Grilled Reindeer Roast
There are roughly 200.000 reindeers (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in Finland. They all live up North, in the area which covers one third of Finland. That’s practically the whole Lapland and more. Closest relative to reindeer in North America is called Caribou (Rangifer tarandus).
Size of a male reindeer is typically 3ft 7in (110cm) height and it weighs 200-400lb (90-180kg), whereas female is 2ft 11in (90cm) in height and weighs 133-220lb (60-100kg). Living on arctic circle, reindeer have adapted to conditions, where temperatures can go as low as -94°F (-70°C)!
Reindeer meat is rich in iron, protein, selenium and vitamins. In addition to meat, the heart, liver, tongue and blood are also excellent material for various delicacies.
This recipe is about reindeer roast!
This reindeer roast was about 24oz (700g), so not a big one but not small either.
First thing to do is to remove any silver skin and second is to sprinkle salt all over it. Now you can put the roast into fridge for an hour or two.
Just before grilling, I like to rub black pepper and rosemary on the roast. Thyme or any other mild flavor herbs go well also. In my opinion, hot spices are not for mild and tender reindeer meat.
Heat your grill up to 340°F (170°C) and prepare for direct heat grilling. Reindeer is venison, thus very lean and target temperature for the meat is 126°F (52°C). This means roughly 25min grilling, turning the roast once.
Make sure to take it out and wrap in foil when meat temperature hits 119°F (48°C). Temperature will carry over few degrees while resting and result is nice medium rare. You can cook the roast few degrees higher if you like but be careful. If the meat starts to get closer to well done, it will dry up and turn chewy. Fast reading thermometer is a must in this exercise!
After 20-30min rest, unwrap the roast, carve and serve. Excellent sauce for reindeer or any venison is cranberry sauce.