The idea of this blog is to share ideas for using hand-made pots to serve good food.

Eating with friends and family is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I hope to show how the warmth and character of hand made ceramics can really enhance the pleasure of cooking, serving and eating food.

This blog will include pots from other potters as well as my own and recipes for the food which I enjoy, hoping that you will like it too.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Venison Casserole

When I was thinking about starting this blog, I was wondering what to call it and nearly went for the name, CASSEROLE, as it is both a pot and a kind of food or cooking method.  In the end, I thought that 'pots and food' was simpler and might catch more interest.
  I have been making some casseroles of the pot variety, which I am quite pleased with and have been trying out some recipes to cook in them.  I like using game, such as venison, as I like the idea that the animals I eat have had the chance to roam free. This is my favourite recipe to date.   

 Venison Casserole 
This is a hearty meat casserole which also includes a fair amount of vegetables.  It needs a long, slow cook, so not a good recipe if you are in a hurry.  I have made this with chestnuts instead of the butternut squash, which was delicious, but chestnuts are not always easy to find.  The quantities given are really just a guide and can be adjusted to what you have or what you like.  The prunes add a fruity sweetness which complements the meat very well.  You could omit them and serve with a redcurrant jelly on the side instead.

500 g / 1 lb diced venison
200 g / 8oz shallots
100 g / 4oz button mushrooms
200 g / 8oz butternut squash
1or 2 sticks of celery
100 g / 4oz prunes
thyme - a couple of sprigs
or 1 tsp dried thyme
bay leaf
1 large glass red wine
beef stock or water
oil - about 2 tablespoons
salt and pepper

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas 6
  • Dice the venison into pieces about 2-3 cms sq and roll in seasoned flour
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and brown the meat in batches
  • Put the browned meat on one side and fry the shallots (peeled and whole, or cut in half if they are large) in the same pan, until they begin to colour.
  • Add the finely chopped celery and the button mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the meat back into the pan with the other ingredients and add the red wine. Let it simmer a little and then add the butternut squash, peeled and diced, the herbs and the prunes.
  • Add enough beef stock or water to cover. 
  • Put in an ovenproof casserole and place in the pre-heated oven.
  • Cook at 200°C for half an hour and then turn the heat down to 180°C /350°F Gas 4 and cook for a further one and a half hours or more.  Check to see if the casserole needs more liquid every half hour or so.  The sauce should thicken up into a delicious gravy. Taste to see if more seasoning is needed and add salt and pepper as required.
  • Serve with mashed potato, polenta or anything which will absorb the gravy. 

I have been having trouble getting a decent photo of the casseroles (as in pots) which I have made, as they are very reflective, but I will have another go and post a photo soon.

1 comment:

  1. Just found your blog today via Doug's. I'm all ready enjoying it. You've got plenty of ideas there. Must do some more cooking and baking.