Roast Bison or Venison with Red Wine and Onion Jus

Author: Canadian Living

Game meat is always leaner than domestic meat, so special care must be taken when roasting to prevent it from drying out. Larding it with bacon or pork fat is a traditional method, and it's important to never cook it past medium.

  • Portion size 8 servings
  • Credits : Canadian Living Magazine: October 2007


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 lbs bison rib eye or bottom round roast
  • 2 lbs venison rib eye or bottom round roast
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups pearl onions (1 pkg 10 oz/284 g)
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley


Cut each slice bacon in half lengthwise; cut in half crosswise. In small bowl, combine garlic, thyme and pepper. One at a time, coat bacon strip in garlic mixture. Cut 8 slits in roast with thin knife; insert bacon into slits.

Place roast in sealable plastic bag; add onion, bay leaves and wine. Seal and marinate in refrigerator for 6 hours, turning occasionally. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate for up to 24 hours.)

In heatproof bowl, cover pearl onions with boiling water; let stand for 1 minute. Drain and peel; set aside.

Remove roast from marinade, reserving solids and liquid separately. Place solids in roasting pan; pour in 1 cup (250 mL) water. Set aside.

In skillet, heat bacon fat over high heat; brown roast all over. Place on roasting rack over liquid in roasting pan; sprinkle with half of the salt. Cover loosely with foil. Roast in 300°F (150°C) oven for about 1-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer inserted in centre reads 125° to 140°F (53° to 60°C) for rare to medium. Do not cook beyond medium. Transfer to warm platter and tent with foil; let stand for about 10 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, pour fat from skillet. Melt butter over medium-high heat; brown pearl onions. With slotted spoon, transfer onions to bowl.

Add sugar to skillet; stir over medium heat until nutty brown, about 5 minutes. Add reserved marinade and remaining salt ; bring to boil over high heat and boil until reduced by half to about 2/3 cup (150 mL), about 5 minutes. Strain through fine sieve or cheesecloth into small saucepan.

Strain liquid in roasting pan into glass measure, adding enough water if necessary to make 1/2 cup (125 mL); add to saucepan and bring to boil.

Add onions; cover and cook over medium heat until tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Spoon a little sauce over roast slices; serve with remaining sauce.

Nutritional facts Per serving: about

  • Sodium 348 mg
  • Protein 27 g
  • Calories 277.0
  • Total fat 14 g
  • Cholesterol 90 mg
  • Saturated fat 7 g
  • Total carbohydrate 6 g


  • Iron 26.0
  • Fibre 0.0
  • Folate 4.0
  • Sodium 0.0
  • Sugars 0.0
  • Calcium 2.0
  • Protein 0.0
  • Calories 0.0
  • Total fat 0.0
  • Vitamin A 5.0
  • Vitamin C 5.0
  • Potassium 0.0
  • Cholesterol 0.0
  • Saturated fat 0.0
  • Total carbohydrate 0.0
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Roast Bison or Venison with Red Wine and Onion Jus