Hunters stew

Comfort food for a cold Autumn day, Aaron Crazes casserole uses rabbit, guinea fowl and Suffolk ale for a rich, deep flavour
By Aaron Craze
Hunters stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1 guinea fowl, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 rabbit, cut into 8 pieces
  • flour, for dusting
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 3 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 leeks, roughly chopped
  • 12 shallots, or button onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into large pieces
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 fresh bouquet garni, (see Cooks Tips), or 1 bought bouquet garni plus 1 tsp crushed juniper berries
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 3 maris piper potatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 450 ml ale
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 200 g chestnut mushrooms

Tips and Suggestions

To make a great bouquet garni for this dish, take a fat strip of leek and wrap a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and sage in a bundle with a bay leaf and 1 teaspoon juniper berries. You could also add a piece of celery.

Method

1. Place all the meat in a large bowl, sprinkle over a little flour and toss to coat evenly. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large casserole and brown the meat evenly all over (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan), then remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Add another splash of oil to the pan and gently fry the carrots, leeks, onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add the bacon and continue frying for a few minutes more. Once the bacon begins to brown, lower the heat and return the meat to the pan. Add the butter, bouquet garni and wine and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the potatoes, a good grinding of black pepper and the ale. Cover and bring to the boil. When the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third, add the fresh herbs and stock, cover again and leave to simmer gently for 2 hours. The meat is ready when it falls easily from the bones.

4. About 5 minutes before the end of cooking, add the mushrooms. When the stew is done, season to taste and serve.

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