Although we’ve had a relatively mild Winter in Dublin this year, Ireland has been repeatedly bashed by intense storms over the past month. Among the many effects the storms have had is the fact that shops have been badly stocked over the last few weeks, especially for fish and produce. My new(ish) tradition is to cook a special dinner on New Year’s Eve but this year a trip to three fishmongers and four butchers failed to yield the results I wanted. In desperation, I impulse bought a pack of venison and tried to bury all thoughts of the deer I used to hand-feed in Denmark.
I’d never cooked venison before, and was a bit wary of it, but I turned to the trusty Casa Moro cookbook and adapted their recipe for oxtail stew. I’d previously tried it when my dad adapted it for beef cheeks, which were also fantastic cooked this way. This is a two day process, but it involved a lot of my favourite ingredients (wine, chorizo, and smoked paprika among them). It yielded a very rich stew which was perfect for a bit of end of the year indulgence. Two days later, I went for a walk in the Phoenix Park without feeling even a pang of regret, it was that good. It would be a perfect dish for dinner parties as nearly all the cooking is done a day in advance, so the final stage only takes 30 minutes the next day just before serving. It’s nice with roasted potatoes or just served with some crusty bread to mop it up.
- 1.5kg diced venison
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 4 cloves
- 5 black pepercorns
- 1 bottle of red wine
- A few sprigs of thyme
- Olive oil
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 120g chorizo, cut into 1cm rounds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- Olive oil
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Flour and season the venison.
- Brown the venison and remove from the pan.
- Add the carrot and onion and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes to soften.
- Add the garlic, herbs and spices, and cook for two more minutes.
- Add the venison back in
- Pour in the wine and then top up with water to make sure it is submerged and bring to the boil.
- Lower to a gentle heat and simmer for 2 hours.
- Strain the sauce and venison into a container, leave to cool and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, heat up a large pan with some olive oil.
- Saute the finely chopped onion and carrot until soft 7-10 minutes.
- Add the chorizo andfry for 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the paprika, fennel seeds and tomato puree and cook for a minute
- Add the venison and its sauce and cook for 15-25 minutes until the sauce is reduced and the meat is meltingly soft.
- Season and serve.