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Tuesday 4 October 2022

The Big Glut - October

Venison with pumpkin mash and cavolo nero 

From Delicious Magazine. Serves 4-6, hands-on time 1 hour, oven time 3 hours

  • 1kg venison shoulder, bone removed (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp juniper berries
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 500ml good red wine
  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 50ml double cream
  • 400g cavolo nero


Heat the oven to 120°C fan/gas 1. Put a deep saucepan or hob-safe casserole (with a lid) over a medium-high heat. Season the venison with lots of salt and pepper. Add the oil to the pan/ dish and, once smoking hot, sear the venison, turning regularly, for 5 minutes or until brown all over. Remove and set aside.

In the same pan/dish, add the onion, carrot and celery and fry for 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the bay leaf, star anise and juniper, pour in the stock and wine, then bring to the boil. Submerge the venison in the liquid, cover with a lid, then transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender.

Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Peel, deseed and chop the pumpkin into 5cm chunks, then cook it in the water for 10 minutes or until tender – different varieties and sizes of pumpkin will take slightly different times to cook, so keep testing it with a fork after 10 minutes. You want the pumpkin to be soft throughout. Drain and leave to steam dry.

Put the butter in a small pan over a low-medium heat with the thyme. Gently cook the butter for 5-8 minutes until it starts to smell nutty and has turned brown (don’t let it burn), then remove from the heat and discard the thyme.

Begin mashing the steamdried pumpkin in the same pan you cooked it in, adding the cream, then the brown butter a little at a time until the mash is nice and smooth. Season with plenty of salt and black pepper, then cover and set aside.

Once the venison is cooked through, carefully lift it out of the liquid and set aside. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a clean pan, then put it over a high heat to reduce for 15 minutes into a glossy sauce. Meanwhile, wilt the cavolo nero in a covered frying pan with a splash of water for 3-5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

Recipe courtesy of Delicious Magazine.

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