There’s something visceral about watching a big hunk of meat slowing turning over fire. Maybe it goes back to a time when we lived in caves and discovered that poking a stick through our kill and holding it over the fire improved its flavor and overall edibility.
Today, we do our spit roasting on our Everdure by Heston Blumenthal charcoal grill. It’s the perfect cooking tool for this venison recipe. We use a combination of charcoal and chunks of wood like hickory or pecan for extra smoke flavor. The 54-inch grill features electric ignition and a smooth, quiet rotisserie with an adjustable height. With adjustable sliding clamps and a full-width spit, it’s perfect for everything from small venison roasts all the way up to a decent-size wild hog.
My favorite cut for this method is actually a combination of cuts. When we remove the top and bottom rounds, along with the eye of round between them, from the rear quarter, we leave all three roasts connected. Trim away any fat, that little gland that lies between the top and bottom round, and the silverskin, leaving a loosely connected roast with three portions.
We marinate the roast overnight, then season well, roll, and tie into a tight roast. Season the surface of the roast, then slide onto the spit of your rotisserie. Cook over hot coals until the center of the roast reaches 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Slide out the spit and let the roast rest before slicing thinly against the grain.
The results are fantastic as a main dish, but they really shine piled high on good bread as a roast venison sandwich.
Venison top, bottom, and eye of round, left connected
1 teaspoon ground rosemary
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon dried basil
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups red wine
1 cup soy sauce
½ cup balsamic vinegar
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
Place the well-trimmed roast in a glass or plastic container large enough to allow it to lie flat. Blend the marinade ingredients well. Reserve 1 cup of the marinade to baste the roast with as it cooks. Pour the rest over the roast. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the roast from the marinade. Blend the dried herbs and sprinkle evenly over both sides of the roast. Salt and pepper both sides well.
Roll the roast tightly and secure with several wraps of butcher’s twine. Trim any loose ends from the twine.
Slide your rotisserie’s spit through the center of the roast and secure in place. Heat your rotisserie to medium-high or start an even bed of charcoal. If using a charcoal grill like the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal, add a chunk or two of seasoned hickory or pecan wood for extra flavor.
Cook times can range from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours or more, depending on thickness of the roast and temperature of your coals. Baste every 15 minutes with the reserved marinade.
Start checking the internal temperature about 40 minutes in. You are shooting for 120 degrees for medium-rare, 130 for medium. Remember that the internal temperature will continue to rise another 5 degrees or so as the roast rests.
Remove the roast from the spit and let it rest, lightly tented with foil, for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice thinly, across the grain, before serving. Save leftovers for next-day sandwiches.
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