This past week brought me into a panic, over the holiday weekend I’d wanted to enjoy a slow roasted venison ham on Monday. The weekend came and went, and a previous fast food meal left all the people in the house older than an infant crippled with food related illness. Now I had this full sized venison ham thawed in the freezer. What would I be able to do with it on a school night?! Thankfully I have an Anova Precision cooker sous vide unit, and venison ham sous vide seemed to be like the perfect use for it by Wednesday night when we all felt better.
When butchering out my whitetail doe last season, I saved an entire bone in rear ham and froze it in what seemed like an obnoxiously large freezer bag. That came to save me when it was time to re-package for the sous vide water bath. Allowing the ham to thaw over several days in the refrigerator I cut with a sharp knife the triangle of unused vacuum bag nearest the roasts to get at the meat for preparation. For this recipe I simply use the old roasting standby, Montreal Steak seasoning. Lubed up over the course of nearly a day with butter and the salt heavy seasoning makes this venison ham sous vide prime rib tender.
For the cooking vessel I use an old cooler I’ve salvaged from a camp site, but they make several commercial vessels or you can make your own.
This meal is great for company, and just as good the next day as a sandwich with a little horseradish sauce on some sourdough rolls if you happen to have such luck as to have leftovers. It is time consuming, but the process is mostly hands off.
Venison Ham Sous Vide
- 1 Rear ham of a whitetail deer
- Approximately 3 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
- 1 Stick Butter, cut into 1Tbsp pats
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- Cooler or other large vessel with a top and hole for sous vide cooker
- Approximately 10 gallons of water, to fill cooking vessel
- Sous vide cooker
- Vacuum Sealer
- Fill cooler or other cooking vessel with water, leaving enough headspace for your venison ham sous vide.
- Start the sous vide cooker according to instructions to 130F and begin circulating.
- Cut existing freezer bag or prepare bag to reseal venison ham.
- Pour out liquid that may have collected from thawing the game meat and pat mostly dry with a paper towel.
- Spread the Montreal steak seasoning evenly over the surface of the meat, roasts and shank.
- Cut the stick of butter into 1 Tbsp pats, place on the surface of the meat on each side.
- Re-seal the vacuum bag with your vacuum sealer.
- Place the sealed bag inside the circulating water of the sous vide cooker rig.
- Sous vide cooking timing will depend on weight of the venison ham, but for my purposes 130F for 19 hours did the trick, with another hour to sear it, rest it, and prepare side dishes.
- Pull the venison ham from the sous vide bath.
- Get a cast iron griddle or skillet very hot somewhere smoke won’t be an issue, I use my outdoor gas grill allowing the skillet to get ripping hot. Use the vegetable oil to lubricate the skillet or griddle.
- Sear on all sides, including edges!
- Move ham to a aluminum baking tray or cutting board.
- Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Carve, and serve!