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Venison casserole

This rich and warming casserole is slow cooked until the venison is meltingly tender and the sauce rich and flavoursome.

Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1/4 swede, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 16 shallots, peeled
  • 4 celery sticks, scrubbed and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • 50 g butter, for gently frying the vegetables
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 kg venison, cubed
  • 4 rounded tablespoons plain flour, seasoned with freshly ground salt and pepper
  • 3 level tablespoons cranberry sauce, Cumberland sauce or redcurrant jelly
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 300 ml beef stock with more for topping up if necessary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Small bunch thyme, tied with string

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 140C/fan or 160C if not a fan oven or gas 3. Put the vegetables and garlic in a large, heavy-bottomed pan or flame-proof casserole with the butter over a medium heat, toss them around and then turn the heat right down and allow them to sweat with the lid on until you have lovely buttery juices (around 10 minutes). Remove and keep warm.
  2. Put the venison and seasoned flour into a bowl covered with clingfilm (or a plastic bag) and give it a good shake so that the meat becomes coated in the flour. Add the rapeseed oil to the pan or casserole, turn up the heat to high and fry the venison in small batches, tossing it around so it browns on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and put aside with the vegetables.
  3. Add the cranberry jelly (or whichever you are using) and wine to the pan or casserole and bring to the boil, stirring to combine all the lovely juices and residue left on the bottom. Gently pour in the stock, then add the thyme, bay leaves, vegetables and venison. Cover with a tight-fitting lid (you can add a layer of foil under the lid if it's not tight enough) and pop in the oven for about 3 hours. Remove from the oven and check the seasoning.
  4. This is really good served with roast potatoes and gratin dauphinoise (or creamy mash) and, if you like, some extra vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower.
  5. It freezes really well so is a great one to make ahead.

Serves

8

Preparation time

20 minutes.

Cooking time

3 hours.

Cuisine

British

Type of dish

Main Course
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