Venison stew

This warming venison stew recipe, taken from The Guardian Food and Drink section, is perfect for the colder seasons.
Serves 6
  1. Cover the dried mushrooms with 300ml boiling . Leave to soak for at least 20 minutes. Drain, keeping the soaking liquor, and roughly chop the mushrooms.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the pancetta lardons until they are lightly coloured and some of the fat has been released. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set to one side in a bowl.
  3. 3 Dry the venison chunks well and toss in the flour with lots of salt and pepper added. Brown the venison in batches in the pan; chucking it all in the pan will only make the meat stew and it will be harder to brown. Add the browned meat to the pancetta on the side.
  4. 4 Tip the vegetables into the pan with the chopped porcini, herbs and spices. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Stir in the tomato puree and add the red wine – you can also add a slug of gin at this stage – turning up the heat and giving the pan a good stir to release any bits stuck to the bottom.
  5. Return the venison and pancetta to the pan. Add the chicken stock and porcini soaking liquor and bring up to a simmer. Cover, turn the heat down, and cook gently for about an hour and a half, or until the venison is tender. Alternatively, you can transfer the venison into an ovenproof dish and cook it, covered, in a low oven –around 120C/235F/gas mark ¼-½.
  6. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the chopped mushrooms until they start to wilt. Season well and cook for a few minutes before tipping the pan contents into the stew. Taste an adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.
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Serving tips

Serve with seasonal vegetables like kale

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