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Seasonal eating in November and December means plenty of root vegetables, apples, pears and game. Fresh produce in the winter may seem harder to come by, but actually there are some fantastic flavours to try in your kitchen. Tis the season for deer, and our onsite chefs from ‘The Gourmet Chef’ have prepared a deep and delicious Venison Stew, full of smoky bacon and aromatic juniper berries to add the perfect complement to this rich, lean meat. Definitely worth a try in our café or in your own kitchen this winter!

Venison Stew

Ingredients

750g vension leg (diced) – keep the bone

100g smoked bacon, diced

2 red onions, diced

2 white onions, diced

1 swede, diced

3 turnips, diced

4 carrots, diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1x tbsp juniper berries, crushed

2x tbsp olive oil

1x tbsp cornflour

175ml red wine

salt

pepper

fresh thyme, bunch

Method

  1. Remove venison meat from the bone. Place bone in roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes, before setting aside.
  2. Peel and dice the vegetables, keeping the carrot and onion peels.
  3. Take the roasted bone and saved peel, place in a pot and cover with water. Season and boil for 30 minutes, then strain the liquid into a jug and set aside.
  4. In a separate pan, heat the oil and add the venison meat. Fry until nicely sealed, then add the bacon, garlic and onions, frying until cooked through.
  5. Next add the juniper berries and other berries, then continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Take 10-12 stems of thyme, tie with string and add to the pot. Add the stock made from the roasted bone.
  7. Season and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 3-3.5 hours, or until the meat is tender.
  8. Add the red wine and thicken with cornflour.

To Serve

Serve piping hot with mashed potato or chunky bread…and any left over red wine!