The Easter weekend barbecue at my sister's house was spit roasted venison wrapped in pancetta. I arrived at her house a little late to find the rotisserie already turning and the pancetta nicely crisp on the outside.
She'd bought the meat during a trip to Belgium so frankly she hadn't got a clue exactly what cut it was but I'm not complaining, it was delicious.
It was a large slab of meat so I guess from the rump somewhere and all she had done was sprinkled it with a little sage, layered the strips of pancetta over the top and then pulled it altogether into a nice rotisserie roll with a few pieces of string.
The pancetta is essential to protect what is a very lean piece of meat from drying out. Instead of the pancetta you can use smoky bacon but if you can get pancetta then all the better, it's just lighter and crisps nicely.
Certainly I'm going to try this spit roasted venison at home but one word of caution. When I carved the meat, all the pancetta fell off leaving presentation challenging. I just placed some slices of venison on a plate and “crossed” a couple of strips on top like a coat of arms. It worked a treat.
Serves:- 8 people
Preparation Time:- 30 minutes
Cooking Time:- 45 minutes
Total Time:- 75 minutes
The first job is to thread the meat onto the skewer taking care to get a good balance for the rotation of the spit. Hold the rod at both ends and give the joint a twirl just to check that you have got the balance reasonably well and that you are not going to put too much strain on the rotisserie motor.
If your heat source is below the rotisserie then you also need to ensure that the venison is positioned at the right point horizontally so that cooking is indirect.
Season the meat with the salt, pepper and sage.
Lay out the pancetta strips on a board so that they just overlap each other. Place the venison over the top and roll the pancetta round.
To string it together it's easier to use individual lengths of string and tie each one, it's not as neat as your butcher would do for you but it's secure and does the job. As soon as the pancetta fat starts to melt it will start to form a crust and remain in position not matter how bad your stringing attempt was.
Grill for between 15 - 20 minutes per pound dependent on how well done you like your red meat.
My Easter weekend barbecue was completed by coleslaw and a roasted pepper salad served with home made bread.
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