3 lb. venison roast
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
3 Tbs butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 cups croutons (you can either get the herbed croutons, or add your own sage/rosemary/thyme)
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
4 slices of bacon, halved
1 cup red wine
2 Tbs jam
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Bring the cherries and water to a boil and set aside.
2. Saute the onions and celery (and if doing your herbs separately, put them in now too) in the butter until tender. Add the garlic for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth until heated through.
3. To your broth mixture add the croutons, pepper, nutmeg, and cherries with the water. Fold until moistened and set aside.
4. With venison you want to make sure you remove any translucent skin around the outside of the roast. Slice the roast from right to left a half inch thick from the top, to approximately a half an inch from the end without slicing it off. Now do the same from left to right on the bottom of the roast, starting from where you left off, and possibly a third time depending on the thickness of your roast, so that your once thick roast now lays flat. Take a meat tenderizer and with the flat side, pound the meat out to an even thickness.
5. Spread the stuffing onto the meat. Roll the meat up and tie it with kitchen string. Place the slices of bacon across the top. Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
6. Place 1 cup of wine into a saucepan and add 2 Tbs of jam on medium heat, stirring until the jam dissolves. I chose blackberry jam and a sweet tempranillo to compliment the cherries. But you could use a white and apricot just as easily. With a half hour left, baste the roast with the sauce.
7. Let the meat rest for 15 minutes after removing from the oven before slicing.
The stuffing and venison were good. But the bacon was awesome! Because it covered so much of the roast, it ended up getting most of the wine sauce. Venison can easily dry out due to its leanness, and I like to use bacon to give it some fat to cook with. Because the bacon got the lion's share of the wine sauce, I will try to find a different method next time so the venison gets a chance to absorb some of the wine too. I'm going to find another use for wine basted bacon in the near future though!