St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday and I can’t think of anything better than enjoying a nice salty cut of corned meat. I was really looking forward to posting this recipe in plenty of time for all you hunters with freezers full of venison to thaw and cook before Sunday. After a little research it turns out the brining process takes at least 5 days. So, if you are up for postponing your St. Paddy’s Day meal until next week, give this recipe a try. I found it on one of my new favorite wild game cooking blogs you can find here.
This began as one of those, “why not?” experiments that turned out far better than I had expected. So good in fact that any deer hunter out there really ought to learn this technique — you will get far more enjoyment out of the leg roasts from your venison. The technique is simple: Brine your meat, then simmer it into tenderness. It takes several days, but it isn’t labor-intensive at all. Once cooked, the meat will last a couple weeks in the fridge, if you can hold off eating it that long.
A word on nitrates. I use them, for color, for flavor and for safety. Can you do this without pink salt? Yes, but your meat will be gray and you will lose some flavor. You can buy Instacure No. 1 online.
Makes 1 3-5 pound corned roast.
Prep Time: 5 days
Cook Time: 3 hours
1/2 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 ounce Instacure No. 1 (sodium nitrite)
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds
12 bay leaves, crushed
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 cinnamon stick
5-6 chopped garlic cloves
A 3-5 pound venison roast
Add everything but the roast to a pot and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat and cover, then let it cool to room temperature while covered. This will take a few hours.
Meanwhile, trim any silverskin you find off the roast. Leave the fat.
Once the brine is cool, find a container just about large enough to hold the roast, place the meat inside and cover with the brine. You might have extra, which you can discard.
Make sure the roast is completely submerged in the brine; I use a clean stone to weigh the meat down. Cover and put in the fridge for 5-7 days, depending on the roast’s size. A 2-pound roast might only need 3 days. The longer you soak, the saltier it will get — but you want the salt and nitrate to work its way to the center of the roast, and that takes time. Err on extra days, not fewer days.
After the week has passed, you have corned venison. To cook and eat, rinse off the meat, then put the roast in a pot just large enough to hold it and cover with fresh water. You don’t want too large a pot or the fresh water will leach out too much flavor from the salty meat — it’s an osmosis thing.
Cover and simmer — don’t boil — the meat for 3-5 hours.
Eat hot or cold. It is absolutely fantastic with good mustard and some sauerkraut on a sandwich.
Well, there you have it. There are other recipes out there to try, this one along with the photo is from blog of omnivore and chef Hank Shaw.