Why venison from indigenous Scottish breeds makes for the best meat

  • The Larder
  • 2 July 2013
A Cut Above

Venison is Scotland's 'king of meats'

Low in fat, higher in iron than other red meat, with omega 3 too – it’s easy to see why the ’king of meats’ is a healthy, protein-rich and flavoursome choice.

Red and Roe deer, the breeds most eaten, are indigenous to Scotland, now either farmed or culled from wild herds. In general, animals under 27 months old give a good balance of flavour and tenderness. The best meat comes from an animal that has been shot without previous stress, has been well-handled from field to butchery, and hung usually for two to three days.

A butchered carcass yields cuts such as fillet, rump and loin steaks that are best cooked on the rare side. Slow-cooked casseroles work with whole shanks, diced neck or shoulder. For a roast, a bone-in haunch, a boned and rolled shoulder, or on-the-bone saddle, all work best cooked pink. Burgers, sausages and marinated butterflied leg are all handy barbecue options.