Saturday, 3 October 2009

Venison Casserole

This tasty casserole can be made using beef or venison or a mixture of the two. I prefer venison and I buy 'casserole' venison which is already cut into large cubes so is very easy to use. There is almost no fat on the venison so no trimming is needed and therefore no waste.

1 orange
150g each no soak pitted prunes and apricots
125g raisins
200ml orange juice
150 ml dry sherry
900g venison
1 level tsp salt
1 level tsp black peppercorns
2 level tsp coriander seeds
450g onions
2 tbs oil
1/2 level tsp each of ground mace and ground cinnamon
pinch allspice
1 level tbs cornflour
450ml beef stock
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
Couscous to accompany

Finely grate the orange rind and squeeze the juice
Combine the orange juice and sherry add the dried fruit, cover and leave overnight to soak.
Cut the venison into large (4cm) cubes if necessary.
Season with the salt,
Crush the peppercorns and coriander seeds,
Slice the onions finely,
Heat the oil in a large heavy flameproof casserole and brown the meat in small batches until it has a a rich colour,
Add a little more oil if necessary and fry the onions gently until golden brown,
Put the meat back into the pan with the spices, orange rind and flour, cook whilst stirring for a few minutes,
Add the stock and combine and bring to the boil,
Add the vinegar,
Cover and cook in the oven at 150C for 1 hour,
Remove the casserole from the oven,
Drain the fruit from the liquid and put to one side,
Add the soaking liquid to the casserole, cover and return to the oven for another 1 hour or until the meat is very tender,
Add the reserved fruit, stir and return to the oven for 5 mins to heat the fruit.
This dish is best served with couscous but could be served with mashed potatoes.

This dish can be made in advance - just under cook it and reheat before serving, ideal for entertaining and a wonderful Christmas dish.

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