We all enjoy a good old-fashioned venison casserole, something that cooks slowly and can be left to mature for a few days so the flavours meld together and become richer and deeper. Our wonderful local venison, is a lean wild meat packed full of flavour, but which tends to be a bit dry if you’re not careful. Here is what we will be making for a big sharing dish to warm the soul. Serves 6-8
1kg diced venison
500ml of good red wine – and a glass for the chef!
8-10 black peppercorns
2 heaped tbsp of juniper berries
2 tbsp of olive oil
5 onions, sliced
5-6 carrots, sliced
2-3 bay leaves
2 tbsp flour
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper
Place the venison, red wine, peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaves in a large bowl and leave to marinate overnight, or as long as you can – a few hours will do, but the longer the better.
When ready to cook, heat 1 tbsp oil in large ovenproof pan and cook the onions until pale – not burnt or brown – then remove from the pan and leave to one side. Pre-heat oven to 140C.
Retaining the marinade in the bowl, remove the venison and dry with a paper towel. Add the salt and pepper to the flour and toss the venison until all pieces are covered in a good coating.
Now, in small batches, add the venison to the pan and brown, adding more oil if required. When all the meat is browned, return to the pan with the onions, add the sliced carrots and pour in the marinade liquid.
Cover the pan and place in the oven. Check after three hours and baste, then leave to cook for another hour, by which time the meat should be tender and