Salt-Crusted Roasted Venison Backstrap
Looking for an unusual way to roast venison that will both impress your friends and turn out a delicious meal? Then try this salt-crusted roasting method the next time you want perfectly seasoned and roasted venison that allows a bit of showmanship when you bring it to the table. Present the crusted mound of salt, give it a sharp rap with the back of a heavy knife to break it apart, then peel away the salt crust to reveal a perfectly done cut of meat
The most important thing to remember when using this cooking method is to remove the meat from the oven while it is still a good 10 degrees lower than your desired finished temperature. For medium-rare, I pull the roast at 125 degrees. Because of the insulating properties of the salt crust, the roast will continue to cook as it rests. If you take it all the way to your desired doneness in the oven, it will be overcooked by the time you crack the crust. Since the roast isn't visible during the cooking process, the easiest way to monitor the temperature is with a remote thermometer. Just insert the probe before applying the salt and form the crust around it.
2-3 pound venison roast, I normally use either a section of backstrap or a top round roast.
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 cups coarse salt
1 1/2 cups water
Rub the backstrap with oil and season with pepper. Lay the rosemary over the top of the meat.
When the meat hits 120-125 on your thermometer, remove the roast from the oven and allow it to rest for 30 minutes to one hour. Don't worry, the salt crust will keep it piping hot during the rest time and the meat will continue to cook for part of that time.
To serve, present the salt-covered roast at the table and give the now hardened crust a sharp rap or two with the back of a chef's knife. The crust should break apart into several large pieces. Gently transfer the roast to a cutting board and slice just before serving.
You can serve the sliced venison as a main course, but my favorite thing to do with it is to pile the leftovers high on some good bread then top with a bit of cheese for the perfect sandwich.