A haunch of venison is the prime joint, and is carved very similar to almost any roasted or boiled leg; it should be first cut crosswise down to the bone following the line from 1 to 2; then turn the platter with the knuckle farthest from you, put in the point of the knife, and cut down as far as you can, in the directions shown by the dotted lines from 3 to 4; then there can be taken out as many slices as is required on the right and left of this. Slices of venison should be cut thin, and gravy given with them, but as there is a special sauce made with red wine and currant jelly to accompany this meat, do not serve gravy before asking the guest if he pleases to have any.
The fat of this meat is like mutton, apt to cool soon, and become hard and disagreeable to the palate; it should, therefore, be served always on warm plates, and the platter kept over a hot-water dish, or spirit lamp. Many cooks dish it up with a white paper frill pinned around the knuckle bone.
A haunch of mutton is carved the same as a haunch of venison.
How to Cook the Different Parts of a Whole Deer
No. 1. Cuts of meat include the shoulder, used for roasting; it may be boned and stuffed, then afterwards baked or roasted.
No. 2. Cuts of meat include the fore-loin, used for roasts and steaks.
No. 3. Cuts of meat include the haunch or loin, used for roasts, steaks, stews. The ribs cut close may be used for soups. Good for pickling and making into smoked venison.
No. 4. Cuts of meat include the breast, used for baking dishes, stewing.
No. 5. Cuts of meat include the scrag or neck, used for soups.
The choice of venison should be judged by the fat, which, when the venison is young, should be thick, clear and close, and the meat a very dark red. The flesh of a female deer about four years old, is the sweetest and best of venison.
Buck venison, which is in season from June to the end of September, is finer than doe venison, which is in season from October to December. Neither should be dressed at any other time of year, and no meat requires so much care as venison in killing, preserving and dressing.