It’s Deer Season!
If you live in Kentucky, you may be mildly aware that deer season opened up September 6. If you live out where I live, you definitely know it’s deer season…. And, you probably haven’t seen your husband very much in the past couple of weeks.
In celebration of the opening of deer season I’m going to show you how to cook a deer leg! You can cook any leg you would like. Mamaw taught me how to cook a deer leg.
We process our own deer. My husband is a pro at getting every wonderful, organic, tasty bit of meat off the entire deer body & even the back legs. Those are the big ones. The front legs were always just tossed aside because there was so little meat on them.
The time and work involved in skinning, removing silver-seam and claiming the meat off those legs just didn’t pay off. Then Mamaw taught me how to cook a whole deer leg. Now, the front legs are our favorite.
To begin, you need a deer leg.
I hope that no one will care that my bakers sheet is 20 years old & showing it’s age. Sorry.
I have a giant, granite roasting pan. It is not giant enough for a deer leg, so I am going to need to… um… shorten this leg.
Yes, that’s a saw. Yes, it’s clean.
No, it’s not a joke. I have to do this everytime I cook a deer leg. Maybe my husband should try to shoot deer with shorter legs.
Great, the entire leg now fits in my roasting pan. I am covering it with filtered water. I do mean covering it. You must have plenty of water. This will create such goodness for you to enjoy for weeks to come. I’ll explain later. Just don’t skimp on the water. As much as your pan can hold without spilling on its way to the oven – that’s how much you want.
Here’s all you need. Lard (the jar of white stuff in the back), Lawry’s seasoned salt, salt and pepper. That’s it. I render my own lard, from our pigs. If you don’t have fresh lard just use bacon grease or butter. Deer meat is very lean, so you need to add some fat. Fat = flavor.
First, I salted the entire surface. Salt the deer leg, the water, the entire surface. Then do the same with the pepper. Then again with the Lawry’s.
Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake, Shake. Your wrist will be tired. Really season the heck out of it.
Next plop about 3 tablespoons of your fat right into the pan.
Cover tightly with foil. Then cover with the lid. A tight seal is a must. If all you liquid boils out or steams out, your deer leg will be a horrible version of deer jerky. Tough, chewy, yucky, deer jerky. We don’t want that.
Make sure your venison leg doesn’t run out of water… I check mine a couple of times during cooking. Add more water if necessary.
After it is all tight and snug under the foil and lid, you are going to “cook it to death.”
This is a direct quote from Mamaw, “Cook it to death” and she is not kidding.
This guy is going to cook for 8-10 hours in a 275 degree oven. I have cooked a deer leg overnight. I have cooked deer legs all day long. Whatever floats your boat will work. It just has to cook 8-10 hours. When it comes out of it’s hibernation in your oven it will look like this:
Oh, so wonderful! The meat is fork tender, it is perfectly browned on top and falling off the bones.
You have so many options at this point. Venison roast with potatoes. Venison sandwiches on crusty toasted bread. Venison vegetable soup. Venison tacos. This is enough meat to make 3 meals and put some in the freezer too. I love when I can get 4 meals out of one dish.
Tonight, I am going to serve this just like it is with mashed potatoes, gravy & squash. YUM! I just thickened some of this wonderful bone broth with some flour and made a gravy.
That’s it. Deer leg perfection.