Tag: Venison

Individual Venison Pies

Individual Venison Pies

Pies certainly have a very long culinary history. The first written reference to the word pie appears in 1301 (1). There remains some slight controversy of what constitutes a pie. Pastry all round or is a pastry top enough to qualify?. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a pie as: a baked dish of fruit , meat, fish or vegetables, covered with pastry (or a similar substance) and frequently also having a base and sides of pastry (2).  So I think we are safe to assume a pastry top qualifies, especially if it is not one of those ‘precooked’ lids that is popped onto a casserole in a pot in too many pubs!!

This is a recipe from Chef Tom Kerridge who still has the only pub in the UK with two Michelin stars. This is a very fine recipe (3). The only substantial modifications we made was to cook the filling over charcoal in the Big Green Egg, with a little chestnut smoke.  We also replaced the suet top with a puff pastry one (as we had  some to hand).

I liked that the recipe used a weighed amount of flour to toss the meat in before cooking.  Any excess was used later as a general thickener for the sauce, so nothing left to chance!  The flour was seasoned with salt and pepper.  The cubed venison was tossed in the flour then seared in a handleless pan cooked over direct heat on the BGE.

The meat was browned on all sides and then set aside.  It is important not to crowd the pan and so this was done about a third at a time.  The remaining flour was reserved.

The shallots were diced as was the carrot and celery. The carrots were cut into approximately half centimetre cubes (larger than for a soffrito) and the celery cut to a similar size.  The garlic was finely chopped.

After the last of the venison was set aside we added a further slurp of the oil. The shallots and carrots were added to the pan and cooked for around 5 minutes.

The celery and garlic were then added and cooked for a further 4 minutes until lightly coloured.  At this stage we were building flavours and so the tomato purée was stirred through and left to cook for 2 minutes before adding the crushed juniper berries.  Finally the flour that had been left in the bowl from coating the venison was added and stirred for a couple of minutes before pouring in the wine to bring it up to a simmer.  This was then cooked to reduce the volume by half and evaporate the alcohol.  This mix was then transferred to the Dutch oven together with the venison.  The stock was used to deglaze the original pan and the stock too was transferred to the Dutch oven. The herbs were tied together with a piece of string and also dropped in.

The Big Green Egg was then reset for indirect cooking by adding the platesetter and the temperature was reduced to around 130C.  The casserole was reintroduced without the lid and cooked gently for around 3hrs until the venison was meltingly tender.

At this point the herbs were removed and the prunes, chestnuts and parsley were added and stirred through the mix.

The casserole was divided into 4 pie dishes filling almost to the top.  These were placed on a tray and set aside to cool before putting into the fridge to really chill down (they were going to be used on the following day).

The Kerridge recipe then went on to make suet pastry, which is lovely.  As we had some left over puff pastry that I had made for another cook we decided to use that. The edge of the pie dish was egg washed and circles of pastry put on top to carefully seal the pie dish. Bits of excess pastry were then removed from round the edge of the dish allowing around 1cm to be stuck to the side of the dish.

To finish some pastry leaves were shaped from the pastry offcuts. These were popped on the top and then the whole pastry top was egg washed. Finally a little salt was sprinkled on the top.  We elected not to put a steam hole into the lid (which would normally be done) and this didn’t seem to cause any problem at all.

When ready to cook they were put into an oven at around 180C for around 30-40 mins until the pie mix was well up to temperature (above 74C) and the top was a lovely golden colour.

They were left to rest for 3-4 mins before serving.  It is probably easier to control the browning of the pastry in a domestic oven – but that or the Big Green Egg will both do the job well!!

We served them with triple cooked chips and broccoli which worked really well but there are so many potential options!  You can see from the last picture that the pastry was lovely and flaky and the pies were really well filled!

……………………… all in all a really rewarding outcome!!




(1) A man who makes pies for sale; a pie seller (1301). Rogero Pieman in W Brown, Yorkshire Lay Subsidy (1894) 87 (Middle English Dictionary).

(2) OED 2/3/2024 https://www.oed.com   Search term = pie

(3) https://foodnetwork.co.uk/recipes/tom-kerridges-individual-venison-pies


Individual Venison pies

March 29, 2024
: 4
: 30 min
: 3 hr
: Reasonably easy

Soft and succulent casseroled venison with prunes and chestnuts in a perfect pie


  • 1kg venison shoulder, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 50g plain flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tbsp light olive oil
  • 3 banana shallots, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 sticks of celery diced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed and chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300ml red wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 juniper berries, roughly chopped or crushed
  • 5000ml beef (or chicken) stock
  • 10 pitted prunes, halved
  • 12 cooked chestnuts, halved
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • For the Pastry:
  • one pack of rolled puff pastry
  • 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten but kept separate
  • Step 1 Pour the flour into a large bowl season with salt and pepper and then add the venison cubes. Coat the pieces well. Place a large casserole or frying pan over medium direct heat on the BGG or on a conventional hob. Add one table spoon of the oil and then a third of the venison. Brown evenly on all sides and then remove and reserve. Repeat with the rest of the venison. Reserve any flour left in the bowl.
  • Step 2 Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and when hot, add the shallots and carrots. Cook for 4-5 minutes then add the celery and garlic, cooking for a further 4 minutes until everything has softened.
  • Step 3 Stir through the tomato purée and let it cook for another 2 minutes or so and then add the juniper berries.Add any flour left in the bowl and stir. Pour in the wine and bring up to a simmer then cook until the mixture reduces by half. Transfer to a Dutch oven and add the venison back too. Use the stock to deglaze the first pan and add this to the Dutch oven. Tie the herbs together and drop them into the casserole
  • Step 4 Convert the BGE to indirect cooking and add a little cherry wood if required. Add the dutch oven uncovered and cook at around 130-140C. (if cooking on a hob or a conventional oven add the lid), then cover with a lid.
  • Step 5 Cook gently for around two and a half hours until the meat is tender. Remove the herbs, and add the prunes, chestnuts and parsley to the venison stew and gently mix. Close down the vents and allow to cook for a further 30 mins before cooling
  • Step 6 Divide the casserole into four individual pie dishes, filling the dishes almost to the top. Place the filled dishes on a baking tray and set aside to cool (ideally in the fridge overnight)
  • Step 7 Cut out lids from the puff pastry allowing around 1cm overlap of the dish. Brush the edge of each dish with the beaten egg and then put on the pastry lid and firmly secure around the edge of the dishes. Decorate if required with pastry offcuts. Trim any excess if you need to. Brush the top of each pie with more beaten egg and finally sprinkle with a little salt. We elected not to put a steam hole in our tops before cooking (but the original recipe suggested cutting a small hole into each pie to allow steam to be released during cooking).
  • Step 8 Place the pies into the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
  • Step 9 Serve with contrasting vegetables
Porcini seasoned pan roasted loin of venison

Porcini seasoned pan roasted loin of venison

We are enormously fortunate in having a good friend whose family has access to venison but doesn’t like it!  We therefore help out when we can!  This week we were given a piece of venison – I suspect from a roe deer.  It was a very strange looking piece of meat which I wished I had photographed. It looked like a very lean meat wrapped in a number of layers of  belly.  A little rummaging suggested it may be loin (still with its silver skin intact.)  This was indeed wrapped in what I think must have been the whole belly.  Now there are a few problems here.  Firstly the belly would benefit from a long slow cook.  The loin in contrast really needs to be served pink.  On top of that before cooking the loin the silver skin needs to be removed.  If it is not removed then it will contract when cooked and leave a very chewy piece of meat.  While it would have probably been possible to do the whole piece as a slow braise/roast it really wouldn’t have done any of it justice.

There was only one thing for it – the filleting knife was made ready.  The 2 loin pieces , what Americans refer to as ‘backstop’ were teased away from the breast meat.  This resulted in 2 loins each with a substantial silver skin attached. This is relatively simple to remove and makes such a difference. Slide the filleting knife between the silverskin and the muscle – and then remove the silver skin in exactly the same way as you would fish skin from a fillet of fish.  Just keep the blade close to the cutting board.  This gave 2 lovely loin joints which just needed a little neatening to finish them. There was then around 500g of belly.  The simplest thing to have done would have been to mince it and use it for sausages or burgers.  This time however we chose to remove some of the more obvious connective tissues and cut it into chunks to make a simple venison ragù (more later).

Each loin yielded 3 x 150g pieces.  So if cooking 2 portions remove a third and save for later. Cooking a single 300g piece is easier to handle in the pan and reduces the waste as the very ends are discarded (chef’s perks) for serving.  It can be worth rolling the loin in clingfilm to make a large sausage shape as this gives a nice even shape for cooking and serving. This can be kept in the fridge until needed

We had found some porcini mushrooms in the autumn and had dried these at home. For us porcini are a rare find on a woodland walk so we had dried and preserved every last bit of them! We had kept the ‘neatening trimmings’ that most people discard separate.  So we took around 1tbsp of this and ground it into a powder with a pestle and morter.  We added the salt we would use for seasoning the loin to the porcini powder. When ready to cook we removed the loin from the fridge. (We tend not to leave it to come to room temperature as we are trying to delay the heating of the core for long enough to colour the outside of the meat).  The loin was dusted with the porcini salt mix and rolled until completely covered (the very ends were ignored as these would not be served).

The seasoned venison was then seared in one of our Tefal Ingenio pans heated directly.  The trick here is to get the pan hot then add a little oil to moderate the temperature.  Once the venison is put in the pan it needs to be left on each side long enough to colour. At which point it needs to be moved around in the pan so that an even browning occurs on all sides.  And we are trying to do this without the heat penetrating too far into the meat.   When the venison was well coloured (core temperature was less than 40C) we set the BGE back to indirect cooking adding a cold platesetter and closed off the vents.  The venison was placed back into the BGE allowing the indirect heat to bring the core temperature up to around 52C.  This only took a few minutes. The venison was then rested whilst the vegetables were finished.

The vegetables were plated and the very ends of the venison loin were removed (chef’s perks) and the 300g loin cut into 4 pieces (2 large and 2 smaller).

Removing the very ends allowed the loin to be served vertically.  This shows the contrast between the core, cooked medium and pink, and the well coloured exterior surfaces.  These were popped into the convenient spaces left for them on the plate. On this occasion we served with charred sticky fennel based on our slow roasted caramelised fennel recipe, sautéed leeks and chard, and pan roasted parsnip.

Finally, we served with a little shallot and redcurrant sauce enriched with the venison cooking juices.  Whatever vegetables you chose to serve the venison with…………

…………….. this is a lovely way to cook this beautiful loin!


Porcini seasoned pan roasted loin of venison

June 23, 2023
: 2
: Not too difficult

A 300g piece of venison loin, seasoned with salted porcini powder and pan roasted


  • 300g of prepared venison loin
  • 1tbsp porcini mushroom powder
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • (The gill area of the porcini makes an excellent powder if preparing your own porcini save the gill area for this. Dried porcini can also be blitzed in a spice grinder)
  • Step 1 If the silver skin has not been removed from the loin already then remove this. It is relatively simple to remove. Slide a filleting knife between the silver skin and the muscle and remove in the same way as you would remove fish skin from fish.  
  • Step 2 Wrap the loin in clingfilm and roll it into a sausage shape. Leave in the fridge until ready to use.
  • Step 3 Grind the porcini to produce around 1tbs of porcini powder. Add 1tsp of salt and dust the loin with the mix on all sides
  • Step 4 Heat the pan on the BGE over direct heat. Once hot add a little oil to moderate the temperature. Add the venison loin to the pan, leave long enough to colour and rotate the loin to give an even colour on all sides. When the venison is well coloured (core temperature will/should be less than 40C) remove from the heat. Add the platesetter to the BGE and close off the vents. Put the venison pan back into the BGE. Allow the indirect heat to bring the core temperature up to around 52C. This only takes a few minutes.
  • Step 5 Remove the venison from the pan and rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  • Step 6 To serve, cut off the very ends of the loins then cut into 4 pieces – 2 large and 2 smaller. Plate the pieces vertically to show the pink cores of the loin uppermost. Serve with vegetable of your choice and perhaps a simple shallot and redcurrant sauce enriched with the venison cooking juices.  

Roast Venison Topside – Roe Deer

Roast Venison Topside – Roe Deer

We have been fortunate enough to be gifted roe deer haunches on more than one occasion.  We have cooked them as a whole haunch, and we have tunnelled boned out the haunch and roasted them that way. (more…)

Venison and Vegetable Bourguignon

Venison and Vegetable Bourguignon

There are no authentic ‘Venison Bourguignon’ recipes in the same way as there are no authentic  ‘Vegetable Bourguignon’.  In food terms Bourguignon is a classic beef dish.  That has not stopped us playing with ideas for a similar tasting, but vegetarian dish.  We first published our original Vegetable Bourguignon in March 2021 and our amendments to the recipe in October 2022.  These are dishes we cook regularly and are also very popular with others on the website.  So when we wanted to try a venison based Bourguignon it seemed the ideal place to start.

We have no intention of ever becoming vegetarian, but we have been reducing our overall meat consumption over the last few years.  We have added a range of vegetarian and plants-centric dishes to our cooking repertoire over the same time.  We refer to some of the dishes on the site as plant-centric because although they are predominantly vegetable based they may not be entirely vegetarian.  For instance they may be based on a meat stock rather than vegetable stock, or may be largely vegetable based, with just a little meat included.  This is the way we decided to go with this Venison Bourguignon. So we have built it on our Vegetable Bourguignon, but included a little venison and pork lardon in the recipe.  We toyed with the idea of calling it Vegetarian Bourguignon with Venison but didn’t want to offend anyone who was vegetarian.

As this dish was only going to use a relatively small proportion of meat we were going to include all the steps we had previously taken to add texture to the vegetarian dish.  We therefore kept  the swede and the celeriac and kept the root vegetable chunks much larger than you might normally.  We also kept our addition of dried wild mushrooms including porcini as these offer a different texture from the fresh mushrooms.   The first change we made though was to use beef stock rather than the porcini stock cubes we had used previously, though they would have still worked well.

The first thing to do before anything else was to soak the dried mushrooms.  Ideally, we now soak them for 2-3 hours before using them.  If that isn’t possible we try to make sure they are soaked for more than the 30mins we used to do it for!

We lit the Big Green Egg and prepared the vegetables as we let it come to a steady temperature of around 180C.  We try and use round shallots for this dish and just peel them and leave whole,  the carrots celeriac and swede were cut into large chunky pieces and the garlic was coarsely chopped.  The button /chestnut mushrooms were left whole if not too large or were halved or quartered.  We had some other fresh woodland mushrooms so these were included too.   Once the EGG was up to temperature we added the fresh mushrooms to a dry sauté pan and began to toast them until they took on a little colour and then finished them in a little olive oil and set them to oneside for later. We did the same with the dehydrated mushrooms and set those aside but kept them separate.  Save the mushroom liquor.

The rest of the vegetables were then added to the sauté pan with some more oil and cooked until they too started to colour but we tried to avoid them softening (unlike in the original recipe). The vegetables were seasoned and transferred to the dutch oven which would be used for most of the rest of the cook.  Before dispensing with the sauté pan the lardon were lightly coloured and set to one side and then the venison was browned off and these left in the warm pan whilst we set the BGE to indirect cooking and we switched to the Dutch oven.

We added the tomato puree to the partially cooked vegetables.  They were then tumbled so that all vegetables were coated with the puree.  This was then left to cook for another 5 minutes or so.  Once at temperature the tomato puree undergoes a Maillard reaction (the same as meat does when roasted) adding to the overall intensity of the tastes. The browned venison was then added followed by
the lardon

Then it was a matter of adding back the venison and the rehydrated mushroom  and the red wine.  Then once the alcohol had been driven off we added the stock, the reserved mushroom liquor, Tamari and thyme.

By this time the steady temperature of the BGE was at around 140C and so the Bourguignon could be left to cook for the next hour.  We could then see how the meat and the vegetables were cooking.  It needs to be long enough for the venison to be soft and tender whilst the vegetables still have a good and reasonably firm texture.  We left it cooking for another 30 minutes, adjusted the seasoning and added the rest of the mushrooms the had been previously set aside.

By this time the sauce had darkened and thickened but we still finished it by thickening with a very small amount of cornflour (about 1tsp).

The Venison Bourguignon was served on this occasion with a baked potato cooked at the same time in the BGE together with some of our spiced red cabbage and some French beans…………..

………………….. but it works well with rice, mashed potato or couscous too!


Venison and Vegetable Bourguignon

May 26, 2023
: 8
: 30 min
: 2 hr
: Straightforward

The big tastes you would expect from a Bourguignon - but venison and plant based


  • 300-500g cubed Venison shoulder
  • 50g lardon
  • 4-5 banana shallots - or 12-14 small round shallots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 500g of carrots
  • 500 g celeriac
  • 200g swede
  • 250g mushrooms (button or chestnut)
  • Any other mushrooms such as shiitake or Oyster
  • Large handful of dried mushrooms (ideally with at least some porcini)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 750ml Mushroom or vegetable or beef stock
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/3 bottle red wine (Pinot Noir ideal)
  • 1-2 tbsp Tamari
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • 1 flat tsp cornflour if necessary
  • Step 1 Light the BGE and bring to a temperature of 180C whilst preparing the vegetables
  • Step 2 If using banana shallots peel and cut lengthways into quarters.  If using round shallots peel and leave whole.  Finely chop the garlic.  Peel and cut the  carrots, celeriac and swede into chunks. Dice the celery.
  • Step 3 Take the dried mushrooms just covered with cold water and leave for 5-10 mins and then pour away and recover the mushrooms with fresh water.  Rehydrate for around 1-3 hours.
  • Step 4 Prepare the button or chestnut mushrooms.  If they are small keep them whole.  If large, cut into halves or quarters.  Prepare any other mushrooms you have in a similar way.
  • Step 5 When the Egg is up to temperature heat a sauté pan and dry fry the fresh mushrooms until they take on a little colour. Add some oil and continue to sauté conventionally. Set aside to add to the casserole near the end of the cook.  Squeeze the water from the rehydrated dried mushrooms (reserving the water).  Add to the sauté pan and cook until they too take on some colour.  Set these mushrooms to one side.
  • Step 6 Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan with some more oil and cook until they start to colour.  Season with salt and pepper. and transfer to the Dutch Oven
  • Step 7 In the sauté pan fry the lardon and set to one side and then brown off the venison.  Leave in the warm pan and add the platesetter to the BGE and move to indirect cooking. Swap the sauté pan for the Dutch Oven and add the tomato puree. Toss the vegetables until coated in the tomato paste and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Step 8 Add the venison and the lardon together with the rehydrated mushroom  and the red wine.  Then once the alcohol has been driven off add the stock, the reserved mushroom liquor, Tamari and thyme. Test the seasoning, stir and then to leave for at least an hour or more cooking indirectly on the BGE.
  • Step 9 Add the fresh sautéed mushrooms around 20 minutes before the end of the cook. Cook for long enough for the venison to be soft and for the vegetables to soften but to still have texture and enough character to bite through when serving.  If necessary thicken the sauce with one flat teaspoon of cornflour suspended in a little cold water and continue to cook for 10 mins.


Haggis stuffed Red Deer Haunch

Haggis stuffed Red Deer Haunch

This is a very simple reinterpretation of our earlier recipe for haunch of venison – available here.

The haunch is the top of the hind leg running into the rump.  We were fortunate to be given the meat by friends who don’t enjoy venison!!  The deer was a wild red deer which had been butchered locally.  The bone had been removed leaving a tunnel through the meat which we were going to stuff.  The meat was marinated overnight as before.  The differences from our earlier recipe were minor and primarily involved stuffing the leg.  This effectively replaces the bone with the stuffing which was made from 80g of Haggis mixed with 2 shallots, 2 large mushrooms and 4 prunes and roughly chopped.  After stuffing the cavity the leg was securely tied.

The venison was cooked as before over a little water in a pan with 2 quartered onions, and the meat was basted with some beef stock every 30-40 minutes.  The stock and the meat juices were collected in this pan.  Once the meat had reached a core temperature of 54C it was removed and double wrapped in foil and left to rest for 20 minutes whilst the vegetables cooked and the sauce was made.

The sauce was based on the liquid collected under the venison, thickened with cornflour and finished with 60 ml of Pineau des Charentes (in the absence of any Marsala) and a little thyme jelly for sweetness.  The whole dish took around 2 hrs to cook at 170C and went perfectly with carrots and tender stem broccoli and some Red Emmalie potatoes from Carroll’s Heritage Potatoes.

All in all a very satisfying dish ………….

……………….. and served cold the following day it was perhaps even better!!

Haggis stuffed Red Deer Haunch

August 5, 2020
: 8+
: 40 min
: 3 hr
: Straightforward


  • For the marinade
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • Rosemary
  • 8 crushed juniper berries
  • Maldon salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • For the Stuffing
  • 80g Haggis
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 2shallots
  • 4 prunes
  • For the roast
  • Whole boned venison leg
  • 250ml concentrated beef stock
  • 2 onions quartered
  • Water
  • 60ml Pineau des Charentes
  • spoonful of thyme jelly
  • 1tsp cornflower
  • Step 1 To make the marinade combine the rapeseed oil, thyme, garlic, rosemary, crushed juniper berries, salt, and pepper into a spreadable paste.  
  • Step 2 Put the venison into a vacuum food bag and once inside the bag rub the paste over the meat.  Vacuum and seal the meat then place in the fridge overnight.  
  • Step 3 Remove the meat from the fridge several hours before starting the cook.  Set up the BGE for indirect cooking at 180C.  Add a little beech wood to flavour the smoke. Roughly chop the mushrooms, shallots and prunes and mix with the Haggis and stuff into the leg cavity.  Tie the joint tightly
  • Step 4 Sit the meat on a metal trivet over a roasting pan containing 2 quartered onions and a little warm water.  The meat must sit above the water. Leave the venison to roast over the water undisturbed for about an hour. After an hour turn the meat over and baste with 150ml of stock. Leave to roast for another 45 mins till the core temperature approaches 50C. Turn the meat over again and baste with a further 150ml of stock. Continue roasting
  • Step 5 When the core temperature reaches around 55C remove the meat and double wrap in aluminium foil and leave to rest for at least 20 mins
  • Step 6 Pour the liquid from the roasting pan and any accumulated meat juices from the meat into a separate pan. Thicken 50ml of Pineau des Charentes with cornflour and add to the pan with a little thyme jelly. Reduce the sauce and sieve into a serving jug
  • Step 7 Serve with potatoes and vegetables in season

Venison, Chestnut and Porcini Casserole

Venison, Chestnut and Porcini Casserole

Venison is such a lovely meat to casserole on the Big Green Egg.  The EGG seems to overcome that one problem you can have with venison – its tendency to dry out.  To be able to combine this with a seasonal ‘bounty crop’ was just too good a chance to miss.  We had been given some beautiful cubed venison which seemed to contain a mix of the more obvious stewing pieces of venison with some of the more tender braising cuts.  Unfortunately, this was all the information we had, nor did we know from which type of deer the venison came.  In reality any venison listed for braising or casseroling would be fine.  The most likely source would be shoulder venison.  We also had some  fresh chestnuts that we had picked when walking in Italy and had brought back to the UK in our cool box!  We also used our own dried porcini mushrooms that we had dried when in Italy which made the dish very special for us.

Preparation was relatively simple and was done on the stove top – but could have been completed on the EGG if it hadn’t been raining so heavily.  The mushrooms were covered in cold water and left for 5 mins.  This first water was poured away to remove any debris and then they were covered again with around 300ml of just boiled water and left for 20 mins.  Meanwhile our Dutch oven was heated and a little oil added, followed by the cubed pancetta and a couple of bay leaves.  We were using some homemade pancetta, but shop bought would work equally well. Once the pancetta pieces were lightly coloured and some of their fat had been rendered they were removed from the pan and set aside in a bowl.

The venison was then lightly floured with a seasoned flour and fried off in batches in the Dutch oven.  It is important to fry them until each piece takes on some colour.  These were then set aside too.  Then into the pan we added the roughly chopped onion and as soon as that was taking on some colour the chopped garlic followed by the carrots and finally the celery.  Usually in a dish like this we would chop the vegetables finely – but on this occasion we wanted a combination of finely chopped for flavour and coarsely chopped for texture and visual appeal.  These were all stirred through the oils to lightly sauté.  The herbs and spices were then added and cooked for around 15 mins in total.  It may be necessary to add a little more oil at this stage.   The tomato puree and some red wine were then added and the heat on the Dutch oven turned up to deglaze the pan.  In the absence of any juniper berries a slug of gin was also included.  Once the pan was deglazed the venison and pancetta were reintroduced together with the rehydrated porcini (chopped if too large.)

Finally the mix of beef and chicken stock, together with the porcini soaking liquor was added and the whole pan was brought up to a simmer.

The uncovered Dutch oven was put into the large BGE set up for indirect cooking at around 110-120C for around 2 hours (1.5-3hr depending on the toughness of the meat).  

Around 30 mins from the end of the cooking 2 large handfuls of cooked chestnuts (these had been boiled and peeled) were added together with a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly.


Venison chestnut and Porcini Casserole

November 25, 2019
: 6
: 40 min
: Straightforward

A venison casserole enhanced with the autumnal tastes of chestnuts and porcini mushrooms


  • 25g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g pancetta (or smoked bacon) lardons
  • 1kg venison shoulder, cut into 2-3cm dice
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic sliced finely
  • 3 celery sticks, coarsely and finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely and finely chopped
  • A sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • A pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 200ml red wine
  • 200ml of mixed chicken and beef stock ! Suggest one stockpot of each
  • 1 tablespoon recurrant jelly
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 large handfuls or 1 pack of cooked chestnuts added near the end
  • 400g mushrooms sliced added at the end
  • 2 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Step 1 Cover the mushrooms with cold water and leave for 5 mins. Pour away this first water. Cover again with around 300ml of just boiled water and leave for 20 mins.  
  • Step 2 Heat the Dutch oven and add a little oil followed by the cubed pancetta and a couple of bay leaves. Once the pancetta pieces are lightly coloured and some of their fat has been rendered remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl.
  • Step 3 Flour the venison with flour lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and fry off in batches in the Dutch oven till the meat takes on some colour. Set aside.  
  • Step 4 Add the roughly chopped onion to the pan and as soon as that was taking on some colour add the chopped garlic followed by the carrots and finally the celery.  Stir through the oil to lightly sauté.  
  • Step 5 Add the herbs and spices and cook for around 15 mins in total.  It is may be necessary to add a little more oil at this stage.  
  • Step 6 Add the tomato puree and some red wine and increase the heat on the Dutch to deglaze the pan.  In the absence of any juniper berries add a slug of gin.  
  • Step 7 Once the pan is deglazed reintroduce the venison and pancetta together with the rehydrated porcini (chopped if too large).  Add the mix of beef and chicken stock together with the porcini soaking liquor and bring to a simmer.
  • Step 8 Put the uncovered Dutch in the large BGE set up for indirect cooking at around 110-120C for around 2 hours (1.5-3hr depending on the toughness of the meat). When within about 30 mins of the end of the cooking add the cooked chestnuts and a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly.  Heat some butter in a large frying pan and cook the chopped fresh mushrooms until they start to wilt. Season well and cook until they take on some colour then tip into the venison pan and stir through.
  • Step 9 Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the casserole is too fluid – mix a little cornflour in cold water and add some of the stock to this and then stir through the casserole and cook for 10 mins more. Serve with mashed potatoes and add some freshly chopped parsley
Venison leg and Onion Jam

Venison leg and Onion Jam

We were given a venison joint by a good friend!  The details of the beast from which it came were a little unclear – the cut was in doubt too (but probably boned leg)!  It was thought to be Roe Deer but we did not know how old the animal was.  When ever in doubt as to the age of the animal I tend to assume that it would be old.  This way we treat the meat as though it may be a little tough and cook accordingly.  So for this reason we planned a ‘slow cook,’ cooking at a low temperature but for a longer time. (more…)