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Highland venison casserole with chestnuts recipe

Highland venison casserole with chestnuts recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Stew and casserole
  • Game

Venison is low in fat and, like all red meat, provides plenty of iron and minerals. For the best flavour choose a real ale or one of the popular ‘designer’ beers.

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 500g lean boneless venison, cubed
  • 2 tbsp fine oatmeal
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 600ml good beer
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 juniper berries, crushed
  • 2 good pinches of allspice
  • 150g baby shallots, peeled
  • 250g baby carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
  • 250g baby parsnips (or turnips), scrubbed and trimmed, or diced swede
  • 1 baguette (French stick)
  • 100g canned or vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:2hr

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3. Toss the pieces of venison in the oatmeal to lightly coat, then shake to remove any excess.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy flameproof casserole and quickly cook the venison until lightly coloured. Transfer to a plate. Add the chopped onions to the casserole and cook gently over a low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until softened and golden.
  3. Add the beer, thyme, juniper and allspice plus a little seasoning to taste, and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  4. Stir in the shallots, whole baby carrots and parsnips (or baby turnips or diced swede) plus the venison and any meat juices. When the liquid comes to the boil, cover the casserole and put into the oven. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1¼–1½ hours until the meat is really tender.
  5. Towards the end of the, cut the baguette into slices about 2.5cm thick and lay on a baking tray. Bake for about 15 minutes until they are lightly brown and crisp.
  6. When the meat is cooked, stir in the chestnuts, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Arrange the toasted bread on top of meat and vegetables and cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes. Serve hot, in the casserole.


If preferred, or if venison is unavailable, use lean stewing steak or wild boar. Spread the croutons with mustard before adding to the casserole. * Use 450ml beer with 150ml beef stock.

Cook's tips

Shallots and baby onions are easy to peel if you make a small cut in the skin at the top and then soak in boiling water for 2 minutes. * To prepare ahead, cook up to the end of step 4, then cool and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours, or freeze. Thaw, if frozen, then reheat thoroughly before adding the chestnuts and bread croÛtes.

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Venison and Chestnut Casserole

Toss the venison cubes in flour seasoned with the chili powder .

Heat 1 tbsp oil in an oven- proof pan [a Dutch oven ? I'd call it a casserole ] and seal the meat quickly on all sides, in batches. Set the meat aside.

In the same pan , cook the onions and the bacon until the onions are translucent and beginning to soften . Add further oil only if needed.

Then, deglaze the pan with the wine , scraping up any bits in the bottom, into the sauce . Return the meat to the pan and add the stock , the bouquet and the chestnuts. Bring back to boiling point, then cover and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours or simmer gently on top of the stove.

Add the cranberries and season with pepper, and salt if necessary salt is not added until this stage because of the saltiness of the bacon and pepper may not be needed because of the chilli/ cayenne already present.

Return the casserole to the oven for 15-20 minutes to heat through the cranberries.

Venison shanks with baby beets and chestnuts recipe

The shank of any animal has lots of flavour since it is a muscle that works hard and contains a lot of sinew which always gives good flavour and substance to any sauce you are cooking. Slow cooked, shank meat will nearly fall off the bone and be a delicious winter warmer.


  • 150 g carrots
  • 150 g celery
  • 100 g leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 fallow shanks
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 l dark chicken or venison stock
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp grain mustard
  • 12 baby beetroot
  • 150 g cooked chestnuts
  • 25 g butter
  • 5.3 oz carrots
  • 5.3 oz celery
  • 3.5 oz leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 fallow shanks
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3.5 pints dark chicken or venison stock
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp grain mustard
  • 12 baby beetroot
  • 5.3 oz cooked chestnuts
  • 0.9 oz butter
  • 5.3 oz carrots
  • 5.3 oz celery
  • 3.5 oz leeks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 fallow shanks
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 8.5 cups dark chicken or venison stock
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tsp grain mustard
  • 12 baby beetroot
  • 5.3 oz cooked chestnuts
  • 0.9 oz butter


  • Cuisine: British
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 200 mins
  • Serves: 4


  1. Cut the carrots, celery and leeks into 1cm dice and roughly chop the garlic.
  2. Season the shanks with salt and pepper and fry in a frying pan to give them even colour all over.
  3. Place the shanks in an oven-proof dish that has a lid, fry all the diced vegetables in the pan you have used for the venison until coloured, then add the tomato purée and cook for another 5-8 mins then add the stock and sage.
  4. Cover the shanks with the stock and diced vegetables. Bring to the boil then cook in the oven at 160°C for 1½-2 hours or until meat is tender. Larger shanks could take slightly longer.
  5. Remove the shanks from the cooking liquid and keep warm and covered so they do not dry out.
  6. Decant the stock into saucepan, passing it through a fine strainer to remove diced vegetables – keep them warm with the shanks. Bring the stock to the boil, stir in the mustard and reduce by half.
  7. Drop the baby beetroots into cold water and bring to the boil until cooked then refresh and peel.
  8. Sauté the chestnuts in 15g of butter to warm through. Reheat the baby beetroots by plunging into boiling water then drain and toss in 10g melted butter.
  9. Place the shanks in a serving dish and cover with hot sauce, then garnish with vegetables, baby beetroots and chestnuts.

Recipe taken from Venison: the Game Larder. Photography by Steve Lee

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Notes about this recipe

+ View Larger photo: Steve Baxter

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Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

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Venison Sausage Casserole

Sausages are Sausages, but there are some sausages that are extremely special – and venison sausages are positively five-star, especially when you serve them braised slowly with herbs, shallots, mushrooms and red wine.


  • 1lb (450g) Venison Sausages
  • 6oz (75g) Chestnut Mushroom
  • 1tsp plain flour
  • 1tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1oz (25g) butter
  • 1tbs Redcurrant Jelly ( Blackcurrant Jam works well as does a swat fruity chutney)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 fluid oz (275ml) red wine
  • 1tbs Olive Oil
  • 8oz (225g) diced bacon or pancetta
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 8oz (225g) Shallots
  • 1tbs Juniper Berries
  • Good handful of fresh thyme (2 tsp of dried)
  • 2 Bay leaves


Heat the oil in the casserole

On a medium heat , brown the sausages evenly all over, taking care not to split the skins by turning them over too soon.

Next, using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate

In the residue brown the diced bacon along with the garlic and shallots

Crush the juniper berries very slightly without breaking them – just enough to release their flavour and add to the pan

Return the sausages to the casserole, pour in the wine then thyme and bay leaves.

Now season lightly, bring it all up to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the casserole, turn the heat as low as possible and let it all simmer gently for 30 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, stirring them in well, then leave everything to cook gently for a further 20 minutes

To finish off, remove the sausages and vegetables to a warm serving dish, mix the flour and the mustard powder with the softened butter until you have a smooth paste and whisk this, a little at a time, into the casserole.

Let everything bubble for a few more minutes, then take the casserole off the heat, return the sausages to the casserole, whisk in the redcurrant jelly – and it's ready to serve.

Venison is Lower in Saturated Fats Than any Other Red Meat

Reducing saturated fat intake is something most of us should be considering. It’s not that we need to eliminate saturated fat completely – we just we need to make a little more room for other types of fats (like olive oil) and other types of food (like fruit, veg and wholegrains). Being lower in saturated fat than other red meats, venison makes a great seasonal swap for red meats like beef helping to reduce your saturated fat intake. We love the lean flavour of our Venison Sausage Casserole with roasted root veg (and maybe a cheeky glass of red).

Wine Matching

This dish needs a good red wine to wash it down. We chose an Arabella Reserve Shiraz Viognier. Who would think a big dollop of gutsy Shiraz can be brought to life by a tiny smidgeon of peachy pure Viognier. Big, rich, ripe bramble and damson fruit with lashings of oak are given a soft, silky finish. The addition of the Viognier with its hint of white peach acting as the perfect foil to the peppery undertones. Available from Naked Wines


  • 1kg (2lb 4oz) stewing venison
  • 3tbsp seasoned flour
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100ml (4fl oz) light red wine
  • 500ml (18fl oz) beef stock
  • 4 or 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 35g (1¼oz) dried cranberries
  • 1tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 400g (14oz) baby chestnut mushrooms
  • 200g (7oz) girolles (wild mushrooms) or chestnut mushrooms, halved


First heat the oil in the casserole, then, with the heat turned down to medium, brown the sausages evenly all over, taking care not to split the skins by turning them over too soon.

Then, using a draining spoon, transfer them to a plate while you brown the bacon along with the shallots. This will take about 8-10 minutes. Now crush the coriander, salt and peppercorns together with a pestle and mortar (not too finely, so they are still fairly coarse), then add them to the casserole along with the garlic.

When the bacon and shallots have become golden brown, return the sausages to the casserole and add the white wine, thyme and bay leaves. Now bring everything up to a gentle simmer, put a lid on the casserole, turn the heat down as low as possible and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, caramelise the chestnuts - to do this, heat the 25g butter in the frying pan until it bubbles, then stir in the chestnuts and fry for 5- 6 minutes, until they are crisp and deep golden brown in colour. Then stir in the sugar and cook for a further 2 minutes before removing the pan from the heat and keeping on one side.

After the initial 45 minutes add the mushrooms to the casserole and push them down into the sauce and simmer for a further 15 minutes without the lid so that the liquid can reduce slightly.

When the time is up, using a draining spoon, transfer the sausages and all the vegetables etc. to a warm serving dish. Then whisk the butter and flour mixture in to the sauce and let it bubble for a few minutes till thickened. Then reserve 30 of the chestnuts (for serving) and add the rest to the sauce, and use either a stick blender or a liquidiser to whiz them till smooth. Then return everything to the pan and bring back to simmering point.

Reheat the reserved chestnuts, then serve the sausages on warmed plates sprinkled with the chestnuts.

Swedish Venison Casserole with Wild Mushrooms and Lingonberries

Swedish Venison Casserole with Wild Mushrooms and Lingonberries or Rengryta has a beautifully earthy sweetness with a rich velvety sauce and good deal of umami flavour. This delicious and comforting dish is often served in the festive period in Scandinavia.

Endless forests and a varied landscape are home to numerous game such as elk and deer in Scandinavia. This is why it’s a popular choice on restaurant menus in the winter months. However it’s widely cooked at home, from casseroles to roasting joints.

Eating seasonally is a great way to support sustainable food production, so what better time to dive into the health benefits of venison than when this meat is at its best. It’s most commonly available from the beginning of November to the end of March.

Venison is lower in saturated fat than other red meats. It makes a great seasonal swap for red meats like beef, which helps to reduce your saturated fat intake. It’s also a fantastic source of haem iron, this type of iron is generally absorbed very efficiently by our bodies. Venison is also one of the top sources of zinc after oysters, with 100g of venison providing roughly 32% of average daily intake requirement.

Venison Casserole with wild Mushrooms and Lingonberries. Serve with Creamy Mashed Potato.

This is a classic Swedish recipe for venison casserole, updated. I’ve added dried wild mushrooms for extra flavour and umami. Nothing is more perfect to serve in the winter holiday season than a casserole. Comforting, herby, scents wafting through the house as it simmers its way to tenderness is pure heaven.

Nutritional Details

  • Energy 2855kj 682kcal 34%
  • Fat 16.7g 24%
  • Saturates 5.3g 27%
  • Sugars 21.2g 24%
  • Salt 1.62g 27%

Typical values per 100g: Energy 519kj/124kcal

67.6g carbohydrate 11.9g fibre 46.7g protein Two of your 5 a day

Ingredients swap

Don't have the ingredients or just fancy a change? Here's some ideas


Preheat the oven to 160°C / 140°C fan. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and brown the venison in batches, removing to a large casserole pan.

De-glaze the frying pan over a medium heat, pouring in the port, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil, scraping all of the solids from the bottom of the pan and simmering for 2 minutes. Pour everything into the casserole pan.

Heat the frying pan and add the butter, bacon, celery, garlic and shallots. Fry for 10 minutes, until the bacon is golden and slightly crispy and the vegetables have softened. Add the flour and stir over heat for a minute. Stir in the stock once simmering pour into the casserole pan with the venison.

Add salt and pepper, bring to the boil and place in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour add the button mushrooms, chestnuts and mustard and return to the oven for a further hour.

In the meantime, make the parsnip purée by placing the chopped parsnips in a saucepan with the milk, bay leaf and peppercorns, bringing it to the boil. Simmer very gently for 12 minutes until the parsnip easily breaks under the back of a fork.

Drain the saucepan, reserving the milk. Place the cooked parsnip in a blender with the butter, nutmeg, lemon and a little of the milk. Whizz until you have a very smooth puree, adding more of the warm milk if needed.

For the greens, heat the butter in a large frying pan and add the shredded cabbage along with 100ml water. Fry for 5 minutes until wilted but still bright green.

Add a little fresh horseradish, salt and pepper. Once the casserole is ready, remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs and serve.

Watch the video: κάστανα ψητά στο σχαροτήγανο cuzinagias roasted chestnutkastana (May 2022).


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