venison casserole

I have been cooking this casserole for years and it is a firm family favourite.

1kg venison, diced

100g pancetta

1 onion, finely diced

1tsp rosemary

8 juniper berries, crushed

4 cloves

1 bay leaf

pinch allspice

50ml marsala (optional)

25ml red wine vinegar 

900ml beef stock

lemon zest

fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Heat some olive oil and butter in a frying pan and brown the venison.
  • Transfer to a casserole dish.
  • Fry off the pancetta and onion.
  • Add to casserole dish with rosemary, juniper berries, cloves, bay leaf and all spice.
  • Add marsala and red wine vinegar. Stir and simmer until the liquid become syrupy.
  • Add the stock, cover and simmer on a low heat for around 3 hours. Stirring occasionally*.
  • The meat is cooked when it is tender and falls apart. 
  • If the gravy needs thickening, mix a tablespoon of cornflour to a little cold water then add to the casserole and cook off for 10 minutes or until thickened to your preference. 
  • Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with lemon and parsley. 

* alternatively at this stageyou could transfer everything into a slow cooker, with 450ml of stock and cook on high for 3 hours.