Braised Venison with Grapes, Chestnuts and Red Wine
As the days draw in and autumn becomes a reality, we begin to yearn for some comfort food. This is a lovely wholesome casserole with which we celebrate the end of the grape harvest.
2oz / 50g Butter
2 Red Onions, peeled and chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
1kg Venison Haunch, trimmed and cubed
2oz / 50g Plain Flour
400ml Red Wine
400ml Chicken Stock (a stock cube dissolved in hot water is fine)
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
2 Tablespoons Redcurrant or Cranberry Jelly
8 Sage Leaves, shredded
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt & Freshly Ground Black pepper
200g Cooked Chestnuts, roughly chopped
200g Black Grapes, quartered
Chopped Parsley to finish
Heat the butter in a solid casserole dish and fry off the onion and garlic. (Oliver Gladwin likes to do this on an open fire, but this is not strictly necessary)
Sprinkle the flour over the venison meat and toss it so the pieces are evenly coated. Add the meat to the casserole and fry it with the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes to brown evenly.
Pour in the wine and stock. Stir the mixture together. Now season with mustard, redcurrant or cranberry jelly, sage, vinegar, salt and pepper.
Place a lid on the casserole and bring to the boil then reduce the heat. Gently simmer for 1.5 hours stirring occasionally.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Check that the meat is melt in the mouth tender.
The casserole can now be left to cool, then reheated in the oven at 180°C for 35 minutes just before serving.
When ready to serve, stir in the chestnuts, sprinkle over the grapes and finish with chopped parsley.
Serve with creamy Colcannon of Potato, Leek and Cabbage, and plenty of red wine.