River Cottage Australia



Perfect for including in a variety of dishes, or simply on its own.


  • 1 Venison leg, bone in (approx. 6kg-8kg)

  • 8kg of salt

  • Lots of time


  • 1.

    Lay half the salt into a non-reactive container that is big enough to hold the leg.

  • 2.

    Lay the venison leg on top and pour over the remainder of the salt, massaging it into all the nooks and crannies of the leg.

  • 3.

    Place another non-reactive tray on top of the salt and use something like a brick or heavy casserole dish to weigh the tray down.

  • 4.

    After a week, remove the leg, flip it over and pack it in the salt to continue curing it for another week. After that week is up check and see if the leg is dry enough; if it is remove the leg from the salt, by this stage it should be very firm, and rinse it under cold water.

  • 5.

    If it is not ready, remove the salt and repeat the salting process for another week.

  • 6.

    If the leg is ready, pat the leg dry and then find somewhere to let it hang for up to 5 months (but it can be eaten in the first month.) In a perfect world, you'd have a curing room that would keep everything at a constant 12 degrees celsius with 80% humidity- though a cool place with a bit of airflow will do the job. If you're in a warm climate, your best bet would to cure the meat in mid autumn and let it hang through to spring. A bloom of white mould may form while the meat is hanging, don't worry this is totally harmless; only be concerned if the mould is a funky colour or the meat starts to develop an unpleasant smell. Once properly cured and hung, the leg will be very firm and a rich, dark red colour. Cut thin slices as you need them to serve and store the leg in a cool, airy place. 


This recipe can be found in the River Cottage Australia cookbook.

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