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Haunch of Muntjac cooked over coals with smoked celeriac

This is a beauty!

 Joshua Hunter   Winter 2020 Join us on        @thebbqmag

 #JoshuaHunter #Muntjac #BBQButchers




Serves 6




Haunch of Muntjac cooked over coals with smoked celeriac

For the brine

  • 180g of fine salt dissolved in two litres of water
  • A few sprigs of thyme, one star anise, a bay leaf and a few juniper berries.

  • 1 whole muntjac haunch – also ask your butcher for 100g diced venison trim
  • A small bunch of rosemary
  • ½ a head of garlic
  • 50ml smoked oil (Cotswold Gold make a lovely smoked oil)
  • 1 celeriac peeled and diced in ½ cm pieces
  • 1 red kale, or similar – black cabbage or regular curly kale would be good too
  • 1 litre of good quality chicken stock
  • 350ml Madeira
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 100g diced butter




  1. Start by brining the venison haunch overnight in the fridge in an airtight container or a pan with a lid. The haunch should be submerged. The brining ensures an even seasoning but also improves the tenderness of the meat and helps to stop it drying.
  2. Remove it from the fridge an hour before cooking and pat dry. Rub with some rapeseed oil. Sear the haunch in a large pan with some oil, getting colour all over for about 5 mins. Remove from the heat and wrap tightly in several layers of aluminium foil, with the ½ garlic head and rosemary enclosed.
  3. This is now ready for the BBQ. I use a Big Green Egg at work as this is brilliant for an even cooking with great temperature control; however, a Weber charcoal kettle BBQ would work fine. You need to achieve a temperature of about 120°C so ensure you light it well ahead of time and allow the coals to die down a bit.
  4. The haunch should take about 3.5 hours at this temp for a lovely gentle cook and a fantastic pulling apart texture so this is one to get on first thing in the morning and let it do its thing while you get the rest of the meal ready.
  5. Make sure that it isn’t exposed to the direct heat, so placing it in an old roasting tray that you don’t mind getting beaten up on the BBQ is a good idea. Make sure you turn the haunch once an hour and check that it is pulling away form the bone when it is cooked.
  6. Meanwhile sweat the celeriac with some salt and pepper and the smoked oil in a heavy sauce pan with a lid until tender. Add the cream and reduce until it has thickened and is coating the celeriac. Lightly crush with a whisk or fork.
  7. Roast the venison trim in a heavy pan, once coloured add the Madeira and reduce by two thirds. Then add the chicken stock and reduce till the sauce has some body then strain through a sieve.
  8. Blanch the kale in boiling salted water. Pour any resting juices from the venison into the jus. Pull apart the venison into even pieces, make sure the celeriac is piping hot. Plate and enjoy.


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