Venison Roast with Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Venison Roast with Cranberry Sauce Recipe
A classic venison roast is the perfect Christmas recipe, especially topped off with holiday cranberry sauce. (Hank Shaw photo)

Hank Shaw enjoys hunting, fishing and foraging near Sacramento, California, then creating delicious recipes from his day's work, like this Venison Roast With Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Thanksgiving may be the domain of the turkey, but we're allowed a bit more leeway at Christmas time. Venison roast is a prime candidate for the big dinner. Problem is, many people have a hard time cooking one that doesn't come out dry and unhappy. I'll walk you through how to go about it.

You can serve your venison roast alongside anything you want, but I typically like to include some stewed greens like kale or turnip greens, the obligatory mashed potatoes and some homemade cranberry sauce. All are easy to make.

Now, about that roast.


First, you need to have your roast at room temperature. Room temperature meat cooks more evenly than meat that's warming at the outside but is still ice cold in the center. Second, you want to coat the meat in oil or melted fat. I actually used melted duck fat for the roast in the picture, but you can use vegetable oil. Why? Science.

When you roast meats in an oven, the heat of the air hits the meat and causes the moisture at its surface to evaporate and cook. The problem is that water boils at 212°F, which is pretty low when you think about roasting. Adding an oil barrier around the meat will allow the surface of the meat to get hotter since oil won't boil away for at least a few hundred degrees hotter. The bottom line is meat will cook better with a coating of oil.



Next, you want to go slow and low at first, then hot and fast. This is mostly personal preference. When you cook this way, getting the interior of the meat to a temperature approaching what you want at the end, you have less of a jump in carryover heat when you brown it later. If you switch and start hot and fast, you get more carryover heat and you need to deal with a very hot oven that needs to cool down a lot. Basically, it is just mechanically easier to start cooler and finish hotter.

Finally, rest your roast. Resting allows the intense heat that is at the outside of the roast dissipate throughout the meat. This brings up the center temperature and allows the meat to retain more moisture when you slice it. Doing this for 10 minutes is good, but 15 is better.

Grind some black pepper, or whatever other spices you might want, slice and serve. A good pro tip is to drizzle some nice oil over the slices, too. I prefer walnut oil or good olive oil.

Venison Roast with Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 2 to 5 pounds venison roast
  • Vegetable oil to coat
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups cranberries
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • Zest of an orange, sliced into strips with pith removed
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Directions:

  1. Take the venison roast out of the fridge, coat the meat in oil and salt it well. Let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Put the venison in a roasting pan and pop it in the oven. Cook until the interior of the meat hits about 115°F. This can take as little as 45 minutes for a small roast to 2 hours for a large one.
  3. Meanwhile, make the cranberry sauce. Put the cranberries, maple syrup, orange zest, cloves, and cinnamon in a small pot and bring to a boil. Drop the heat to a simmer and cook the sauce together, stirring often, until most of the cranberries pop and the sauce cooks down and comes together as a sort of hybrid between a sauce and chutney. Turn off the heat and pick out the strips of orange zest. Cover the pot.
  4. When the venison roast hits the target temperature, take it out of the oven. You can either jack the oven up to 450°F and brown the meat that way, or you can let the venison rest for 15 minutes, then sear it in a pan with a little oil. Either way works. Whatever you do, when the meat has browned, remove it to a cutting board and let it rest a solid 10 to 15 minutes before you slice it. Grind lots of black pepper over the venison as it rests.
  5. When the venison roast is browning, make the mashed potatoes. Boil the potatoes in salty water until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain. Put the potatoes back in the pot and set the pot over low heat. Let them steam a minute or so. Add the cream and butter and white pepper and mash the hell out of them. Add salt to taste and cover the pot until you're ready to serve.

Recommended for You

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention SHOT Show

HUNTING's Booth Babes of SHOT Show 2014

David Draper - January 21, 2014

A record crowd of more than 67,000 people fell upon the halls of the Sands Expo & Convention

The most modern ammo and gear increase the odds of bagging a tricky tom this spring. Other Game

Today's Updated Turkey Hunting Gear

Joe Arterburn

The most modern ammo and gear increase the odds of bagging a tricky tom this spring.

Companies in the outdoor industry know how to get our attention. We know, it might seem cheap, but SHOT Show

Booth Babes from the 2012 SHOT Show

PH Online Editors - January 18, 2012

Companies in the outdoor industry know how to get our attention. We know, it might seem cheap,...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 12: High Plains Elk

David Draper teams up with Fred Eichler to hunt elk on the high plains of southern Colorado.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 11: Wheelgun Buffalo

Host Craig Boddington lays claim to hunting more than 100 Cape Buffalo over the course of his 40 plus year career, but he never took one with a handgun. That changed in South Africa when Craig faced down "black death" with a magnum wheelgun.

2018 Petersen

2018 Petersen's Hunting Episode 16: Cedar Break Bucks

Kevin Steele treks to the cedar breaks and coulees of north-central Nebraska for a shot at a big prairie whitetail.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Over the years, Remington has introduced a continuously expanded variety of Model 1100 shotguns. Guns

Remington Timeline: 1963 - Remington Model 1100 Autoloading Shotguns

Hunting Online Staff

Over the years, Remington has introduced a continuously expanded variety of Model 1100...

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the whitetail North America

Top 10 Trophy Whitetail States

Joseph von Benedikt - December 18, 2017

Many of the states in our glorious nation provide great hunting, but only a few have the...

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are created equal. Recipes

How to Properly Grill Venison Steak

Hank Shaw

Perfection takes practice, a little skill and the understanding that not all steaks are...

See More Stories

More Recipes

This recipe uses a French cooking process to turn tough meat into a tender dish. Recipes

Squirrel Confit with Duck Fat Gnocchi Recipe

Michael Pendley

This recipe uses a French cooking process to turn tough meat into a tender dish.

Get comfortable in the kitchen with these delicious ideas for a family meal! Recipes

Wild Game Comfort Food

David Draper

Get comfortable in the kitchen with these delicious ideas for a family meal!

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

Vietnamese Black Bear Pâté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

See More Recipes

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.