Venison casserole with cranberry sauce and mashed root vegetables

Tom’s Kitchen strikes again with this warm and comforting Venison Casserole, perfect for a cold winter’s evening.
  1. Season the meat with the salt and pepper, put a large frying pan on a high heat and add 150ml of veg oil, once it is hot add half the meat but not all at once as it could splash. Cook the meat till golden brown all over for approximately 8 -12 minutes, turning the meat around the pan with tongs so they are evenly coloured. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a large, clean sieve to drain. Then place on a large oven tray.
  2. Keep the pan on high heat and add more oil if needed adding the carrots first, cook all of the vegetables separately with some of the thyme, bay leaves and seasoning. Cook each vegetable for approximately 5-8 minutes till golden in colour. Then place into a sieve to drain the oil, and repeat with the onions and celery, when drained place all the vegetables onto a second oven tray.
  3. Heat the chicken stock in a pan. At the same time, deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce by half. Then add to the hot stock, with the butter to make the roux. Once melted, add the flour and cook out for 2 minutes and then add the hot red wine and stock to make the sauce. Turn the heat to full and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes then pass through a sieve.
  4. To make the cranberry sauce, place the cranberries, zest, orange juice, sugar, powdered spices, tie the star anise, cinnamon stick in a muslin bag and give it a bash to release the flavours. Bring this to a simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes on a low heat till thickened then place on a tray and leave to cool to room temperature and then put in the fridge to chill. For a quicker alternative you could use shop bought cranberry sauce.
  5. Add the homemade / shop bought cranberry sauce evenly to the tray of meat and tray of vegetables and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours at 170˚C. Cook the vegetables for about 30-40 minutes till tender. Remove the meat and vegetables from the oven and place into a sieve to drain the sauce and then allow the meat and vegetables to cool.
  6. Place all the jus back on the stove to correct the consistency checking the seasoning and adding more cranberries if needs be. Once reduced and well-seasoned place the meat with the vegetables.
  7. To make the root vegetable mash, cut the root vegetables into small cubes, heat up a pan on a medium heat and add the butter. When melted add the shallots, thyme, bay leaves and garlic, cooking this with no colour till soft. Then add the vegetables, salt, pepper and sweat in the pan and cover with a lid, continue to cook for 10-12 minutes then add the water. Carry on cooking for a further 10-12 minutes without the lid and add the honey, cooking till soft. Mash the vegetables to a course puree.
  8. To serve, add a small knob of butter and handful of chopped parsley to the casserole, check the seasoning and place in four dishes. To finish add a large spoonful of the root vegetable mash.

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Recipe Information

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  • 500g venison haunch, ready diced
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • A pinch fresh milled pepper
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 30g butter
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 onions, peeled
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 5 tbsp red currant jelly
  • 2g fresh thyme
  • 1g fresh sage cut into long, thin strips
  • 150ml red wine
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 20g plain flour (oven 170c)

Mashed Root Vegetable 

  • 150g carrots
  • 150g butternut squash
  • 150g swede
  • 100g parsnip
  • 100g celeriac
  • 1 banana shallot, peeled, cut in half, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 50g butter
  • 50ml water
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of finely crushed black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 stick of thyme leaves

Cranberry sauce

  • 150g cranberries
  • 90g sugar
  • 60ml orange juice
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch crushed garlic
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground mixed spice
  • 1 pinch of finely crushed black pepper
  • 2g freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 pinch all spice