This rich venison casserole is the perfect winter comfort food, full of familiar flavours and meltingly tender meat. Sometimes people can be cautious about game, but it’s a great lean protein source, and is readily available in the UK. We’ve combined sweet redcurrant jelly to mellow out the strong venison flavour, as well as adding a good hit of juniper berries for a gorgeous aromatic hit. For us this stew is perfect when served with buttery mashed potatoes and loads of steamed veggies. The beauty about anything slow cooked like this is that it freezes well. Make sure you wait until everything is completely cool, pack into boxes and store in the freezer until ready to use. We would always advise fully defrosting meat overnight in the fridge before reheating after freezing. If you can’t get hold of venison, or don’t fancy it, this is also delicious with stewing beef. Try using something like rump steak, chuck shoulder or a basic stewing mix.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 200g smoked lardons
- 1.2kg shoulder of venison, diced
- 50g flour
- 300ml red wine
- 500ml beef stock
- 250g redcurrant jelly
- 1tsp juniper berries
- 5 sprigs rosemary
- steamed vegetables and mashed potatoes, to serve
Preheat the oven to 150C, Gas Mark 2.
Fry the lardons until crisp in a large pan, Remove and set aside. Add the onions, garlic and oil and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Remove and set aside.
Dust the venison in the flour and season well. Fry in batches, in the same pan, until browned. Add the onion, garlic, lardons and the rest of the ingredients to the pan.
Cover and move to the oven. Cook for 2-3 hours, until the meat is tender. Serve with vegetables and mashed potatoes.
If you can’t find shoulder of venison, haunch also works well in this dish.