Venison – The Winter Warmer

There are few foods more satisfying on a cold winter evening than a rich venison casserole, and local venison is available from multiple outlets in the Lothian area.

Easy to cook – and light on the wallet – venison provides a welcome alternative to beef.  It’s also both nutritious and healthier than beef, with more protein, more vitamins and less fat.

The tantalising smell of a venison casserole stimulates the taste buds as it’s cooking. Venison has a rich flavour, especially when cooked in a robust, red wine. No need to worry about the alcohol, of course, as alcohol evaporates at a lower temperature than water, so it’s mostly gone by the end of cooking, but the delicious flavour remains.

Serves 6


25g butter

1 large brown onion (finely chopped)

4 rashers lean back bacon (chopped)

1 kg venison (without bone)

10 juniper berries, crushed

few sprigs of rosemary (stem removed and chopped)

Juice and zest from 2 large oranges

200 g chestnuts (fresh or preserved)

Freshly-ground black pepper

Maldon sea salt (if possible)


2cm ginger root peeled and finely sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped

10 Juniper berries, crushed

tsp freshly ground black pepper

tsp Maldon sea salt

tbsp coriander seeds, crushed

½ bottle of robust fruity red wine

tbsp white wine vinegar.


Prepare marinade as above.

In a glass bowl combine the venison chunks and marinade. Cover bowl and leave to marinate overnight in fridge for 6-8 hours (if possible)

Now prepare basic ingredients:

Melt the butter in a large frying pan

Saute onion and bacon on a medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the venison and marinade to the pan and sear quickly on high heat for 4-5 minutes.

Add the juniper berries, orange juice and rosemary.

Season to taste then simmer for a further 2 minutes.

Transfer the ingredients to a slow cooker (check manufacturers settings)

Set at lowest setting and cook for 2 hours

Stir in the chestnuts, check seasoning and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.

Serve with sprigs of rosemary and orange zest.

Over the past 17 years, Maureen Clark has published 11 best-selling books on health and nutrition.   Her roles have included creating content, nutritional research, and developing tried and tested specific healthy recipes.




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