Venison with brambles and beetroot

 In Autumn, Game, Gin, Ingredients, Meat, Poultry & Game, Recipes, Slow Cooked, Stews, Summer

If any vegetable seems destined to have a complex it’s beetroot. Familiar to most people covered in vinegar, favoured by hipster bakers to make their chocolate cakes sounds cool, rendering everything it touches, from chopping boards to your favourite white t-shirt, a stained purple mess. Beetroot is shunned by most, left to rot by many after a rare moment of adventure at the farmers market, and generally a pain in the backside to cook with on account of the aforementioned staining. But what a depth of flavour they bring to everything they touch. In this dish it’s an earthy sweetness (cliched much?) alongside the richness of venison, and the mouthwatering tartness of brambles. This is the perfect late summer dish, when the seasons are at a similar juxtaposition as the ingredients. Beetroot heading out as brambles come to ripeness from a sunny summer.

I’ve used cooked beetroot here as frankly it’s easier for most people, but if you’ve got fresh then roast it skin on for 30-40 minutes then peel and chop. The addition of gin is simply ‘liquid juniper’, the best friend of venison, so go for a London dry juniper driven style and not a flavoured vodka. Perfect in late summer as the sun starts to set on both the day and the season.

Venison with brambles and beetroot

500g diced venison

200g brambles
200g cooked beetroot cut into eighths
4 shallots roughly chopped
50ml gin – juniper driven London dry style like Beefeater
Large sprig rosemary
Large sprig thyme
½ tsp Sea salt
Crème fraiche to serve

  • In a heavy based hob-proof casserole dish, or large pot, add the venison. Add the beetroot, half the brambles, shallots, herbs, and sea salt. Pour over the gin and 50ml cold water. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat to the lowest available on the hob, cook for 3 hours, until tender, checking the moisture half way through. If the stew is drying out add a little water.
  • Serve with the remaining brambles and a dessertspoon of crème fraiche

Venison with brambles and beetroot

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