This is Tommi Miers recipe from the show “Wild Gourmets” It looked so good I just had to cook it! It was easy to make and the flavours were wonderful. I have added and taken away different bits as my store cupboard dictated and still had success with it! Serve it with hunks of bread or mashed sweet potato or serve with a puff pastry top like I did last time. This will feed 4 hefty appetites or two normal ones with a little left over for lunch the next day!
1kg shoulder or haunch of venison
olive oil, for browning
1 medium onions, diced
1 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 parsnips, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 dried chillies, crumbled
250ml game stock (or stock made from bouillon cubes)
¼ bottle full-bodied red wine
50g dark chocolate, finely grated or chopped
½ tablespoon redcurrant jelly
For the marinade
½ bottle full-bodied red wine
2 garlic cloves
1 small sprig of rosemary
2–4 sprigs of thyme
1 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 juniper berries, crushed
salt and pepper
1. Preheat an oven to 190°C/gas 5).
2. Cut the venison into 2.5cm cubes, removing large bits of fat or gristle. Put these into a double-layered plastic bag, along with all the marinade ingredients. Set aside for a day in the fridge, turning every so often so that all of the meat comes into contact with the marinade.
3. When you are ready to cook, remove the venison from the marinade, setting the marinade aside for later.
4. Heat a large casserole over a high heat until it is smoking hot. Pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and when it is very hot add the venison cubes, 6 or 7 at a time, so that you are not overcrowding the pan and thus bringing down the temperature of the oil.
5. Brown the meat on all sides for 1–2 minutes, letting the pan get hot again between each batch and adding more oil if necessary.
6. When the meat is all browned, set it aside while you brown the vegetables.
7. Add a tablespoon of oil to the casserole and sweat the onions for 5 minutes before adding the carrots, celery and parsnips. Cook for a further 10 minutes, allowing the vegetables to start caramelising without letting them burn. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
8. Return the venison to the casserole, along with the reserved marinade and the rest of the ingredients. Bring up to a gentle simmer, stirring to melt the chocolate into the sauce. Cook in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until the meat is tender and falling apart.