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Venison is the name given to any of the species of deer sold as meat in the UK. The lean, red meat is low in fat and full of flavour and has become popular and widely available.

This venison casserole benefits from long, slow cooking.

SERVES 8-10 | PREP TIME – 30 mins | COOK TIME – 1 hour | TOTAL COOK TIME – 1-2 hours

Per Serving – 358 Cals | Fat 11g | Carbs 19g | Protein 40g

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped
  • 500g/1Ib 2oz chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 2.5kg/5½lb haunch or shoulder of venison, diced
  • ½ bottle red wine
  • 400ml/14fl oz water
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp red currant jelly
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 50g/2oz cornflour
  • punnet red currants, to decorate
  • 6 sprigs rosemary or thyme, to decorate

To serve

  • New potatoes
  • wilted spinach

 

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
  2. On the hob, heat the extra virgin olive oil and butter in a large, lidded casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened, but not browned.
  3. Add the garlic, bacon and mushrooms and cook for a further minute.
  4. In a frying pan, brown the venison a handful at a time and add to the casserole. When all the meat is browned, add the red wine, water, stock cubes, redcurrant jelly and salt and pepper.
  5. Bring to the boil and stir well. Put the lid on the casserole and place in the middle of the oven – cook for 60-90 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven. Make a paste with the cornflour and two tablespoons of water. Add as much of the paste to the casserole as is needed to thicken the sauce – add a little at a time if you are not sure how much you will need.
  7. Transfer the casserole to the hob, and, on a low heat, cook until the gravy has thickened – this will take about five minutes.
  8. (Optional) Serve with new potatoes and wilted spinach. Decorate each plate with a sprig of rosemary or thyme and a bunch of fresh red currants.

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