The venison season is in full flow and there are several reasons why you should be sitting down to enjoy a meal or two of this delicious wild game.
With historically high populations of both fallow and roe deer across the South Downs, as well as increasing numbers of muntjac, the deer population needs to be controlled. With no natural predators in the UK, large numbers of deer can devastate woodland, eating seedlings and coppice re-growth, and stripping bark from larger trees which hugely impacts on forest regeneration. By feeding on the scrub layer, they deprive woodland birds of their habitat, and they also impact on farmer’s crops and gardens.
The silver lining is that we have a steady supply of South Downs wild deer that has been feeding on the tastiest woodland forage, resulting in a red meat that is healthy, low in fat, high in protein, rich in minerals and absolutely delicious. At a time of industrialized feed lot meat, there has never been a better time to be eating wild venison.
Fallow and roe venison is tender, and not too gamey (unlike NZ red deer that you buy in the supermarket). There are a number of different cuts for you to enjoy, similar to lamb or beef. Venison mince is a great alternative to beef for burgers, bolognaise or cottage pie (you can hardly taste the difference with the mince), while the diced is excellent for stews and casseroles. The haunch can be roasted whole or cut into steaks, or even butterflied and marinated for the BBQ. The loin is the finest meat you can buy, with the texture of the best fillet steak, but with a far superior flavour. It’s incredible as a Venison Wellington with wild mushrooms and looks amazing for a dinner party.
Because venison is low in fat, it should be eaten pink like lamb.
“Wild venison is a very lean and delicious meat, produced in an entirely natural manner and consumers can be reassured that they are supporting the sustainable management of not only these iconic creatures but the ecosystem in which they live.” Michael Prior, Head Forester at Stansted Park
Our venison comes from local estates including Stansted and Uppark, and we expect a constant supply all the way through until late spring. However, they are wild and in extreme weather conditions, it can be difficult to find them.
We offer all the cuts of venison, including homemade sausages, from our butchery counter and we will also be serving it on our lunchtime menu at the Stansted Park Farm Shop Kitchen.
|Venison – Fallow bucks||1st Aug||30th Apr|
|Venison – Fallow does||1st Nov||28th Feb|
|Venison – Fallow does||21st Oct||15th Feb|
|Venison – Roe bucks||1st Apr||31st Oct|
|Venison – Roe bucks||1st Apr||20th Oct|
|Venison – Roe does||1st Nov||28th Feb|
|Venison – Roe does||21st Oct||31st Mar|