Enjoy venison leg: preparation, purchase and more

If you purchase through a link marked *, we will receive a commission.
venison

A few weeks ago we visited the Peterhof forest restaurant in Gablingen. The country inn with beer garden is located in the Western Forests Nature Park near Augsburg. We were there for lunch on a Saturday and initially only shared the beer garden with a few other guests. Over time, however, more and more hikers and cyclists came, apparently taking advantage of the nature of the surrounding forest landscape for an excursion. On the menu was a leg of venison in chocolate sauce. The combination made me curious. The innkeeper is also known for often having fresh game on the menu. It definitely tasted delicious! And it made me curious for more. So I then went looking for recipes for venison leg. And I wanted to know more. I was interested in how you can prepare a leg of venison and where is the best place to buy it.

Venison leg recipes

Since I have never prepared venison leg myself, I was curious to see what recipes there were for it. That's why I asked some specialists who are cooking venison regularly.

 

Stuffed roast venison
Benreis, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

My mother's venison leg recipe

At my house we only had venison leg on very special occasions. It was therefore all the more important that it tasted good. This was my mother's favorite recipe:

Ingredients

  • approx. 1 kg leg of venison
  • 80 g bacon
  • salt and pepper
  • 80 g fat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 yellow turnip
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250 ml meat broth
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 125 ml sour cream
  • Flour to thicken the sauce
  • some red wine

Preparation

Soak the venison leg in sour milk for a few days to make it mild and tender. Then salt and pepper it and stud it with bacon.

Quickly fry the venison leg in hot fat and add coarsely chopped onion, spices, meat stock and white wine. Then let it fry slowly. If the venison was previously in the marinade, you can add some to the casserole dish. Baste the roast with a little cream every now and then.

Remove the meat from the casserole as soon as it is cooked. Bind the sauce with a little flour and let it boil again. Finally add some red wine.

As side dishes we had either potato dumplings or bread dumplings.

 

Roast venison by Shane Graybeal
Roast venison by chef Shane Graybeal Kimpton Hotel in Bozeman

 

Chef Shane Graybeal hails from a small town in the mountains of North Carolina. Graybeal started in the kitchen at age 15, working at a pizzeria at his grandparents' house in Staggs Creek, North Carolina. After high school, he attended Johnson & Wales University and earned a degree in Culinary Arts.

After honeymooning in the nearby town of Livingston, Graybeal quickly realized that Montana had a vibrant food scene and he joined the team at Kimpton Armory in spring 2023. Chef Graybeal strives to serve locally sourced dishes and a menu that changes with the seasons and reflects the ranchers that surround him in Montana. When he's not in the kitchen, Graybeal can be found hunting with his bow in the mountains of southwest Montana. Shane is an avid bowhunter and often prepares venison at home, not just at work!

Venison recipe with butternut squash, pecan jam and cranberry sauce by Shane Graybeal

For the venison

Let the steak rest uncovered in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Season it with salt and Chinese five-spice powder, then place it uncovered on a plate.

For the pumpkin

Cut the butternut squash into nicely shaped “planks” and pickle them with salt and sugar for 2 hours. Then transfer them to a smoker and smoke them at 200 degrees for 12 hours or until they are soft in the middle and chewy on the outside. Take the leftover pumpkin and sauté it lightly with olive oil and onions. Cover them with cream and simmer until fully cooked. Puree the mixture in a blender until smooth and keep warm.

Pecan jam

Toast the pecans in a hot oven for about 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture until deeply caramelized (about 15-20 minutes), then add the toasted pecans and citrus. Stir well to combine, then place on a plate to cool. Before serving, place the pecan-sugar mixture in a food processor and chop coarsely.

Cranberry gastrique

Combine fresh cranberries (if available) with maple syrup and orange juice. Cook the mixture until the cranberries “pop” and the mixture begins to thicken. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

To serve

Quickly fry the venison in a cast iron skillet with rendered fat (tallow or lard) and cook until it is still raw inside (rare). Then remove it from the heat, cover it lightly and let it rest. Spread the butternut squash puree on the plate. Heat the butternut squash plank in the oven and place it in the center of the plate. Cut the venison to show the doneness of the meat. Carefully place a spoonful of the jam on the plate and drizzle the whole thing with the cranberry sauce.

Garnish the dish generously with fresh parsley and mint.

 

Venison Peposo alla Fiorentina
Prepare venison leg according to Peposo alla Fiorentina style

Rusty Hansen has been a chef for over 15 years. His training is firmly rooted in classic French cuisine, but his travels over the years have exposed him to a variety of culinary methods.

A significant part of his culinary journey took him to Italy, where he developed a deep love for Italian cuisine.

He is a true nature lover at heart. As a result, he has shifted his focus to promoting and working with wild products. These include game, mushrooms, fish and berries.

You can find more game recipes from Rusty Hansen on outdoorschef.com.

 

Leg of venison Peposo alla Fiorentina
Leg of venison Peposo alla Fiorentina

 

Venison Peposo alla Fiorentina

Rusty Hansen's venison leg recipe is inspired by the Italian recipe for Peposo alla Fiorentina. This is how you can prepare venison leg Peposo alla Fiorentina style.

Peposo alla Fiorentina is a traditional Tuscan dish with a rich history. Although this dish comes from humble beginnings - it was originally prepared by oven workers before work - it has now found a permanent place in many upscale restaurants.

The dish uses tough pieces of meat, usually from the leg, which are transformed into tender morsels by the combination of wine and slow cooking.

The original recipe did not contain tomatoes. But as tomatoes became more popular in Italy, they found their way into later variations of the dish.

I hope this recipe inspires you to take a culinary journey through Tuscany!

Ingredients

  • approx. 1 kg / XNUMX lb venison fillet or leg (diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns (1,5 tbsp for a spicier version)
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 650ml Chianti
  • 270 grams of canned tomatoes
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp heat-resistant oil
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 ° C / XNUMXF.
  2. Lightly crush the peppercorns.
  3. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over high heat.
  4. Brown the venison in the pot, half at a time.
  5. Salt the venison when frying it.
  6. Remove the meat, place it in a bowl and reduce the heat.
  7. Melt the butter in the pot.
  8. Add garlic and sauté for 2 minutes.
  9. Put the venison back in the pot.
  10. Pour the wine over it.
  11. Add tomatoes, pepper, bay leaves and rosemary.
  12. Cover with the lid and place in the oven for 3-4 hours.
  13. Alternatively, cook in a slow cooker on low for 5 hours.

 

A leg of venison is a culinary highlight

The venison leg is more than just a piece of meat - it is a culinary highlight that has a permanent place in German cuisine, but also in other countries. But why is that? Simply put, the venison leg offers a combination of tender meat and intense flavor that is highly prized by meat lovers. It is a real hit, especially in game season.

You can fry, grill or braise it. You have the choice of buying your venison leg from the butcher or directly from the hunter. The latter offers the advantage that you know exactly where your meat comes from. In addition, prices vary depending on origin and quality.

Of course, the preparation also plays a big role. Whether you are a beginner in the kitchen or an experienced hobby chef, the venison leg offers something for everyone. From simple recipes to sophisticated preparation methods, the choice is large. The collected recipes show different ways how you can prepare venison leg.

In this guide we take you on a culinary journey around the venison leg. We shed light on all the important aspects, from choosing the right cut of meat to perfect preparation. Thus you are well prepared to enjoy this delicious meat in all its facets.

What exactly is meant by that?

First of all, I asked myself: What exactly is a deer leg? Quite simply: it is the hind leg of the deer. This cut of meat is particularly tender and juicy, making it a popular choice for many recipes. The venison leg consists of different parts, each with its own advantages. This includes the thigh, lower leg and sometimes the hip bone, which gives the meat additional flavor.

The venison leg is not only delicious, but also versatile. It is important to know the different parts of the venison leg because, depending on the method of preparation, some are better than others. For example, the thigh is particularly suitable for braising, while the drumstick is often used for roasting.

Where is the best place to buy a leg of venison?

An excellent option is purchasing directly from the hunter. This way you know exactly where the meat comes from and can be sure that it is fresh and of good quality. You also support local hunters and often receive valuable tips on preparation. In Germany you can find hunters near you on this page.

 

You can buy venison here*

If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.

 

Of course, there are other ways to buy a leg of venison. From your trusted butcher to specialized online shops, the selection is large. But no matter where you buy, there are a few things you should keep in mind. One of them is the price per kilo. Prices can vary greatly depending on quality and origin, so it makes sense to find out in advance.

But the price isn't everything. Also pay attention to the origin of the meat and ask whether it is game from the wild or from enclosures. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, and depending on your personal preference, one or the other may be better for you. You should also know that there is generally a grace period when hunting for deer and game. You can find more about the closed seasons for wild animals in this blog post.

Prepare venison leg

There are several ways you can cook a venison leg, each with their own benefits. This will turn your venison leg into a culinary highlight, whether in the oven, braising or even on the grill.

The best known method is probably the preparation in the oven. This variant is particularly popular because it is simple but still delivers excellent results. You only need a few ingredients and after just a short time in the oven the meat becomes tender and juicy. But be careful, the right temperature and cooking time are crucial to bring out the full flavor of the venison leg.

Another way to prepare a leg of venison is braising. This method is particularly suitable if you want to prepare the meat in a sauce. By slowly cooking at a low temperature, the venison leg becomes buttery soft and absorbs the flavors of the sauce perfectly. This is ideal for festive occasions or if you just want to treat yourself to something special.

Finally, there is the supreme discipline: grilling the leg of venison. This method is a little more demanding, but it's worth the effort. Direct grilling gives the meat a smoky aroma that harmonizes perfectly with the spicy taste of the venison leg. It is important to choose the right marinade and not to leave the meat on the grill for too long so that it stays juicy.

Venison leg recipes and tips from chefs

There are classics that never go out of style, such as the leg of venison in red wine stock. This recipe is easy to prepare and impresses with its intense taste. But modern versions, such as the leg of venison with a herb crust, are also very popular. Here the meat is brushed with a mixture of herbs and spices before it cooks in the oven. The result is aromatic and juicy meat that melts in your mouth.

Star chefs swear by aging the meat well before preparation to intensify the flavor. Choosing the right side dishes is also crucial. While some chefs prefer traditional side dishes like red cabbage and dumplings, others rely on modern combinations like celery puree or glazed carrots. Another important tip is to use high-quality spices and herbs. These can enhance the taste of the venison leg enormously and create a completely new taste experience.

Frequently asked questions about the venison leg

How long does a leg of venison have to stay in the oven?

The answer depends on various factors, such as the size of the piece of meat and the level of doneness desired. As a rule of thumb, however, a medium-sized leg of venison should stay in the oven at 40 degrees for around 60 to 180 minutes. But be careful, the exact time can vary, so it is advisable to measure the core temperature.

Can you also grill a leg of venison?

Yes, this is definitely possible and offers a great alternative to traditional preparation in the oven. When grilled, the meat takes on a smoky flavor that many people love. However, it is important to marinate the venison leg well beforehand and not to leave it on the grill for too long so that it remains juicy.

What are the best side dishes?

The selection is large and often depends on personal taste. Classic side dishes such as red cabbage and dumplings are always a good choice, but modern variants such as a fresh salad or a creamy risotto can also go well.

Price per kilo and costs

The average price per kilo for a leg of venison can vary greatly, but is usually between 20 and 30 euros. However, this price can rise or fall significantly depending on the quality and origin of the meat. Game from the wild is often more expensive than from enclosures because it is considered to be more flavorful and natural.

But it's not just the origin that plays a role. The quality of the meat also has a big influence on the price. Fresh, well-cured meat is usually more expensive than goods that have been stored for a long time. In addition, factors such as feeding and the type of hunting can also influence the price. Organically produced game meat or meat from particularly sustainable hunting can therefore have a higher price.

Prepare venison leg as a holiday roast or for special events

Whether as a holiday roast at Christmas or as a highlight at a special event, this fine piece of meat tastes delicious.

The venison leg is a real classic when it comes to festive occasions. Its tender meat and intense flavor make it the ideal choice for a feast. It also offers a lot of space for creativity.

Conclusion

The venison leg is not only a culinary highlight, but also versatile and healthy. It is ideal for special occasions and can be prepared in many different ways.

My personal recommendation would be to buy the deer leg directly from the hunter. This way you know exactly where the meat comes from and can often get valuable tips on how to prepare it. If you're interested in making it, there are plenty of cookbooks and online resources that can help you. Websites from star chefs or cooking schools also offer detailed instructions and recipes that are easy to implement even for beginners.

Choosing the right side dishes can perfectly complement the taste of the venison leg and make the meal a complete experience. Whether traditional side dishes such as red cabbage and dumplings or modern variants such as risotto, the options are diverse.

 

Venison leg recipes
Click on the photo and then save the “venison leg recipes” on Pinterest.

 

Do you know anything else?

 

Source Preparing venison leg: own research. Our opinions definitely remain our own.

Text of venison leg recipes: Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos Preparing the venison leg recipe: Copyright Monika Fuchs as well as TravelWorldOnline and the game specialists (see caption)

Enjoy venison leg: preparation, purchase and more

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn