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Recipe

Venison, barley and root vegetable casserole

This nourishing, earthy venison stew recipe benefits from long, slow cooking. It is satisfying on its own, but for a more substantial meal, serve with creamy mashed potatoes or pappardelle

By Luca Villari
  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 6
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Ingredients

Venison, barley and root vegetable casserole
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1.2 kilogram boned venison leg or shoulder, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 2 litre beef stock
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1cm discs
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1cm dice
  • 2 sticks celery, cut into 1cm dice
  • 8 baby turnips, scrubbed and halved
  • 2 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 bayleaves
  • 400 gram tin good-quality chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cup uncooked barley, rinsed in cold water and drained
  • 12 baby leeks, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • chilli oil or extra virgin olive oil, to garnish (optional)

Method

  • 1
    Heat oil until hot in a large heavy-based casserole dish. Season cubed venison and sear on all sides (you may need to do this in batches, depending on the size of your casserole).
  • 2
    Transfer meat to a large plate and set aside. Add stock to the casserole and bring to the boil. Lower heat to a simmer, add carrot, onion, celery, turnips, garlic and bayleaves.
  • 3
    Add the seared venison and any juices from the meat, along with chopped tomatoes. Cover with lid and simmer for 1½ hours. Check the liquid level during cooking and top up with water if it seems to be drying out – you want enough liquid to cover all the ingredients.
  • 4
    After 1½ hours, add the barley, replace lid and simmer for 20 minutes. Add baby leeks in the last 10 minutes of cooking to ensure they keep their green colour. Fold in the parsley just before serving and season to taste.
  • 5
    Ladle a generous amount into serving bowls and arrange leeks on top. Drizzle with chilli oil or extra virgin olive oil if desired.

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