Sous vide and stir-fry venison

When we went to Millet’s farm on Saturday, my wife bought haunch of venison (deer meat). Traditionally deer meat is served as a stir-fry with ginger and shallots (chinese style), usually on a hot plate. But I thought I would cook venison the Sous vide method, so as to cook the meat just right. Overcooking venison will make it too tough.

Venison Part 1: Sous vide

Here is a photo journey of the cooking of the hunch of venison.

Haunch of venison bought from Millet's Farm
Haunch of venison bought from Millet’s Farm
Haunch of venison seasoned with thyme and sage
Haunch of venison seasoned with thyme, sage and salt
Vacuum sealed awaiting Sous vide cooking
Vacuum sealed awaiting Sous vide cooking (placed in water bath)
Sous vide machine - set to 56 deg Celsius for 4:00Hrs cooking
Sous vide machine – set to 56 deg Celsius for 4:00Hrs cooking
Haunch of venison after Sous vide
Haunch of venison after cooking in Sous vide machine
Venison taken out and patted dry prior to frying
Venison taken out and patted dry prior to frying
Haunch of venison after pan-frying each side for 45 seconds
Haunch of venison after pan-frying each side for 45 seconds
Venison plated up
Venison garnished with basil leaves
Sliced up venison
Sliced up venison
Sliced venison plated up with mash potatoes and veg
Sliced venison plated up with mash potatoes and veg

I have to say that the meat was very tender, and if anything was a little too tender – just a little tougher than the texture of liver. The meat still had a strong gamey smell. It does not look like the herbs I used to season it was sufficient to tame the smell. It was okay, but somehow there was something missing.

Venison Part 2: Chinese style

Now that we have eaten venison cooked the Sous vide way, my wife was itching to give it an oriental flavour. Hence she sliced up the deer meat and proceeded to stir-fry it the chinese way (but without the use of meat tenderiser, as cooking Sous vide way has already left it nice and tender).

Chopped garlic, ginger and spring onion
Chopped garlic, ginger and spring onion
Garlic and ginger fried for a little while
Garlic and ginger fried for a little while
Spring onion added in
Spring onion added in
Next the sliced venison is added in to fry for a short while
Next the sliced venison is added in to fry for a short while
Venison after stir fry
Venison after stir fry
Stir-fry ginger and spring onion venison
Stir-fry ginger and spring onion venison

The stir-fry in the ginger has definitely improved both the texture (made it more like meat than liver, while still staying tender) and taste of the venison – the ginger was definitely strong enough to impart its flavours on the venison.

So in future, I would definitely recommend cooking venison Sous vide and then followed by a gentle stir-fry with ginger and spring onions to lift it up to another level.

BTW, there was some venison left over, which I was going to eat the next day for lunch. But my wife beat me to it and took this in as her lunch at work. She later texted me to say that the deer meat tasted really nice. Yeah, right. Unfortunately I cannot verify that claim for myself.

On another note though not related to the venison, we did have strawberries as part of our dinner that night. This one was particularly large, as it occupied the entire hand of my youngest daughter.

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Very large strawberry

It was a very filling dinner, and we did enjoy the venison in the end.

Boon