Slow-cooked Venison Casserole with Potato Topping

For a really hearty wintery dish - make this gamey casserole from Martin Blunos
By Martin Blunos
Slow-cooked Venison Casserole with Potato Topping
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 200 g pork belly, skinned and boned weight, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 kg venison shoulder, cubed into 3cm pieces
  • 3/4 tsp black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500 ml dark ale
  • 250 ml brown stock
  • 1 x 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 50 ml vegetable oil

For the topping

  • 750 g mashed potatoes, mashed with butter and hot milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs, made from rye bread
  • 25 g butter

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Heat a sturdy casserole pan on a medium heat and when hot add half the oil and butter.

2. Tip in the diced belly pork and fry until golden. Leave the fat behind in the pan and put the cubes into another casserole pan.

3. Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms to the pan and fry until the onions are light golden. Remove from the pan and add to the belly pork.

4. Heat the remaining oil and butter, and season the cubed venison with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

5. Fry the venison, in batches, until golden and transfer to the other casserole dish with the vegetables and pork belly.

6. Pour in the ale, stock, and tomatoes and add the juniper berries and bay leaves. Bring the casserole to a simmer on the stove, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 - 1 ½ hrs - until the meat is tender. If the casserole looks a tad dry, add a splash of water.

7. Transfer everything to a shallow baking dish and leave on one side to cool. Preheat the oven again to 170C/gas 3.

8. Spread the cooled mashed potato over the venison, scatter with fresh breadcrumbs and dot with knobs of butter.

9. Bake the venison pie for about 40 minutes until hot and the top is golden and crunchy.

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