It’s supposed to be the beginning of our summer but the weather seemingly doesn’t agree. The jackets are still at the ready and I’ve only made it out into a pub garden once in recent weeks. The only good thing to come of this, is that making and eating delicious meaty stews is still perfectly acceptable. This recipe certainly falls into that category. Comfort at its best and brimming with slow-cooked flavour. You just can’t beat it. Plus this one is herby, I’m all about the herbs you know. 
I managed to stumble upon a couple of packs of reasonably priced diced venison last week and it’s been sitting in the freezer ever since, just waiting to be met with some inspiration. I do love venison, it’s an incredibly lean meat and I like to think that makes it a healthy addition to any dinner. We had thought about making a nice, indulgent venison pie, until Dan picked out this meal from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie’s America’. Another well read book full of some of my favourite recipes (this one included). The full ingredients list and method can be found on Jamie’s website here.

To make our version of this stew (serves three adults) you will need:

– 600g of diced venison stewing steak

– Four tablespoons of plain flour 

– Salt and black pepper

– Olive oil

– Two onions (peeled/roughly chopped)

– Two carrots (peeled/roughly chopped)

– One tablespoon of juniper berries

– Two sprigs of rosemary leaves (chopped)

– A knob of butter 

– Half a small pack of fresh flat-leaf parsley (chopped)

– Two beef stock cubes

– One garlic clove (peeled/finely chopped)

– 400g of small new potatoes (cleaned/halved)

Method:

– Add two tablespoons of flour to a large mixing bowl with a good pinch of seasoning and coat the meat. Then heat some oil in a large stove top pan and brown the meat for a few minutes.

– Add the onions, carrots, juniper berries, rosemary and butter. Add a few tablespoons of water and give everything a good stir. Put the lid on and let everything steam and combine together for a further few minutes.

– Take the lid off to fry the vegetables and  stir every now and then for ten minutes. Next add the stalks of the parsley when the onions begin to caramelise with the rest of the flour and the stock cubes. Add enough water to cover everything by approximately two inches and put the parsley leaves to one side. 

– Bring the stew to the boil then turn down to a medium/low heat. Add the potatoes and leave to simmer for at least two hours, preferably three, with the lid slightly a jar. Keep checking and if it starts to get slightly dry, add a splash of water as required.

– Put your chopped garlic on a chopping board with some salt and black pepper. Split your remaining parsley into thirds, add two thirds to the mix and chop together to make a paste. Tip this into the pot and stir well. 

– If you like a thick sauce, take the lid off and leave it to reduce to your taste and then serve with the remaining parsley sprinkled over the top.

Dan made some simple flatbreads to go alongside our stew and mop up the sauce. They complimented it very well. Jamie also suggests a jacket potato (not sure how double spuds would work?) or some boiled rice. To be fair, I’d be happy eating this as it comes…out of a large bowl with a spoon in front of the box in my jammies! It’s deliciously rich and massively satisfying. This dodgy weather can hang around a bit longer I reckon. Keep the stew coming. Nicely done, husband. 

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