Venison Casserole

I love this deep earthy dish. It can be served with some rice or mash or let it cool down and use it as a pie filling!….. and have it with mash anyway! A great winter dish for a cold wet day; but it went down just fine in August!

Ingredients

600g venison – cubed

2 tablespoons of plain flour

2 medium onions – peeled and roughly diced

1 medium red onion – peeled and roughly diced

4 carrots peeled and roughly cut into bite sized chunks

150g saucisson (cubed) or Prosciutto (cubed) or even lardons of bacon

500mls ale or beer of your choice – a good dark one works well.

1 sprig of rosemary

few sprigs of thyme

salt

pepper

Method

Heat a large casserole dish over a medium/ low heat and add a little oil and then add the cubes of saucisson (or bacon etc) and allow the oils to be rendered out and the meat to crisp gently. This will take about 10 mins or so.

While that’s happening put the cubes of venison in a ziploc bag and add the 2 tablespoons of plain flour and 1 teaspoon of salt a 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Seal the bag and shake it up well. The flour will coat the meat evenly.

When the diced saucisson is crisp, remove it from the casserole with a sieved spoon and set aside. To the hot dish, add the coated cubes of venison, a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. When they are browned remove them and add the next batch until you have browned all the meat.

Add a little more oil to the dish and then fry the onions and the diced carrots for about 5 mins on a medium heat to start them off a little, then remove them to the dish as well.

Open the beer and resist the urge to drink it! Add a splash to the hot casserole which should bubble and steam aggressively – stir the base with a wooden spoon to scrape all the browned bits from the bottom (deglazing the pan) a lovely dark brown sauce will begin to form. Add onions, carrots, venison and the saucisson back to the dish and stir it all up. Pour in the rest of the beer and thrown in the thyme and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the lid on the casserole and pop it in an oven set to 150c conventional for 4 hrs. Or you can keep it on a very low heat on the hob for the same amount of time and stir it from time to time.

When you return to it 4hrs later, the meat will be falling apart and the sauce will be thick and deep. Serve with mash and some crispy crostini or allow it cool and use it as a pie filling.

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