Rubbed in a delicious, peppery rub and slow cooked to medium rare this sous vide venison roast is simple to make without special equipment and perfect for french dip sandwiches or simply dipped in the au jus.
Venison is probably our family’s favorite meat. We hunt to fill several tags to feed our family this delicious, lean meat for the year before emptying our freezer and starting over again.
I had a small, one pound roast in the basket of our freezer that had somehow been pushed to the side over the past year and since we haven’t filled our first tag this season, I pulled it out to cook.
Roasts cut off the hind legs are typically a tougher cut of meat, but since this sous vide roast is cooked low and slow… it tenderizes the meat well and it also keeps a nice, consistent temperature that cooks the meat to the perfect doneness every time.
What is sous vide?
If you’ve never utilized the sous vide cooking method, you’re in for a treat. Sous vide (pronounced sue-veed) which means “under vacuum” in French is a cooking method that utilizes vacuum sealing (or ziploc bagging) your food and keeping the water you immerse it in at a consistent, even temperature while circulating it around.
The result of this method is tender, perfectly cooked meat every single time. Honestly, you could cook the same piece of meat sous vide for a week and it would never overcook. It would still be a nice piece of medium rare roast. But… no one wants to cook meat for a week, and I don’t recommend it as it would get pretty mushy.
Sous vide is typically done using a machine that both circulates and keeps the water temperature inside the pot even. This is great because you don’t really have to keep a close eye on it. But… the machines are a bit pricey and you can accomplish the same thing with a pot of water, a thermometer, and a ziploc bag.
Since we do not yet possess a sous vide machine, I decided to try it without one. The results? Perfectly cooked, tender roast that we were able to use to make delicious French Dip sandwiches with. The meat was so good the kids wanted to just eat it, but… we managed to keep enough to make a few sandwiches to fill us up.
How long does it take to sous vide a venison roast?
I had a small, one pound roast for this particular cooking venture. But, a larger roast would work equally well, you’re simply going to need to cook it for longer. My one pound roast took 6 hours to cook. A larger, 2 pound, roast is going to take about double the time, so plan for a 12 hour cook.
That said, the longer you cook it, the more tender the meat. However, if you’re like me and don’t have a sous vide machine, you will still have a tender, delicious roast at the end of the 6-12 hour cook time.
If you do have a machine, I’d cook it for closer to 14 hours for a 1 pound roast, and 24 hours for a 2 pound roast.
What temperature should venison roast be cooked to?
You don’t want to cook venison much past rare/medium rare which equates an internal temperature of 120°F to 135°F. Cooked much more it tends to dry the meat out and become tough. This makes sous vide an excellent method to achieve that level of doneness since it will be cooked at an even 130°F external temperature.
How to cook venison sous vide
First things first, you’ll need something to cook it in. If you have an immersion circulator, perfect. If not, I’ve got you covered. Simply fill a large pot (5 quart or so) with hot tap water.
Clip a thermometer to the side of the pot (I used a digital candy thermometer and it worked perfectly). Place the pot on the stove and warm the water up until the thermometer reads 130°F. It may take a few, you can warm it while you prep the meat.
Once it has reached that temp, you’ll want to keep it there within a degree or two. I had to cycle on super low heat on my simmer burner for a few minutes to keep it there.
Note that if the water temperature stays between 125°F and 140°F you’re doing really well. Just try to keep it as close to 130°F as possible. The only downside is you have to be actively keeping an eye on it, but we were doing other things in the kitchen that day, so it wasn’t a big issue.
Once you get whatever you’re cooking it in ready, you’ll prep the meat. Make sure to begin with room temperature meat! The meat will be rubbed in a delicious peppery rub on the outside, then seared.
Once it’s seared, you’re going to deglaze the pan with a bit of venison or beef broth.
Put the broth and the roast into a vacuum seal bag with a couple sprigs of rosemary, some sliced onion, and crushed garlic cloves and seal it up using a vacuum sealer. But, don’t remove all of the air, you want to keep all those juices inside. I stop the sealer about 85% of the way through to seal it early.
Then, you’ll place it in your prepared pot, making sure the bag is completely immersed in water. And let it cook for several hours.
Once it’s done, you’ll remove the bag and let it rest for about a half an hour on the counter. Then, you’ll sear the meat again, deglaze the pan with the juices from the bag and a bit more broth to make an au jus and serve hot.
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Other Venison Recipes You’ll Love:
- Easy Pan Fried Deer Heart Recipe
- Venison Shepherd’s Pie
- Marinated Venison Steak