Muntjac venison stew

Muntjac, one of the smallest varieties of wild deer, is Rachel Allens choice for this warming wintry stew
By Rachel Allen
Muntjac venison stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 1.3 kg shoulder or haunch muntjac venison
  • 4-5 tbsp plain flour

For the marinade

  • 300-350 ml red wine
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 225 g streaky bacon, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 450 ml beef stock
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • lemon juice, to taste (optional)

Method

1. Trim the meat and cut it into 4cm cubes, then season with some salt and pepper.

2. For the marinade: combine all the marinade ingredients in a non-corrosive bowl or resealable plastic bag. Add the seasoned meat, cover or seal, and leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/Gas 2. Drain the meat well and pat it dry on kitchen paper. Season the flour with some salt and pepper, then toss the marinated meat in the flour.

4. For the sauce: place a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and bacon and cook for a few minutes, until the bacon fat has been released and the meat has browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to a flameproof casserole dish, reserving the fat in the pan.

5. Working in batches, brown the muntjac, onions, carrot and garlic in the remaining fat and transfer each to the casserole. Pour off any surplus fat from the pan.

6. Strain the marinade and use the liquid to deglaze the frying pan. Pour the liquid into the casserole then add the beef stock, rosemary and bay leaf.

7. Bring the casserole to a simmer then cover and transfer to the oven for 1-1½ hours, until the meat is tender.

8. When done, taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as necessary, adding some lemon juice as well if needed.

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