The first time I ever tried Venison was shortly after moving to Scotland a few years ago and I immediately loved the flavour! It’s a great meat for dieters as it’s lean but also rich in flavour. I think it’s best cooked long and slow with plenty of red wine and vegetables.
You can see wild deer across Scotland but on Jura they out populate humans with around 7000 deer living there ! I also love photographing the deer at Lochranza on Arran as they wander happily around the castle, the golf course and residents’ gardens.
You can buy venison sausages, burgers, meatballs ready-made but you can’t beat a homemade casserole. It takes a bit of preparation but once it’s cooking you can relax knowing all you have left to cook is a few vegetables. It’s actually quite a good casserole to pop in your slow cooker if you have friends around for dinner and want to cook something a bit special.
Here’s my recipe which I hope you will enjoy. I like to cook mine all day in a slow cooker, filling my house with wonderful cooking smells but you can also cook for 1.5 hours in a covered casserole dish in a low oven.
500g of Venison
3 tablespoons of Plain flour
2 oz of butter
1 crushed garlic clove
1 medium onion, sliced
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
200g of sliced mushrooms
600 ml of red wine
1 Beef Stock Cube
2 teaspoons of cranberry sauce (homemade or from a shop bought jar)
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh mixed herbs such as parsley, thyme and marjoram
Turn your slow cooker pot onto High or your oven onto 150C/300F or Gas Mark 2
Sauté the mushrooms, onions and garlic in a frying pan with butter, then add to the slow cooker or your casserole pot.
Next add the chopped, peeled carrots to the pot.
Dice the venison, roll in plain flour, then brown the meat in a pan with more butter.
Add the meat to the vegetables in the pot.
Sprinkle over a handful of fresh chopped herbs, enough red wine to cover everything (most of a bottle!), freshly ground black pepper, a beef stock cube, the cranberry sauce and give it a good stir.
Cook in the slow cooker on High for half an hour followed by Low for around 7h or in a covered casserole dish in the preheated oven for around 1.5 hours.
I served mine with roast potatoes and braised red cabbage which tasted absolutely delicious! This rich satisfying casserole would also work well with mashed potatoes to soak up all the sauce and a green vegetable such as cooked spinach.
If you have any red wine leftover then I would recommend you drink this while you are finishing off your vegetables!