Braised venison with prunes, port and crispy onions
- March 2015
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 20 min, simmering time 2 hours 30 min
Try this slow-cooked venison recipe – the meat cooks to the softness of butter within hours and is complemented perfectly with the sweetness of the prunes.
- 12.2g (3.1g saturated)
- 39.4g (28.7g sugars)
- 200g pitted prunes
- 400ml ruby port (see tips)
- Olive oil for frying
- 1.5kg venison, diced (see tips)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 onions, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 large leeks, sliced
- 1.25 litres good quality beef stock
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Mashed potato and green beans to serve (optional)
For the crispy onions
- 1 onion, sliced into rings
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- Olive oil for shallow frying
• Digital probe thermometer
- Put the prunes in a bowl with 350ml of the port and leave to soak. Heat a glug of oil in a large, deep, lidded casserole. Dust the venison with the flour (you can do this by putting the meat and flour in a clean plastic bag, sealing and shaking). Add the meat to the casserole and tir around for 5 minutes over a high heat to kickstart the cooking process. Add the onions, garlic and leeks, then cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.
- Add the port and prunes, the stock and the thyme, bring to a rolling boil, then turn the heat to low and simmer for 2½ hours, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- For the crispy onions, toss the onion rings in flour (you can do this in a clean plastic bag too). Half-fill a frying pan with vegetable oil, then heat to 160°C (test with a digital probe thermometer, or drop in a piece of onion; it should sizzle). Fry the floured onions for 5 minutes until golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- When you’re ready to serve, stir in the remaining 50ml port and the Worcestershire sauce, then taste and season. Serve with mashed potato and beans, if you like, and top with the crispy onions.
If you prefer, you could use good quality stewing beef instead of the venison, and a fruity red wine instead of the port.
Make up to 3 days in advance. Keep in the fridge in a sealed container. Reheat to serve. Freeze the finished cooled dish for up to 1 month in an airtight container. Defrost thoroughly, then reheat to serve.
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