Tuesday 17 November 2009

Venison Stew

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The time of year where I crave comfort food, such as stews, soups, mashed potatoes and winter vegetables has definitely arrived. The days seem to be getting seriously short (which doesn't help the feeling that I am constantly trying to play catch up on things), most of the trees are bare and my selection of hats, scarves, gloves and mittens has been excavated from the depth of my wardrobe.

Last week the wonderful people from Abel&Cole sent me some diced venison to try, because as well as the season for woolly jumpers it is of course also the season for game. I was really excited as it had been absolutely ages since I last ate venison. Some of my friends were a little disturbed by the thought of me eating Bambi, but JM and E were as excited as I was, so we had a wonderful Venison Stew on Sunday night. I served it with mashed potatoes and green beans and it was the perfect meal for a cold and dark Sunday night. If you, like some of my friends, don't like the thought of venison you can of course use beef instead. I forgot to buy bacon, so left it out and the original recipe called for roast chestnuts, but I'm not so keen so used chestnut mushrooms instead.

Venison Stew (serves 4)

800gr diced venison
100gr streaky bacon, cubed
125ml red wine
3 red onions, sliced thinly
1 celery stick, sliced
12 baby carrots, peeled
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
250g chestnut mushrooms
(cornflour paste to thicken if desired)

Preheat the oven to 150°C/Gas

Heat some oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the bacon until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside, but make sure you keep the fat in the pan.

Brown the venison in the same pan. Fry it in batches to avoid the meat boiling in its liquid, rather than frying.

Remove the meat and transfer to a casserole or pot with a tight-fitting lid, along with the bacon and any scrapings from the pan.

Add the wine, garlic, onions, carrots and celery and increase the heat until the wine bubbles fiercely.

Add the tomato purée, herbs and enough water to just cover the meat.

Cover, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours in the oven.

Check from time to time – if it’s dry, add more water and reduce the heat.

After 1 1/2 hours (1 hour if using chestnuts), add the chestnut mushrooms and cook until the meat is very tender.

If you want a thicker sauce, remove the pan from the oven, add some cornflour mixed with water. Place on the hob and bring back to a simmer stirring continuously until your desired thickness has been achieved.

If necessary, season with salt and pepper before serving.


Gloria Baker said...

This look absolutely tasty! gloria

The Curious Cat said...

This sounds like the perfect winter warmer! Hmmm...this entry has me yearning for home and a cooked dinner soon. xxx

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Lovely venison stew. It is getting to be that time even here in California.

But "wooly jumpers?" Had to think twice on that one -- I thought you meant rabbits, which as you probably know are equally yummy...

Marie Rayner said...

Tasty looking stew Sylvie!

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This would defininitely be comforting Sylvie.

Jan said...

What a lovely looking stew Sylvie - YUM!

Jason said...

mmm, that looks awesome! Right now in MI it is 35 degrees, so this would be perfect!

Rachel said...

What a lovely looking stew! We just made a nice venison stew the other night with mushrooms, wine, and shallots. I know it is backwards to the way some people think, but I like to know that a deer lived a full and wild life running in the woods before becoming venison -- rather than a cow or pig living penned up.