that can be poached easily, which is a major problem for many landowners in the UK.


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