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Roast Venison with Juniper and Herb Crust

Roast venison with juniper berries and herb crust

Recipe by Steve Poyner, Head Chef, Cary Arms & Spa, Torquay, Devon


  • 14g dried juniper berries
  • 8g peppercorns
  • 2.5kg Gamekeeper’s Larder Sika Venison Leg Joint
  • 1g table salt
  • 2 stalks of thyme, leaves stripped
  • 2 stalks of rosemary, leaves stripped
  • 25ml olive oil
  • 30g butter, unsalted
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 red onions, quartered


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas mark 7.
  2. Grind the berries and peppercorns in a pestle and mortar.
  3. Place the venison leg on a chopping board, sprinkle with salt and then the ground mix.
  4. Add the thyme and rosemary. Then rub the leg with the olive oil and place on a baking tray and add the butter.
  5. Add the crushed garlic and the onions to the tray (at the top of the joint).
  6. Cook for 20 minutes, basting every 5 minutes.
  7. After 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 150°C/130°C fan/gas mark 2.
  8. Cook for a further 30 minutes and continue to baste. These cooking times should leave you with a medium-rare dish.
  9. Once cooked, place the leg joint on a wire rack with a tray underneath to catch the juices. Cover with tinfoil and rest for 20–25 minutes.

Chef’s tips: Use the juices from the baking tray to pour over the joint. If you’re making a sauce to go with the dish, you can add them to it. Perfect served with roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, roast heritage beetroot and honey Chantilly carrots.

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