Mulled wine-braised venison cobbler
- November 2023
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 1 hour. Oven time 30 min
The warming, fruity flavours of mulled wine are a natural companion for venison, which benefits from a little sweetness. Paired together in a stew under a lid of buttery, cheesy scones, this is the textbook example of a winter warmer.
Discover more venison recipes, including venison ragù, burgers and tacos.
- 31g (18g saturated)
- 72g (9.2g sugars)
- 1 star anise
- ½ cinnamon stick
- ½ tsp black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- ¼ nutmeg, finely grated
- 4 juniper berries
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- Finely grated zest 1 orange
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 500g diced venison
- Olive oil to fry
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 150g button mushrooms, halved
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
- 400ml red wine
- 200ml beef or chicken stock
For the cheese scone topping
- 450g self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 120g unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary needles
- Finely grated zest 1 orange
- 150g mature cheddar
- 300ml whole milk
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
You’ll also need
- 8cm round cutter
- Grind the star anise, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, nutmeg and juniper to a powder using a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, then stir in the thyme leaves, orange zest and salt. Put the diced venison in a large bowl, add the ground spices and mix well. You can leave to marinate overnight if you have the time.
- Add a dash of oil to a large casserole dish over a high heat and, once smoking, add the venison and brown all over (work in batches if you need to). Transfer the meat to a plate using a slotted spoon. Turn the heat down to medium and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and mushrooms with a splash more oil and a large pinch of salt. Cook for around 12 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the venison (along with any resting juices) back into the pan, then stir in the flour and cranberry sauce until it coats everything evenly. Stir in the wine and stock and simmer over a low heat for 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6 and make the scones. Put the flour, baking powder, butter and a pinch of salt in a food processor and pulse into a sandy consistency. Add the rosemary, orange zest and three quarters of the cheese and pulse until just mixed. Add the milk bit by bit and continue to pulse until you start to get a dough that clumps together. It should be quite a wet, soft dough; you may not need to use all the milk, so keep an eye on the mixture as you add it. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a ball. Put in a bowl, cover and rest in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- After resting, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 3.5cm thick. Use an 8cm round cutter to cut out the scones. If the stew has been cooked in a deep pan, transfer to a shallower, ovenproof dish, then put the scones on top, brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and ground black pepper. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
If venison is out of season or you can’t get hold of any, use any braising cut of beef or lamb; both work really well with the mulling spices.
The stew and the scone mix can be made ahead and frozen separately.
The scone dough is a very soft mixture so don’t be alarmed; this means the scones spread out while cooking, covering the stew nicely and resulting in a pillowy melt-in-mouth texture.
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