braised venison with chilli and chocolate – serves 6

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
½ 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 190°C

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