roast bacon-wrapped venison loin recipe

Chef's notes:

The venison loin is one of the simplest and most popular pieces of whole venison to roast. This is mainly because it comes in a large, solid piece that is easy to clean and remove sinewy connective tissue from. The connective tissue comes off quite easily if you use a fillet knife or boning knife and angle the blade just right so that the skin comes off like a fish fillet. It also comes with almost no fat, which is also, at least with wild venison, not very tasty. Since venison loin is so lean, you must add some fat to it when you roast it. This is done most easily by wrapping the loin with bacon, a technique called barding. Continue reading for the rest of the details.


  • 1 whole venison loin (1-2#)
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Bacon, enough to wrap it
  • Demi-glace (optional)

Whole Loin of Venison Flavored with Juniper and Corriander Wrapped in Bacon and Roasted

  1. Trim and clean up some venison loin. As I said in the beginning of this article, you want your venison to be free of connective tissue and fat. Use a fillet knife to remove the connective tissue/silver skin. It’s a tricky technique that warrants a much more in-depth article in order to teach it.
  2. Season and wrap the venison loin with bacon. Cutting the loin in half makes it much easier to cook, especially since this one came from such a small deer. But small deer taste the best. Grind up the spices and rub them on the meat just before you are about to wrap it with the bacon. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Roast the venison loin at 450 degrees. Place the wrapped venison loin in a frying pan or roasting dish and into the preheated oven. Let it roast undisturbed for 10 minutes before you begin checking its internal temperature. Use a digital thermometer to check the exact center of the venison loin.
  4. Rest the roasted venison loin once it's up to temp. With venison, you won’t want to cook it past 120 degrees; otherwise it becomes a dried-out lump of grey flesh. It’s gross. So once the internal temperature is 120 degrees, remove the venison loin and let it rest, loosely covered with aluminum foil, on a cutting board for 15 minutes. Then slice thinly and serve.

Tips & Tricks

  • If you can’t get venison loin, use another cut of meat like rump or shoulder. You can stack multiple pieces together to get a chunk big enough to roast.
  • One of the reasons that some venison tastes gamey and gross is because it comes from older deer. Another is that it may have been processed poorly. So take that into consideration, if possible, when choosing your venison.
  • If you are unable to find venison, you can use elk, moose, or caribou for this recipe, too.
  • The taste of juniper is perfectly suited for venison, perhaps because it is one of the things that deer do occasionally eat. And perhaps because it is such a potent flavor that helps to mask the gaminess that some people object to.
  • A serrated knife will make slicing through all the bacon without shredding it much easier.