Herbed barbecued venison

Herbed barbecued venison

A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

I’ve had to find ways to use my food resources as cleverly as possible. I also want to be as practical and efficient with my time in the kitchen as possible, and this meal is a good example of how I get things done in kitchen town. When I cook a large cut of meat like a leg or a shoulder, I invariably have a lot of leftovers, even when there’s a pack of hungry rats salivating at the dinner table. With excess cooked meat I can make a few really easy meals for days after. A slow-roasted leg of venison can be eaten for a meal straight away or I can turn it into something like a pasta ragu, a warm salad, a tasty taco or the meaty ingredient in a hearty bean stew.

The meat tastes good of its own accord, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with adding some additional flavours. At my back door is a herb garden I planted. I’ve positioned it close to the kitchen door so it forces me to not be lazy and to get out and pick herbs for cooking. Not only are herbs tasty, but many of them have medicinal value, too. So it’s win–win.

Living with an obsessive baker means that I need to schedule oven time. We often end up arguing over who gets to use it. For this very reason, I’ve taken to using the outdoors hooded barbecue as an oven replacement. It does a fine job of slow-cooking, except on really windy days when the low flame can be blown out. But on a calm day, everything is peaches.


Quantity Ingredient
100g lard
100g butter
venison shoulder
handful sage, very roughly chopped
handful thyme, very roughly chopped
handful rosemary, very roughly chopped
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
250ml red wine
roast veg, to serve


  1. Make a bed for the venison with large-sized aluminium foil, making sure the bottom is as watertight as possible and bending up the sides to make a rough bowl shape.
  2. Allow the lard and butter to get to room temperature to soften (in winter I pop them next to our house fire for a spell). Rub the lard and butter all over the shoulder, leaving a chunk or two on top. Sit the venison on the foil, then spread the herbs, garlic and pepper over it, ensuring good coverage. Pour over the wine and wrap the meat up tight. The idea of the wine is to help keep the meat moist, and assist with steam-cooking.
  3. Pop the roast in a hooded barbecue on the lowest setting and cook for 4–6 hours, or until melty and delicious.
  4. Serve with roast veg or use in other dishes.
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