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saddle of venison barded with bacon on orange sauce

Saddle of venison on the bone with orange sauce - simply Christmassy!

December 18th, 2022 | main dishes

A very special holiday roast for the upcoming Christmas celebrations: A whole saddle of venison cooked on the bone in orange sauce! Here I will tell you my recipe, which is guaranteed to succeed and leave a powerful impression.

Saddle of venison on the bone with orange sauce - simply Christmassy! Saddle of venison on the bone with orange sauce - simply Christmassy!

Every year the question of all questions: What should I cook for Christmas. There are many fixed traditions on Christmas Eve, such as our’s: the Cicchetti. On the public holidays, however, people like to vary. A special fish, fine poultry such as duck or goose are on the menu, with many also fondue or raclette and much more.

Personally, I prefer game, in this case a saddle of venison cooked on the bone in a wonderful orange sauce. It couldn’t get any more festive than with such a whole roast on the Christmas table. And the preparation is very easy. The sauce has just a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity and a wonderful umami thanks to the vegetables and the cooked orange and lemon slice and some currant jelly.

Since every oven has a “life of its own” and works differently, a roasting thermometer is helpful to determine the core temperature. At a core temperature of 55° – 58° C the venison is medium/pink, at 58° – 60° C it is well done. Attention, the thermometer must not be inserted too deeply into the meat, it should not touch the bone. Personally, I recommend cooking venison medium, i.e. pink.

Bread dumplings, fried polenta, spaetzle and red or Brussels sprouts are suitable as side dishes.

Saddle of venison on the bone in orange sauce

(4 servings)

Attention: The spices should be allowed to work for 5 hours before preparation.

Preheat the oven to 240°C.

1 – 1.2 kg saddle of venison on the bone, skinned
½ ts ground pepper
½ ts thyme leaves
8 juniper berries, finely chopped
rub the saddle of venison with the spices
8 – 10 thin slices of fatty bacon (e.g. lardo)
bard the saddle of venison, i.e. wrap it in the bacon and tie it up with kitchen twine, leave to rest for 4 – 5 hours
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch of soup greens, chopped
2 bay leaves
½ bunch of parsley with stalks, roughly chopped
3 TS butter
melt the butter in a large casserole or on a deep baking tray, place the saddle of venison in the centre, arrange the vegetables all around and mix with the butter
1 thick (2.5 cm) slice of organic lemon
1 thick (2.5 cm) slice of organic orange
1 tomato, quartered
4 TS game jus (alternatively: game stock)
add it, place the roaster in the oven at 240° C and stew for 30 minutes
then reduce the temperature to 185°C, remove the bacon and stew for another 15 minutes
100 g crème fraîche
spread the crème fraîche on the roast and cook for a further 15 minutes, basting the roast two or three times
remove the roast and let it rest covered on a warm plate for at least 10 minutes
in the meantime pass the sauce through a sieve, squeeze the vegetables well, put the sauce in a saucepan
100 ml dry red wine
add and reduce the sauce over high heat until thick (or if the sauce is not thick enough: mix 1 teaspoon of starch in a little red wine, bring the sauce to the boil, stir in the starch, thicken)
Salt, pepper from the mill
1 TS currant jelly (red)
spice vigorously
2 TS crème fraîche
stir in
debone the saddle of venison, cut into portions and put the meat back on the bone, decorate with orange slices and serve with the sauce


In the case of a saddle of venison or fallow deer weighing about 2 kg, increase the roasting time accordingly, the roasting thermometer is a good service here:

55° – 58° = medium/pink

58° – 60° = well done

With a roast of this weight, I remove the inner fillets and only put them in the oven for the last 30 minutes

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