Slow-Cooker Venison Roast with Bacon
The venison roast is one of my favorite cuts of all when it comes to enjoying this delicious and healthy game meat. Lean and flavorful, the roast is easy to prepare as well, especially in a slow-cooker or crockpot! Just like with a beef or pork roast, a slow-cooker venison roast takes almost no work or special ingredients at all, yet you end up with a delicious and tender meal full of flavor – and in this case, very little fat!
I’ve experimented with several different ways to prepare a venison roast in the crockpot, but the recipe below is my favorite so far. I combined elements of a few different venison roast recipes online with my own touches and changes. If you try it, I think you’ll agree that it’s a wonderful way to enjoy venison – your family will likely not even realize they’re eating deer meat!
Slow Cooker Venison Roast with Bacon
My recipe here is inspired by elements of several others I’ve looked at (and cooked before to the letter), such as Slow Cooker Apple-Scented Venison Roast and Slow Cooker Venison Roast Recipe. As usual I found things I liked in several recipes I wanted to combine into one – plus add my own twists on things to suit my tastes.
Cooking time for your venison roast will depend on your slow-cooker. My roast was perfectly fork-tender in 6 hours on the high setting; if you assemble the dish in the morning and want it to be done after you come home from work, 8-10 hours on a low setting should work equally well.
The apple placed in the crock pot adds a sweetness to the meat, and also somehow manages to draw out the “gamey” taste of the venison which some people object to. As such, you want to make sure to remove the apple before serving. While I’ve used beef stock here as it’s more readily available, if you are fortunate enough to have your own home-made venison stock, by all means use that instead!
The bacon helps add some needed fat to the roast, and keeps the top moist throughout the slow-cooking process. I am fortunate enough to have some fresh-smoked bacon from our own family’s pasture-raised pigs; try to use the best quality bacon you can as it will add a real depth and richness of flavor to your roast.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total cooking time: 6 to 8 hours
1 boneless venison roast, about 2 pounds
2 onions, peeled and sliced into thick rings
1 apple, cored and quartered
6-8 thick-cut slices smoked bacon
1/4 cup red wine
About 2 cups beef stock
Coarse sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
8 Juniper berries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
In a bowl, coat venison roast with Worcestershire sauce and rub into the meat. Then season roast with salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of the slow cooker with olive oil – about 1 tablespoon. Place onion rings in bottom of slow cooker.
Place the roast on top of the onions. Then layer bacon across the top, and place apple wedges around roast.
Pour over red wine, then enough beef stock to go about half-way up the roast. Add in the juniper berries.
Slow cook until roast is fall-apart tender – 6 to 8 hours. Remove apples; do not serve them. Place roast, bacon and onions in an oven-safe bowl or baking dish and keep warm in oven.
Put remaining cooking liquid in a saute pan and heat on stove over medium-high heat. Dissolve corn starch in a small bowl with a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Add butter and corn starch slurry to pan; reduce until sauce is thickened.
Take roast and onions out of the warming oven and add in reduced sauce – enough to moisten the meat but not so much as to make it “soupy”. Shred roast and serve with the starch of your choice: mashed potatoes, baked squash, egg noodles or rice.