Cervus Elaphus Scoticus
The Red Deer is our largest land mammal. Native to these islands, the Red deer is found all over Scotland, in eastern England and the South West and in a few pockets in between. It is also very popular In ornamental deer parks.
Season: The Red Deer season in England is August to April, with females being in season from November to march.
Size: Wild red deer vary hugely in size depending on where they live – a Scottish hill deer can weigh half what a wild Devon or Norfolk deer will. Let us take an average carcass weight of 50 kg for females and 75 for males. Obviously large stags are hugely bigger than this but are not ideal restaurant fodder.
Cooking characteristics: Red deer venison is what is usually sold in supermarkets due to it being the most commonly farmed species. In blind tastings it is usually not quite on a par with fallow and sika. This is not to say it is not delicious, just different. The venison tends to be quite irony and wetter than other species– tending to be a bit bloodier. It braises very well and of course produces splendid large cuts.
Yield: A 50 kg female should yield 20 to 25 portions of each haunch, 20 off the saddle, another 20 off the shoulders and 6 off the neck and flanks. Giving 80 odd portion or more. Yields are a guide only.