Christmas Haunch of Venison

Download the recipe below.

 50-60 Minutes    Serves 4

Hosting Christmas Dinner for the family is a great tradition.


Christmas is always packed with great traditions, from historical traditions, family traditions and traditions you create yourself. Hosting Christmas dinner for the family might be one of them, and this twist on a traditional Christmas dinner would be worth serving. This tender venison haunch is packed full of Christmas flavor and it’s ready in less than an hour.

(Serves 4)

For the Meat:

  • 1 venison back leg (roe deer)
  • 1 garlic
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1 shallot
  • Handful dried apricot
  • Handful crunched walnuts
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Butcher’s twine

For the Sauce:

  • 1 Bone from venison back leg
  • 1 shallot
  • 400 ml Red wine
  • 500 ml venison stock (or beef)
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 250 ml cream (add a beurre manié to thicken the sauce)
  • Gravy browning
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Sugar Browned Potatoes:

  • 1 kg small potatoes
  • 80 g white sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 25 g butter

For The Christmas Salad:

  • ¼ red kale
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 handful walnuts
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat oven to 200 ℃. Trim and debone venison leg and set aside. Now start with the sauce. Fry the bone in a pan with olive oil on medium heat in 5 min. Add shallots and fry for another 2 min. Add red wine and turn down to a low heat and let it simmer until the wine is almost reduced entirely.

While your sauce builds up amazing flavors, mix chopped dried apricot, apple and crunch walnuts into a bowl. Fold the meat out flat and add the mix to the haunch. Roll the venison to keep the stuffing mix in the center and wrap tightly in butcher’s twine to secure. Make small holes on top of the haunch and add thinly sliced garlic and rosemary sprigs. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and remember to have an eye on the sauce.

The haunch will sit in the baking tray on top of your vegetables. So, slice carrot, ½ an apple and the shallot. Set in a baking tray and add 100 ml water. Place the venison haunch on top of the vegetables and put in the oven for 35 min.  You are aiming for a cooking temperature of about 53 ℃ in the middle. And again, don’t forget your sauce simmering away.

Next, clean the potatoes. Boil in salted water until nearly tender. Don’t overcook them. Peel the potatoes using a knife (or leave it on if you prefer) and set them aside to cool.

Now we can start preparing the Christmas salad. Finely slice red kale and apple. Then, cut the ends as well as the peel including the white skin off the orange. Slice and safe the cut off ends – we will use the juice for the dressing. For the dressing, mix honey, balsamic, olive oil, juice from the end of the orange, salt and pepper. Mix red kale and dressing. Wait with adding pomegranate, apple, orange and walnuts, just until serving. Remember to have an eye on the haunch.

Lay out a piece of kitchen foil. After about 35 min transfer haunch to the foil and let it rest for 8-10 min before serving.

To finish the sauce, transfer all liquid from the tray to the current sauce mixture. Next, sieve the sauce into a pot and throw away the bone. Add cream, salt and pepper to your taste. If you want your sauce a bit thicker, add a bit of beurre manié. Once seasoned, let it simmer until serving.

For the potatoes, pour sugar in an even layer on a cold frying pan. Put the pan on medium heat and let the sugar melt slowly without stirring in it, when almost melted add brown sugar. Once all the sugar is melted add the butter to the pan and turn up heat. Add the potatoes to the sugar/butter mix and fry for about 5-7 min while constantly turning the potatoes. When the sugar is sticking evenly to the potatoes they are done.

Add pomegranate, apple, orange and walnuts to the salad. Thinly slice venison haunch and serve your Christmas dinner straight away.

Christmas Haunch of Venison


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