The Field - - Opening Shots -

3-3.5kg boned veni­son shoul­der, cut into 2.5cm pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

75g smoked streaky ba­con, chopped

4 onions, peeled and sliced

4 car­rots, sliced

2 sticks cel­ery, chopped

4 tbsp sea­soned flour

750ml game or beef stock

Bou­quet garni

375g cleaned baby but­ton mush­rooms

250g vac-pack peeled chest­nuts

For the Mari­nade

3 tbsp olive oil


6 tbsp red/black­cur­rant jelly

150ml cider vine­gar

3 car­rots, diced

3 sticks cel­ery, chopped

8 crushed ju­niper berries

1 tsp ground all­spice

300ml red wine

Fresh thyme

Start with the mari­nade. Put the olive oil and sea­son­ing in a large bowl to­gether with the veni­son. In a saucepan, melt the jelly and cider vine­gar un­til dis­solved then pour into the bowl. Mix in the re­main­ing in­gre­di­ents, cover and re­frig­er­ate overnight, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally. When ready to cook, drain the meat in a colan­der, re­serv­ing the mari­nade liq­uid and dis­card­ing the solids.

Heat the olive oil in a large casse­role and sauté the ba­con un­til just brown, re­move and set aside. Next, fry the onions, car­rots and cel­ery un­til they be­gin to colour; re­move and put with the ba­con. Now fry the meat in batches, un­til browned all over, us­ing a lit­tle more oil if nec­es­sary. Re­move the pieces once browned and con­tinue un­til all is done. Sprin­kle the veni­son with the flour and toss through to mix thor­oughly.

Pre­heat the oven to 170°C/325°F/GAS Mark 3. Pour the re­served mari­nade into the casse­role and bring to the boil, skim­ming off any scum that sur­faces. Add the stock and bring back to the boil. Re­turn the meat, ba­con and vegeta­bles then add the bou­quet garni, mush­rooms and chest­nuts. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3-3½ hours un­til ten­der. This keeps well in the fridge for sev­eral days and tastes even bet­ter when re­heated. It may also be frozen.

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