BEAUTIFUL BRAISED VENISON
2 carrots roughly chopped
140g mixture of pumpkin, kumara or parsnip roughly chopped
2 onions roughly chopped
3 celery sticks roughly chopped (can be omitted if you have a celery hater)
Olive oil and butter for frying
1 garlic clove crushed
1kg boned leg or shoulder of venison or lamb (or if using beef use shin or gravy beef) cut into large chunks (or buy ready-cubed venison/lamb/beef for stewing)
5 tbsp plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly (or plum jam)
450ml dry red wine (Rioja is good)
450ml beef stock
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Fry the vegetables in a little oil and butter in a heavy-based casserole pan until golden. Tip in the garlic and fry for a further min, then set aside.
Put the venison into a plastic bag with seasoned flour and shake to coat. Add a little more oil and butter to the pan, then fry the venison over a high heat, stirring now and then, until well browned. Don’t crowd the pan – cook in batches if necessary. Set aside with the vegetables.
Add the redcurrant jelly and wine to the pan, and bring to the boil, scraping up all the bits that have stuck to the bottom. (Don’t worry about bringing it to the boil if using a slow cooker.) Pour in the stock, then add the thyme, bay leaf, meat and vegetables. Season if you like and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven for about 1½ hrs or until tender. Remove from the oven and check the seasoning.
Serve with mash and braised greens.