Casserole

The optimum time to cook venison casserole is 3 hours which gives plenty of time for any connective tissues to break down while not drying out the meat. Add or leave out anything you fancy, use any veg that is slightly past it’s best.

Venison casserole.

Add some oil to a lidded oven tin and fry 2lb of venison casserole, coated in plain flour, until it is browned. Add a litre of good beef stock, some mixed herbs, and put in the oven at around 170C for a couple of hours. I make up the beef stock using Knorr rich beef stock pots.
After a couple of hours add some passata, garlic, onions, carrots and any other vegetables you want to include. Add plenty of pepper and a little salt. Return to the oven for another hour.
You can add baby potatoes to the vegetables if you want a one pot meal.
You can add dumplings towards the end or when cooked drain off the liquid (keep for gravy), put the casserole in a square oven tin and cover with puff pastry. Return to oven for 30 minutes and venison casserole becomes venison pie.
Add pheasant, rabbit, duck in any combination to make game versions.

Venison and beef casserole with maple syrup.

Tried this the other evening and it was delicious! You can use all venison instead of half beef. Had it with mashed potato.

Ingredients.

• Plain flour
• 1kg venison, cubed
• 1kg beef, cubed
• 60ml olive oil
• 2 onions, chopped
• 250ml pure maple syrup
• 500ml red wine
• 750ml beef stock
• 3 tbsp tomato paste
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 500g mushrooms, quartered
• 250g shallot onions
• 2 carrots, diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced

Method.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
Flour the cubes of meat, then brown them in the olive oil, in a large oven-proof dish.
Add the onions and maple syrup.
Reduce for 1 minute, then add the wine, stock, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves and the rosemary.
Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, cover and bake in the oven for about 3 hours.
Fry the mushrooms in duck fat and set aside.
30 minutes before cooking has finished, add the shallots, carrots, celery and mushrooms to the casserole dish. Give them longer than 30 minutes if you want them softer.