Chinese Water Deer
The Chinese Water Deer is another Invasive species that was introduced to the UK at Woburn abbey. Ironically this has undoubtedly save the species from extinction as they are very rare in their native China. Now widespread in eastern England and East Anglia,these small, antlerless deer are characterised by their thick fur and long fangs.
Season: Legally they can be harvested from November to March. It is easy to get large numbers sustainably due to their prolific breeding habits and their love of open spaces. Look for game dealers and harvesters in eastern England for supply.
Size: Chinese water Deer carcasses weigh from 9 – 14 kg and have a thick layer of fat covering. This is quite edible and the racks can be cooked like lamb as a result. Pale, delicate and quite delicious, this is gourmet venison.
Cooking Characteristics: Chinese Water Deer is very pale but very sweet and not at all gamey. Their diet is very arable, although the best live on salt marshes. Very good cooked over fire, the Chinese Water Deer is a winner.
Yield: Very similar to Muntjac, about 20 portions in all between prime and braise.