We’re lucky in South Africa to be able to enjoy fantastic game meat. Venison may have a reputation of being difficult to cook, or you may not know how to spice it to do the flavour justice. A good cut doesn’t need much though, so no fancy marinades here and a simple seasoning.
For sous vide cooking there’s always the debate about whether or not to add fat to the bag for cooking. Venison in particular is lean, so a perfect cut to experiment whether it makes a difference whether you do or don’t at butter, and what the difference is.
Our verdict: yes it does make a big difference, and we preferred the cut cooked in butter. It was juicier and softer, doing more justice to the flavour.
- 500g Eland sirloin
- 50g Butter
- 1/2 tbsp Thyme
- Salt & Pepper
- Prepare your sous vide water bath
Fill a container with water and place the sous vide immersion circulator in the bath. Set temperature at 54C degrees.
- Prepare the meat
Season the meat with salt, pepper and thyme on both sides. Freshly ground peppercorns are preferred, however don’t go overboard as you would overpower the meat.
- Prepare the bag
Place the meat in a vacuum bag and pour the butter in. Roll around so that all sides are buttered. Vacuum seal, or use the immersion technique and seal the bag.
- Cook the meat
Drop the bag in the sous vide bath, and cook for 2 hours. After cooking time, remove the bag from the bath, and leave to cool slightly.
- Sear the meat
The finishing touch is the crust of the meat, which is achieved by searing on a piping hot cast iron skillet (or on the braai). High heat is important to create a crust very quickly, without further cooking the meat. Sear all sides. Leave to rest for a few minutes, and then slice to serve.
This beautiful cut goes well with warm, earthy flavours. Serve it with air fryer carrot fries with thyme, and beetroot barley.