• As venison is low in fat it’s a healthier meat option. As a result it won’t be as tender or moist as other meat.

    Springbok pot roast served with roasted root vegetables and twice-baked potatoes

    Serves: 8
    Cooking Time: 4 hours 30 mins plus extra for marinating and standing


    • 6 rosemary sprigs
    • 8 thyme sprigs
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 5ml black pepper
    • 500g mirepoix or cubes of root vegetables
    • 6 garlic cloves
    • 2 litres red wine
    • ROAST
    • 2,7kg springbok leg
    • 8 garlic cloves, halved
    • 30ml olive oil
    • 500g mirepoix or cubes of root vegetables
    • 50ml tomato paste
    • 250g streaky bacon, fried
    • 4 thyme sprigs
    • 4 rosemary sprigs
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 10ml crushed black pepper
    • 200g dried apricots, optional
    • SAUCE
    • 30ml mild German mustard
    • 60ml redcurrant jelly
    • 100ml port
    • beurre manié, as needed
    • 200ml sour cream, optional
    • 3 turnips
    • 3 parsnips
    • 3 celeriacs
    • 3 carrots
    • 2 onions
    • 2 sweet potatoes
    • 2 thyme sprigs
    • 2 rosemary sprigs
    • coarse salt and black pepper, to taste
    • 50ml olive oil
    • 4 large potatoes
    • 20ml olive oil
    • 250g assorted mushrooms
    • 1 garlic clove
    • 10ml fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • 2 spring onions, chopped
    • 50g – 80g butter
    • 50g – 80g cheddar, grated



    Mix all the marinade ingredients together and marinate the springbok leg overnight.


    Pat-dry the meat and strain the liquid. Reserve for the sauce.


    With a knife, make small incisions in the meat and insert the garlic. Preheat the oven to 160ºC.


    In a roasting pan, brown the meat on all sides evenly – you can dust the meat with a little flour prior to browning. Remove the meat and set aside.


    Use the same roasting pan and over a medium heat, add the olive oil, mirepoix and tomato paste. Deglaze with the reserved marinade.


    Place the meat on top of the mirepoix and drape the bacon over and around the roast. Add the remaining roast ingredients.


    Gently roast covered with a lid or foil, turning often until cooked, for about 2 – 3 hours.


    Remove and allow the meat to rest for at least 20 minutes.


    To make the sauce, remove the roast and apricots and set aside, keeping warm. Place the roasting pan over medium heat and skim off any fat that may be present.


    Add the mustard, jelly and port and reduce by a third. Thicken with the beurre manié if required, allow to simmer for a few minutes and strain. Add the sour cream if required. Increase the oven to 180°C.


    Cube the vegetables, season and mix with the olive oil. Roast them either with the meat or separately. Keep warm.


    For the potatoes, roast the potatoes whole in the oven until soft. Remove, and while still warm, cut them in half and remove the soft centre – make sure that the skin does not get damaged. Try to keep the shells quite thick. Heat the olive oil and sauté the mushrooms with the garlic. Mix together the potato, mushroom, parsley, onion and butter. Spoon the mixture back into the empty potato shells and sprinkle with the cheese. Return the potatoes to the baking tray and bake until crispy and golden.


    Get your carving board ready as well as a sharp knife and make sure that you carve across the grain. This is very simple – make as many slices as possible on the meaty side, cutting until you hit the bone, then turn and do the same on the other side.


    Serve the meat slices with the roasted vegetables and baked potatoes while still warm.

    • Make sure you know and trust your butcher.
    • Remove the roast from the fridge two hours before roasting so that it can be prepared at room temperature.
    • For less messy carving, remove the pelvic bone before roasting.
    • Venison has a distinctive smell and taste, which is partly why the meat is marinated for long periods.
    • When roasting, make sure that you turn the meat often and keep it moist by using a gentle, moderate heat.
    • Beurre manié is the mixing of equal quantities of flour and butter, which are kneaded together. It’s used to thicken sauces.
    • Resting is important as it allows the meat to redistribute juices. The meat “relaxes” and the juices run free, all making the meat more tender.


    1. Thermometer: 55ºC – 60ºC is underdone; 66ºC – 70ºC is medium; 75ºC – 78ºC is well done.
    2. Pressure test: squeeze with your fingers to determine the resistance of the flesh; sponginess indicates that the joint is underdone.