braised venison with chilli and chocolate serves 8

a really warming winter dish

venison ras el hanout
herb crusted venison
venison pudding
venison with chilli
2kg shoulder or haunch of venison
olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 celery stalks, diced
2 parsnips, diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 dried chillies, crumbled
500ml game, beef or chicken stock
bottle full-bodied red wine
100g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocao, finely grated or chopped
1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

For the marinade

1 bottle full-bodied red wine
4 garlic cloves
1 sprig of rosemary
4-5 sprigs of thyme
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
10 juniper berries, crushed
salt and pepper


Preheat an oven to 190C

Cut the venison into 2.5cm cubes. Combine the venison with the marinade ingredients. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight, turning every so often

Remove the venison from the marinade, setting the marinade aside for later.

Heat a large casserole over a high heat. Pour in a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the venison in batches, so that you are browning and not stewing the meat

Remove with a slotted spoon.

Add a tablespoon of oil to the casserole and sweat the onions for 5 minutes before adding the carrots, celery and parsnips. Cook for a further 10 minutes, allowing the vegetables to start caramelising without letting them burn.

Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.

Return the venison to the casserole, along with the reserved marinade and the rest of the ingredients. Bring up to a gentle simmer, stirring to melt the chocolate into the sauce. Cook in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes or until the meat is tender

Serve with mashed potato