Season: Winter 

Venison Casserole with Beer

Ingredients :

900g boned venison shoulder *
2 tbsp rapeseed oil *
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped *
150g piece smoked streaky bacon * or pancetta diced
1 tbsp plain flour
300ml beef or venison stock
300ml brown ale *
2tsp soft light brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed *
1-2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme

Method :

Preheat the oven to 130C/Gas Mark 2.
Cut the venison into 3cm/1½” cubes, discarding any gristle and sinew. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole dish. Fry the venison in batches for 5-6 mins until browned on all sides, adding a little extra oil as necessary. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

Add onions to the casserole and fry for 2-3 mins, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, add the bacon and fry for a further 2 mins. Return all the meat and any accumulated juices to the pan. Add the garlic then stir in the flour. Gradually stir in the stock and ale scraping up any juices stuck to the bottom of the pan. Heat, stirring until the casserole begins to simmer.

Add in the sugar, bay leaves, thyme and season with freshly ground black pepper. Cover the casserole with a tight fitting lid or foil and cook in the oven for at least 2 hours or until the meat is tender.

Serve with mashed potato and carrots.

*  Available from your local producer at Hampshire Farmers’ Markets

(Recipe courtesy of game-to-eat)