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Venison Casserole with Chestnuts and Cranberries

This recipe for Venison Casserole with Chestnuts and Cranberries comes from Leiths Meat Bible and has been reproduced courtesy of Leiths School of Food and Wine in London.

Leiths Meat Bible is the ultimate meat cookbook. Packed with recipes from all over the world, it has something for every occasion, from a simple after-work supper to an elegant dinner. As with every book from the Leiths series, all recipes are foolproof with an emphasis on proper technique. The first part of the book guides you through the basic techniques for choosing, preparing, cooking and carving meat, including an illustrated guide to the different cuts of meat (and how to tell if a piece of meat is fresh and good-quality), advice on how to handle and store raw meat, and easy-to-follow instructions on every kind of cooking method you will need . . . read more

Leiths School of Food and Wine

Leiths' reputation as a first-class training school for chefs attracts students of all ages from all over the world. With its dedicated teaching and friendly atmosphere, Leiths' guiding principle is to impart enthusiasm for the trade and instil a lasting love of good food and wine. This is not restricted to career cooks - many enthusiastic amateurs attend the varied programme of courses and diverse range of special events, from food and wine matching evenings to chocolate workshops and carving demonstrations . . . read more

Ingredients for Venison Casserole with Chestnuts and Cranberries

675 g shoulder, neck or flank of venison
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
30 g butter
115 g button onions
1 clove of garlic, crushed
115 g whole button mushrooms
1 teaspoon plain fl our
150 ml Brown Stock
1 tablespoon cranberry jelly
50 g fresh cranberries
15 g sugar
115 g cooked whole chestnuts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
chopped fl at leaf parsley, to garnish

For the marinade:
5 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 stick of celery, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
6 juniper berries
1 slice of lemon
1 bay leaf
300 ml red wine
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
6 black peppercorns

How to make Venison Casserole with Chestnuts and Cranberries

  • Cut the venison into 5 cm cubes, trimming away any tough membranes, sinews or gristle.
  • Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a non-corrosive bowl or large plastic bag and add the venison. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Heat the oven to 170ºC / 325ºF / Gas Mark 3
  • Remove the venison from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Strain the marinade and reserve.
  • Heat half the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and brown the venison cubes a few at a time. Place them in a casserole. If the bottom of the pan becomes brown or too dry, pour in a little of the strained marinade to deglaze it, then pour the déglaçage over the browned meat. Heat a little more oil and brown the remaining meat.
  • When all the venison has been browned, do a final deglazing with a little of the remaining marinade and add to the casserole.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the onions until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the fl our and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the stock until boiling. Return to the heat and stir, again scraping the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the cranberry jelly to the sauce. Season to taste. Pour the sauce over the meat.
  • Cover the casserole and cook for about 2 hours, or until the venison is very tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the cranberries briefly with the sugar in 2 – 3 tablespoons water until just soft but not crushed. Strain off the liquid.
  • Using a slotted spoon, lift the venison, mushrooms and onions into a warmed serving dish.
  • Boil the sauce fast until reduced to a shiny, almost syrupy consistency. Add the cranberriesand chestnuts and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the venison and serve garnished with chopped parsley.

Serves 4

Leiths Meat Bible

Published with permission of Leiths School of Food and Wine