Venison casserole with caramelised quince

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Venison casserole with caramelised quince

You will need to start this the night before to allow time for the meat to marinate.


Serves 4

For the marinade
1 onion
1 garlic clove
5 tbsp sunflower oil
6 juniper berries
1 slice of lemon
1 bay leaf
250ml red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 black peppercorns

For the casserole
650g venison
2–3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
100g button mushrooms
1 garlic clove
30g butter
2 tsp plain flour
250ml chicken stock
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
¼ bunch of parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the caramelised quince
100g caster sugar
100ml cider vinegar
200ml water
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
2 quinces
50g butter


  1. Cut the venison into large cubes, trimming away any tough membrane or sinew. For the marinade, halve, peel and thickly slice the onion and put into a bowl with the venison. Peel and crush the garlic.
  2. Mix the rest of the marinade ingredients together and add to the venison bowl. Mix well, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
  4. Lift the venison from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Strain the marinade, reserving the liquid but discarding the aromatics.
  5. You will need to brown the venison in batches. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole, add about one-third of the venison cubes and brown over a medium heat, then transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and deglaze the pan with a little water; pour the juices over the browned venison pieces. Repeat to brown the rest of the meat, in batches, in the same way.
  6. Halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Slice the mushrooms and peel and crush the garlic. Melt the butter in the casserole and cook the onion over a gentle heat until soft, then increase the heat and brown the onion. Add the mushrooms and garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually add the strained marinade and stock, stirring to keep the mixture smooth. Return to the heat and stir until boiling, again scraping the bottom of the pan. Return the browned venison to the casserole with any juices and add the redcurrant jelly. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, or until the venison is very tender. Check from time to time to ensure it is not boiling too vigorously; it should be very gently simmering.
  8. Meanwhile, for the caramelised quince, put the sugar in a small saucepan with the cider vinegar and water and dissolve over a low heat. Break the cinnamon stick in half and add to the pan with the star anise. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Peel and core the quinces and cut into quarters or thick slices, depending on their size. Add to the pan and poach until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the quinces and pat dry with kitchen paper. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the quinces until golden.
  9. Using a slotted spoon, lift the cooked venison, mushrooms and onion into a serving dish, cover and keep warm. Boil the sauce rapidly until reduced to a shiny, almost syrupy consistency and a good concentration of flavour.
  10. In the meantime, finely chop enough parsley leaves to give you 1 tbsp. Adjust the seasoning of the sauce, then pour over the venison, mushrooms and onion and top with the caramelised quinces and chopped parsley to serve.

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