Catholic Recipe: Venaison Rôti (Roast venison)
Also Called: Roast Venison; Venaison Roti
St. Hubert of Liege (656-727) is often depicted with a stag for two reasons, first for being an avid hunter, and secondly because it was through a vision of a stag that he had a conversion experience. He was chasing a stag on a Good Friday morning and had a vision of a crucifix between the animal’s antlers. A voice warned him, “Hubert, unless you turn to the Lord, and lead a holy life, you shall quickly go down to hell.” Roast venison is appropriate for the feast of St. Hubert, patron of hunters. His feast on May 30 is no longer celebrated in the current General Roman Calendar.
If the venison is young, it does not need marinating; otherwise marinate several hours or even overnight. For the marinade use 1 pint of vinegar, 1 pint of red wine, several bay leaves, 4 shallots, 2 sliced carrots, 1 lemon cut into thin slices, some freshly ground pepper, and a handful of juniper berries. Carefully remove the skin from a loin of venison without tearing the meat and wipe it with a damp cloth. Lard the loin symmetrically with bacon (not larding pork). Dust with salt and pepper, cover liberally with butter, and roast in a hot oven for one hour, basting almost continuously with the butter in the pan and 2 cups of sour cream. Remove the meat to a hot platter; carefully stir 1 tablespoon of flour into the pan, then add a cup of hot stock, cook for several minutes, and strain through a fine sieve. (Though not orthodox, a leg of lamb may be substituted but in that case marinate for several days.)Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951