One Pot Wonder

One Pot Wonder

Venison casserole with peppered dumplings

Serves 4-6


150g plain flour

1 x 1kg haunch of venison, boned and cut into 3cm cubes

60g butter

3 tbsp olive oil

5 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into thin strips

1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced

2 celery sticks, roughly chopped

200ml red wine

100ml port (optional)

1 tbsp golden caster sugar

Game or chicken stock, to cover

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 thyme sprigs

1 tbsp juniper berries, lightly crushed

1 bay leaf

Fine sea salt and black pepper

10 shallots, peeled and left whole

2 tbsp olive oil

80g butter

10 button mushrooms

1 tbsp redcurrant jelly


You can’t beat a dumpling and I think this is a fabulous recipe. It’s a spectacular dish to take to the table for everyone to admire.

200g self-raising flour

100g vegetable suet

Fine sea salt and black pepper

  1. Put the flour in a bowl and season it with salt and pepper. Toss the venison in the flour to coat it well, then shake the meat to remove any excess. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
  2. Heat half the butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the venison over a medium heat. Brown the meat in batches, adding more butter as you need it, and remove each batch to a casserole dish once it is browned.
  3. Using the same frying pan, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and fry the bacon, then add it to the venison. Brown the onion and celery and add them to the casserole dish. Pour the wine and port, if using, into the frying pan to deglaze it. Boil for a couple of minutes, then tip it all into the casserole dish.
  4. Add the sugar to the dish and pour in just enough stock to cover the venison, then add the garlic, thyme, juniper berries, bay leaf and a little seasoning. Place the lid on the dish and cook in the preheated oven for 2 hours, checking and stirring the meat halfway through the cooking time.
  5. While the casserole is in the oven, you can cook the mushrooms and shallots. Bring a pan of water to simmering point, add the shallots and simmer them for 1 minute. Drain them well and set aside. Heat a tablespoon of the oil and half the butter in a frying pan and gently cook the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes until any liquid has evaporated and they are golden brown. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining oil and the rest of the butter and sauté the shallots for 5 minutes until golden. Return the mushrooms to the pan with the shallots, season well, then mix in the redcurrant jelly. Set aside.
  6. For the dumplings, sift the flour and a teaspoon of salt into a bowl and add plenty of black pepper. Stir in the suet, then add enough water to make soft, but not sticky, dough – you should need about 80ml. Roll the mixture into little balls of about 20g each.
  1. When the venison is done, take the dish out of the oven. Add the mushrooms and shallots, then place the dumplings on top. Cover the dish and put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for another 10-15 minutes to brown the dumplings.
  2. Serve the venison and dumplings with some green vegetables, such as French beans or cabbage.

Extract taken from Rosemary Shrager’s Cookery Course by Rosemary Shrager (BBC Books, £20). Photography by Andrew Hayes-Watkins

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