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Wild Boar and Venison Stew

April 27, 2014
By

On the way back from an Easter break in Glasgow, I followed a friend’s advice and stopped off at the M6 Motorway Services at Tebay. These are one of the rare services that are not part of a chain – Tebay Services have a long history, excellent home-style food, and a brilliant farm shop.

It was while walking around there I bought some Wild Boar sausages. I planned to do something with them for Saturday, when I had friends visiting, but I wasn’t sure exactly what.

The day after getting home, a quick trip to Tescos made me think of getting their venison. The meat packs there were on a 3 for 2 offer, but they only had two packs of venison, with two steaks in each. So I also bought a pack of two venison burgers.

As always, this isn’t a recipe, just a rough guide; so feel free to make changes and use whatever you may have to hand.

  • 4 venison steaks (or cubed meat)
  • 2 venison burgers
  • 10 wild boar sausages
  • 1 bottle beer (Spitfire bitter)
  • 1 pack (100g) dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 pack (250g) chestnut mushrooms
  • potatoes
  • carrots
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • onion (optional)

I cut the steaks into pieces (roughly inch cubes) and dusted them in flour, seasoned with salt and black pepper. I cut each of the burgers into eight pieces, and rolled them into meatballs, also dusted in seasoned flour.

I wanted the sausages to be just one or two bites, rather than a whole sausage -rather than cut uncooked sausages, and risk the filling falling out, I twisted each one carefully in the middle, and continued twisting until each one was two small sausages. I then cut them at the link, and they stayed nicely together.

I then browned all the meat and sausages in a hot pan, and transferred to my slow cooker, on top of a pile of potatoes and carrots, also in mouth-sized pieces. I would normally also fry in a sliced onion at this point, but one of my guests is intolerant to onion. However, I added some flavour by adding a bottle of beer to the pot.

Meanwhile, the porcini mushrooms had been sitting in enough boiling water to cover them. Once everything else was prepared, they also went in, including the water they had been sitting in – excellent stock.

I would normally cook this for about 8 hours, on slow setting; but this a meal prepared in the morning, to be eaten for lunch, so I didn’t have that amount of time. So it went on at 9 am on high, and got turned down to low after a couple of hours. At 12pm, I added the chestnut mushrooms – some whole, the larger ones cut in half; and continued cooking on slow until we ate at 1pm.

I’m sorry I don’t have photos of the dish, but it was yummy, and everyone had their fill. Plus there was a good-sized portion left over for my tea. The boar and venison melded together well, and made a savoury treat, but also the different textures of the meat, meatballs and sausage made each bite enjoyable.

2 Responses to Wild Boar and Venison Stew

  1. Jo on April 27, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    Interesting – I’ve never tried slow cooking venison – the low fat content has always led me to think that it would be a bit dry when cooked long and slow, so I tend to do the short and fast quick searing method. Also – dried porcini – do you find there’s some grit in the liquid after you reconstitute them? There always seems to be in mine, so I have to be careful when pouring off the stock (and I agree, it needs to be used!)

    • Chris Malme on April 28, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      Generally, I would agree on the venison, it doesn’t actually need slow cooking. The reason for cooking it that way was so I could spent as little time as possible in the kitchen, as we were playing boardgames. However, it turned out great, and not dry at all.

      Porcini – I have had that problem before, but not this time.

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