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Roasting venison is best done one of two ways: fast or slow. While high heat can be used to successfully fast roast the meat, it is also the enemy of the meat and can very easily dry out and toughen the venison. Slow roasting is best done while the meat is on the bone and at lower heats. There are tips, however, that can aid in the preparation and success of both methods that can help almost any cook master the art of roasting venison. Perhaps the best tip when roasting venison is to not confuse the cooking methods of venison with techniques used on beef and pork in most cases.
Venison is a very lean meat, meaning that it has very little fat marbled in its makeup. When a cook begins slow roasting venison, he must remember to add some type of fat to the meat itself and not just into the pan. One tip is to not only rub butter or animal fat or lard onto the surface of the meat, but to actually poke holes in the meat and pack the holes with the fat. This will enable the roasting venison to cook thoroughly while ensuring that the meat does not dry out. Another benefit to this type of cooking is that the rendered fat will make good pan drippings for gravy once the meat has finished cooking.
When fast roasting venison, care must be taken to not overcook the meat. When using a high heat to cook, the cooking time must be reduced or the meat will come out of the oven tough and unpleasant to eat. The best tip to obtain a quality fast-roasted piece of venison is to brown the meat on top of the stove prior to placing it into the oven. Once browned, any juices can be poured over the meat to aid in preventing the piece from drying out while in the oven. To verify the completed cooking of the roasting venison, a meat thermometer can be used, with the appropriate temperatures for beef being used as a guide.
Another tip for fast-roasted venison is to allow the meat to rest before serving. This will allow the meat to reabsorb its juices and provide a moist cut of meat in most cases. The same is not true, however, for slow-roasting venison. When cooking slow-roasted venison, the meat does not require resting prior to serving.
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