Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ale and Venison Stew

My brother and his girlfriend are visiting from Copenhagen. Yesterday I took them to some of my favourite places in London (guess where?): the farmers' market by Oval Station and Borough Market.  The result?  Loads of good food was sampled and we schlepped home a lot of delicious meats, cheese, herbs and vegetables.

After carefully browsing the selection of treats at the farmers' market, we set our hearts on some diced venison which we decided to stew last night.  Last time I cooked a venison stew I used red wine, but this time I cooked it in ale.  I also used smoked bacon so it came out quite different to the last one.  I prefer this one as it has more flavours and  I like the smokiness and saltiness from the bacon.

To feed 4 friends:
500g of diced venison
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
6 pieces of smoked bacon (I swear by Giggly Pig bacon from the farmers' market)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
3 cellery sticks, washed and sliced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pint of ale (I used Black Sheep Ale)
2 bay leaves
2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 large sprigs of fresh thyme
3 pepper corns
0.5 L of beef or venison stock
freshly ground pepper


1. Cut or slice the bacon into small strips and put them into a large hot pot on the stove.  Let the strips fry until light brown and the fat has melted.  Then add the onions and garlic.

2.  Add the venison and freshly ground pepper once the onions turn light brown. When the venison turns brown, add the bay leaves, carrots and cellery.  Stir it around and add the thyme and rosemary.  Fry for another couple of minutes while mixing everything around.

3. Add the pepper corns and pour in the ale and stock.  Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for at least an hour.

My brother made a mash out of potatoes, celeriac and garlic which went really well with the stew.  It would also be good with boiled potatoes.


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