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How to cook venison

Perfect every time

Allow the venison to come to room temperature before cooking.
Remove the packaging, use a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. Cover the venison and wait for at least 10 minutes before cooking. This allows the venison to cook evenly, producing succulent results.
Season just before you cook.
Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper just before cooking. Salt helps bring the moisture to the surface of the meat, but if you season too early the venison will dry out.
Start with a hot pan, plate or grill.
You can sear your venison restaurant-style, using a small amount of cooking oil or butter in a hot pan over high heat (8/10). Ensure your cooking surface is nice and hot before starting, your meat should always sizzle when it touches the pan, hot plate or grill.
Sear on all sides to lock in the moisture.
Venison is exceptionally lean and tender, so only needs the bare minimum of cooking. Sear for 40 seconds on the largest side, then flip and sear for another 40 seconds. Sear for 10 seconds on each of the remaining sides, then baste in butter or oil for a further 20 seconds. Make sure the meat is seared on all sides to lock in those flavourful juices. If you are using a grill, sear the meat for one minute per side followed by 15 seconds around the edges.
Finish in the oven for optimum tenderness.
After searing and basting your venison fillet, pop it in the oven and roast for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. Flip the fillet after 5 minutes to ensure even cooking throughout the meat. If you are using a BBQ, place your venison on a rack, or off to the side (away from the heat) and close the lid. Keep the BBQ on so the internal temperature remains nice and hot. After roasting the fillet for 10 minutes, remove and check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer - cook to 52-55 degrees Celcius (135F) for rare-medium rare.
Venison fillet on the BBQ
Let it rest.
It might be hard to resist cutting into your venison straight away, but this is a mistake. Allowing the venison to rest gives time for the juices to transfer throughout the meat, resulting in venison that is juicy and tender. Loosely cover the meat with tin foil and rest for at least 8 minutes - you can rest for longer if convenient, don't worry your venison will still taste delicious - if it cools off simply flash fry over high heat for 20 seconds before serving. Avoid cutting the surface of the meat at any stage during the cooking process, as it will result in loss of moisture and tenderness. 


Enjoy our succulent venison bistro fillets with your favourite sauce or jus. Hot tip - the juices left in the pan are full of flavour and make a great base for a jus or dipping sauce.

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Cooking Tips

Venison Cut Suggested Method Cook Time (rare)
Bistro Fillet Pan fry or BBQ Cook at high heat, for one minute each side per cm of thickness. Baste for 20 seconds, then cover and rest for 6-8 minutes.
Striploin & Shortloin Sear, then oven roast at a moderate temperature Sear on all sides. Baste for 30 seconds, then oven roast at 180˚C for 15 minutes per 500g
Mince Patties, meatballs & sausages Cook at medium-high heat until medium rare. Optimum internal temperature is 70˚C
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Seasoning...when done properly, it can make all the difference. When done improperly, it can spoil the taste and texture of even the most premium cuts. Here's a few tips to make sure you give your venison the love and care it deserves:

1. When should I season my venison?

You have two options here - you can season your venison 1 hour before cooking, or right before you put it on the grill. Whatever you do, don't season between 3 and 40 minutes before cooking, and here's why:
When you season venison, it draws moisture from the meat through the process of osmosis. It takes at least 40 minutes for these juices to reabsorb into the meat, along with the delicious saltiness from your seasoning. If you cook the meat before the juices are allowed to reabsorb, it will turn dry and tough. As rule of thumb you want to allow about 1 hour per 500g of meat, so if you are cooking a 1kg roast, you want to season 2 hours before cooking. If you are grilling a 250g steak, season 40 minutes prior to grilling. If you don't have time to season the meat in advance, season generously right before grilling to ensure optimum flavour and tenderness.

2. What seasoning should I use?

New Zealand Farmed Venison is naturally rich and flavoursome, so it's best to keep your seasoning simple. Generously apply a little oil, salt and pepper to all surfaces of the meat - this will help achieve that crispy exterior when grilling. That's really all you need, but if you want to jazz it up a little you can add some fresh thyme, sage or rosemary to the grill when cooking.

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