I made the weekly raid on the freezer for my birthday evening meal, and pulled out a shank of red deer venison. I hadn’t cooked this cut before, so I did a bit of googling, looked at the ingredients in the fridge and then made this braised venison. I think it would have worked well for up to two shanks, so we have ended up with a very tasty gravy for a second meal.
I’ve got really into using gluten-free flour as a thickener for stews and soups, the consistency of the gravy is good, not gluey at all.
- 1 or 2 red deer venison shanks (see above)
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 small or 1 large stick of celery, diced
- approx 50g butter
- olive oil
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- a bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 250ml red wine
- 250ml vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp juniper berries, bruised in a pestle and mortar
- 1 tbsp gluten-free flour
- Season the venison well with salt and pepper.
- In a pan that is big enough to cook the shanks, melt the butter in the olive oil. Set the oven to 150C
- Over a moderate heat, brown the shanks, one at a time, and then set aside.
- Reduce to a low heat, add the onions, carrots and celery to the same pan, and cook until softened.
- Add the red wine, and reduce
- Add the stock, bay, thyme, and juniper and tomatoes and cook down for around 15 minutes. This will give a better consistency and taste at the end.
- Add the venison shanks, bring back to a simmer and then cook in the oven for 4 hours. For the last 30 minutes of cooking, prepare any side dishes such as mash, cabbage, etcetera.
- At the end of cooking, remove the shanks from the pan, and mix the flour with a spoon or two of the gravy before adding to the pan and bringing to a simmer for around 5 minutes.
This is an excellent recipe for using up left-overs. The key ingredients are potatoes, meat and onion. The version here is my basic recipe, but it can be adapted to incorporate all sorts.
- 30g lard, butter or dripping
- 1 onion, finely chopped (I sometimes add a leek too)
- 1/2 a turnip (or swede, if you are English), peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- (optional, shredded cabbage, diced celery, etcetera)
- 600g potatoes, peeled and roughly sliced
- Around 100ml stock or left-over gravy
- Around 200g chopped cooked meat (could be varied according to what is available, both in type and quantity)
- A grate of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Melt the fat in the bottom of a large pan, and fry the onion (and leeks, celery, if you are using this) over a low heat until soft and almost browning.
- Add the potatoes and stir them in. When they are hot, add the carrots and the turnip and any other extra vegetables, and stir to mix.
- Heat the stock and pour it in, adding the chopped meat at the same time. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir again.
- Cover the pot and simmer over a low heat for around 30 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are beginning to break down. Check from time to time to see how the potatoes are cooking, to stir together and to assess whether any more stock needs to be added.
Very warm, filling and thrifty.
Delicious. Another Gordon Ramsey creation, I watched this on a youtube clip and tried it without knowing the quantities. It was excellent
- 30g butter
- Half a savoy cabbage, shredded
- A couple of carrots, diced
- A celeriac, diced
- 100g pancetta, diced
- Salt and pepper
- 150ml cream
- Fry all the vegetables and the pancetta in the butter at a high temperature for about four to five minutes.
- Pour the cream around the edge of the pan, season with salt and pepper and stir to mix.
You could add a wee grating of nutmeg, but it is delicious without.
I have used red wine and chocolate before, in a stew with beef, served with fried potatoes and prunes in brandy, stunning. This I tried after watching a videoclip of Gordon Ramsey cooking venison backstrap. No quantities were given, but I have found some clues elsewhere. I added rather too much chocolate the first time. I also struggled to find all of the ingredients he used, so I had to substitute a little.
- Venison back-strap – allow a piece of meat around 5cm x 5cm x 2.5cm, approx 200g or similar for each person. I took one piece of the back-strap and cut it into three. I used local red deer venison.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tsp butter
- 3 shallots or one white onion if shallots are not available – finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
- 2 bayleaves
- 5 sprigs of thyme, or a tsp dried thyme
- 12 black peppercorns, ground
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (the original recipe uses raspberry vinegar, but not available locally
- 300ml chicken stock
- 300ml red wine
- 30g unsweetened dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated.
- 100g smoked pancetta or streaky bacon
- Heat the oven to 220C. Cut some grease-proof paper, one section for each serving, and large enough to wrap up a portion of venison.
- Lightly season the venison with salt. Heat the oil in a pan until it is very hot, and then sear the venison on all sides.
- For each portion of venison, place on a piece of grease-proof paper, add a teaspoon of butter, wrap and put onto a small roasting tray. Put into the oven for eight to nine minutes.
- To make the sauce, fry the onion and pancetta in a small pan with a little olive oil , thyme, bayleaves and black pepper. As it starts to brown, add the garlic until that too is cooked.
- Add 300ml red wine, and reduce to a thick sauce by simmering.
- Add 300ml stock, and reduce by simmering.
- Strain out the solid ingredients. To the hot sauce, add a teaspoon of vinegar, and then whisk in the grated chocolate over a low heat. Do not bring back to the boil, just hot enough to melt the chocolate and no more.
- Take the venison from the oven, slice and then pour over the red wine and chocolate sauce.
I served this with roasted brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes. This is definitely good with mash and green vegetables.