This is not really a budget recipe, though it is still cheaper to make it than to buy it. This is more of a special occasion dish. We’re just about to move house so I was trying to use up what’s left in the freezer. I discovered bacon and some venison. I defrosted them in the morning, and in the evening prepared this dish. Who knew that using up what’s in the freezer could be so tasty?! I served it with instant mash (trying to use up what’s in the cupboard – I keep instant mash for ’emergencies’) and used up the last of the mixed vegetables that were lurking in the freezer.
You will need:
500g venison pieces
300g smoked bacon (I used oak smoked bacon from a local farm where the pigs are free range – the bacon is delicious)
1 onion, chopped
300ml red wine (any old red wine will do)
2 stock cubes (I used free range organic chicken stock cubes which I picked up for next to nothing as they were past their best before date)
2 heaped tablespoons potato flour/cornflour (wheat flour will work fine but will need more stirring to prevent lumps forming)
1 teaspoon garlic granules
Black pepper, to taste
1 bouquet garni sachet or 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provençe (dried mixed herbs will do if you don’t have these)
1 tablespoon oil
1. Using a clean pair of sharp scissors, cut the bacon into strips and then cut into small pieces about 1cm x 2cm each.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the venison and bacon. Cook over a gentle heat until the meat has browned, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the onion and cook gently for a few more minutes until softened.
4. Add the garlic and the flour and stir to coat the meat mixture,
5. Add the red wine and stock cubes and stir gently until a smooth, thick liquid/paste has formed.
6. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well, and top up with 500ml water (or more, if necessary).
7. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
8. Transfer to a large casserole dish, cover* and place in the centre of a pre-heated oven at 180°C for one hour.
9. Serve with potatoes and mixed vegetables.
*If you have a large ceramic or glass dish but no lid, use aluminium cooking foil. Simply place it over the top and scrunch it up around the edges. It doesn’t need to be air tight, just secured enough to stay in place. Make sure the foil is not touching the heating elements.