Venison and ale casserole or pie recipe image

Print Venison and ale casserole or pie

This venison dish is a hearty winter warmer best enjoyed after an ambitious winter walk. Eat with roast carrots, buttery cabbage and celeriac and potato mash, or potato mash laced with a scoop of wholegrain mustard.

Ingredients

  • 30g butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 650g diced venison
  • 1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
  • 200ml strong ale
  • 100ml beef stock (or strong chicken stock)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (cheap balsamic is good)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 tbsp beer mustard, or similar
  • Puff, flaky or rough puff pastry (if you're making a pie)
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Melt the butter in a heavy casserole dish and fry the onions and garlic over a medium heat until lightly golden.
  2. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Toss the diced venison in seasoned flour and brown in the remaining butter - you may have to do this in two batches.
  3. When all the meat is browned, return the onions and previously browned batch of venison to the casserole.
  4. Pour in the ale and stock, and scrape around the pan to incorporate the meat juices and flour into the sauce.
  5. Now add the vinegar, sugar, mustard and the bouquet garni, cover and place in the oven, stirring occasionally.
  6. After 90 minutes, check the seasoning and discard the bouquet garni.
  7. For a pie, tip into a suitable dish, top with puff, flaky or rough puff pastry, increase the oven temperature to 180˚C/Gas Mark 4 and bake until the pastry is cooked.
  8. Serve with celeriac mash and Savoy cabbage.

Cooks notes

For a different kind of topping, remove a ladle of liquid and mix with a little more mustard. Top with slices of stale French bread, brush with the liquid/mustard mix and bake (again at 180˚C/Gas 4) until the bread begins to toast.
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