When we hunt for our own food, we can rest assured that the animal has led a free and natural life, that has come to an instant and humane end. Deer have been hunted in the woodlands of Britain for thousands of years and, as such, their meat forms a very natural part of our diets.
Venison is one of the leanest and healthiest of red meats, and a casserole provides a great way of cooking it outdoors. The Hunter’s Stew is a hearty, warming meal that is perfect for the cold evenings of winter and early spring. The dish shown here was cooked in a small Dutch Oven suspended over the fire, and served two people.
- 2 x small venison steaks
- 1 x handful of flour
- 1 x knob of butter
- 1 x large onion
- 2 x cloves of garlic
- 6 x rashers of bacon
- 1 x handful of mushrooms
- 2 x sticks of celery
- 2 x carrots
- 1/2 bulb of fennel
- 1/2 bottle of Merlot
- 2 x bay leaves
- 1 x sprig of thyme
- 1 x tablespoon of honey
1. Cut the venison into large chunks. Roll the pieces in flour until covered.
2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the meat. Cook until browned.
3. Dice the onions and add them to the pan along with the garlic. Cook until softened.
4. Add the mushrooms and chopped bacon and fry them off.
5. Add the chopped celery, carrot and fennel. Cover with wine and bring to the boil.
6. Add the thyme and bay leaves.
7. Simmer until the dish has reduced and thickened.
8. Remove the pan from the fire and stir in the honey. Serve with warm, crusty bread or creamy mash.