While sorting through the freezer, a coveted package of black-tailed deer from a recent hunt in California, was discovered. Black-tailed deer is delicious venison, and the right recipe was required to celebrate the hunt and the animal.
Using a pellet smoker is a fantastic way to build flavor in any meat and doing brisket or ribs is a North American favorite. A Texas crutch will provide moisture to meat after being smoked, or hydrate portions that dried. The crutch can be anything from apple cider vinegar and apple juice to beer, or even a soda.
In honor of the blacktail, I created a unique glaze with sweet spice and ingredients to add a candied finish to the meat. The result is a recipe to use with any lean wild game where it is crucial to keep the meat moist while cooking and add some enhancing flavor notes to top it off.
• 2-3 lbs. venison roast
• 12 ozs. dark beer
• ½ cup brown sugar
• ½ cup maple syrup
• 2 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
• 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1 teaspoon allspice
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
• ½ teaspoon ground cloves
• ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground fennel
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the beer (reserve ⅔ cup), brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, salt, allspice, pepper, cloves, cinnamon and fennel, and bring to a simmer. Blend the cornstarch into the reserved ⅔ cup of Guinness, and slowly whisk into the simmering ingredients.
2. Trim the roast and pat dry before placing it in a Camp Chef SmokePro and turn to Hi Smoke. Smoke the venison at least two hours to build a flavor profile and adding a crust to the meat. Monitor the internal temperature, so it stays below 100°F.
3. The venison is still rare at this stage and needs to be placed on a sheet of foil with the edges turned up into the shape of a shallow bowl. Pour the beer and maple glaze over the meat. The glaze will act as a crutch to keep the meat moist during cooking while adding incredible flavor. A second wrap of foil is recommended.
4. Return the foil-wrapped roast to the grill and turn up the heat to 350°F for about 40 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the roast. When it hits 130°F, it should be taken off the heat source and allowed to rest for 10 minutes.
5. Carefully open the foil to prevent the sauce from leaking out. Remove the venison and place it on a cutting board. The glaze can be poured into a serving vessel to serve with the carved meat.
*A crutched roast can also be done on a barbecue, where you brown the meat on the grill without increasing the internal temperature. Wrap the roast in foil, add the glaze, and seal tight. Increase the heat to finish the roast to 130 to 135°F, which is medium.
For more delicious wild-game recipes, click here.