VENISON STEW WITH HOROPITO LEAVES
HOROPITO LEAVES (from the native tree Pseudowintera colorata) add a rich, wild, peppery flavour that complements wild game beautifully, but you can substitute it with chilli powder if you haven’t been out foraging lately. This dish works brilliantly in a slow cooker, and especially well tucked away on the back of a coal range on a cold winter’s day. It makes enough to feed a bunch of big men. 2 tsp dried oregano 2kg venison, cubed into chunks 10-12 mushrooms, halved 3-4 large potatoes washed and cubed 2 large carrots, sliced into 1cm rounds ■ 5 horopito leaves or ½-1 tsp chilli powder 1 heaped tbsp dried mustard powder 3 tbsp white vinegar 1 can chopped tomatoes In a large pot, fry the onion, leek, garlic, thyme and oregano in olive oil until tender. Add the venison and toss until well browned. Add the rest of the ingredients, plus enough water to make sure the meat and veges are just covered. Bring to the boil. Simmer for an hour or two with the lid on, stirring often to prevent it sticking. If it’s too runny, thicken with corn-flour. Serve with rice, potatoes or pasta. If you want this to be a ‘one-pot-wonder’ (as it’s known in our house), throw in a cup of pearl barley or rice half an hour before serving.