One of my favourite times of year, autumn is a time of outstanding beauty, when the natural world treats us to a last burst of colour before the onset of winter. As the leaves change to vibrant reds through to golds and the nights draw in, it’s the time for log fires and hearty food. For this Autumn season, try this delicious venison stew – its quick and simple to prepare and just the ticket for those cold winter nights.

Really nice served with some rice, beans, a jacket potato or, if you’re a bit more traditional, some steamed vegetables. A humble but delicious stew.

Prep time: 15 Minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Cook 2 hrs, 45 mins

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

Olive oil

11/4 kg venison cut in 2cm chunks

3 celery sticks, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 large carrots, sliced

1 red onion peeled and coarsely chopped

2 sticks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped

300g of mushrooms, coarsely cut

600 g small new potatoes, halved

1 tbsp cumin seed

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp of chilli powder

small cinnamon stick

1 red chilli, whole

2 tbsp plain flour

450ml red wine

350ml Bovril cube stock

Tin of chopped tomatoes

Sprig of thyme or rosemary

2 bay leaves

Sea salt and black pepper

50g grated dark chocolate

Cooking Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C or 160C for a fan oven or gas mark 4
  2. Dust a chopping board with 2 tbsp of flour along with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and toss your chunks of meat in this mixture until well coated.
  3. Heat a large casserole dish on a high heat, add a few glugs of olive oil and fry your meat for 3 minutes to brown it
  4. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, celery, mushrooms and potatoes into the dish and brown lightly
  5. Stir in the spices, flour and chilli, and cook for a few mins
  6. Pour in the wine, stock and tomatoes, then add the herbs. Bring to a simmer
  7. Cover the casserole dish with a lid and place in the oven for 1 hr 30 mins
  8. At this stage remove the lid and cook for a further 1 hour or so until the venison is tender
  9. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly, then stir in the grated chocolate, serve and enjoy!