A rich and filling stew for cold autumn and winter nights and easy to make in quantity for entertaining large numbers. Serve it with soured cream or Greek yogurt and plenty of chopped fresh chives for a fresh oniony tang. If you prefer a smoky taste, use a mixture of pimenton or Spanish smoked paprika and sweet paprika.
1kg diced venison
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp. plain flour
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
6 juniper berries, crushed
2 tsp. dried thyme
400ml Italian passata (strained sieved tomatoes)
200 ml game or beef stock
600g potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
soured cream or Greek yoghurt
chopped fresh chive to garnish
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
Heat the oil in a large casserole and brown the venison all over. Remove the venison to a plate and add the onion and garlic to the casserole. Cook over a medium heat for about 15 minutes until the onion is just tinged with brown.
Mix the paprika with the flour, thyme and juniper berries. Tip the venison and any juices back into the casserole, add the flour and paprika mixture, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.
Pour in the passata and the game or beef stock, season well, stir and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat, cover with a lid and bake in the oven for about 1.5 hours.
20 minutes before it is ready, add the potatoes, replace the lid and cook for 20 minutes. Drizzled with sour cream and sprinkle with chopped chives. Serve with baked potatoes or noodles.