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.
- 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.