Sous vide cooking does seem to be a lot of hype, but I do believe it to be a valuable tool to anyone cooking wild game. Where this technique of cooking shines is turning what could potentially be a tough cut into a tender cut, while still keeping it within the desired rarity. A successful Wyoming pronghorn hunt for my wife last year gave me the inspiration for this recipe, deciding to keep the legs whole just for the task. The goal was to turn it into something familiar to a classic leg of lamb, but antelope is anything but a common sheep.
Tough meat comes from the amount of collagen in the muscle, which is determined by how active a muscle is. No doubt a hind of one of these speed demons could turn out tough if handled improperly. I knew if I could break down that collagen I would have a very flavorful cut, and a good sear in a screaming hot oven would give it that nice classical herb crust.
For Sous Vide Bag
– 1 bone in Pronghorn hind (or small deer) 4-6 lbs.
– 1 t of kosher salt
– 1 t of black pepper
– 1 t of dried rosemary
– 2 t of Colemans Mustard
– 3 Cloves of garlic (rough chopped)
– 3 T butter
For Herb Crust
– 1 T coarse kosher salt
– 1 ½ T black pepper
– 2 T of fresh rosemary chopped
– 1 egg white
– Drippings from bag used to cook leg
– 2 T of all purpose flour
– 2 T olive oil
– 1 cup of broth (beef)
Pre-heat water bath to 138* F. I used a gallon Ziplock freezer bag, but a vacuum bag or other sturdy zip bag will work well.
Coat the hind evenly with the Colemans mustard, salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic and place in the bag. Add the butter to the bag. (Amounts of seasoning for the herb crust are not to be confused with this step, herb crust will be done after the water bath.)
Place bag in heated water bath fully submerged and set a time for 8 hrs (Covering the vessel with plastic wrap after will ensure evaporation loss is minimized and keep your bath from running low.)
After 8 hrs carefully pull the bag from the bath and preheat oven to 475*F for the Herb Crust. Pull the leg from the bag and place on a clean work surface. Pat the roast dry with paper towel. Prepare all ingredients for Herb Crust. (BE SURE TO SAVE THE DRIPPINGS FROM THE BAG!!!!!)
Step 5 (Herb Crust)
Using a mixer or a wisk, beat egg white until soft peaks form. Be carefull not to over beat white, this will cause separation of it and hinder adhesion of the seasoning. Mix the dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Brush the beaten egg white all over the roast, and sprinkle the seasoning onto the white. This will allow the seasoning to properly adhere and form a nice crust.
Using a baking sheet lined with parchment, place roast in 475* oven for 10 Min. Place a sauce pan on the stove and heat to med-high heat. Prepare drippings, stock, and ingredients for gravy.
Pull from oven and place on a cooling rack to rest meat. (10 min while gravy is made)
Pour the drippings from the bag into a heated sauce pan and reduce moisture out. Add oil and four and continue scraping and stirring. When the mixture has browned nicely add the stock and stir to incorporate. Allow to thicken, then pour through sieve to separate the herbs and garlic. This will yield a nice smooth gravy.
Assemble preferred sides, carve roast. Plate the carved pieces on plate and pour on the gravy!