Venison Stew and Herby Dumplings
Venison is an autumn treat and this recipe epitomises autumn, rich, hearty and packed with flavour. It’s easy too, just get it going on your Egg and walk away leaving the Egg to do the rest.
This takes advantage of venison shoulder, a slightly cheaper cut. If you wanted you could substitute beef stewing steak and still have a fabulous stew.
The chocolate adds a creamy rich flavour. Make sure you buy 85% cocoa dark chocolate.
For the stew
- 3-4tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped finely
- 6 cloves of coarsely chopped garlic
- 2 large carrots, disced
- 3 sticks of celery
- 1Kg venison, cut into big cubes (about 2cm cubed)
- Plain flour to dust the venison
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tins plum tomatoes, chopped up a bit
- 1.25 litre of chicken stock
- 70g dark chocolate, 85% cocoa
- 4tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1tbsp dried thyme
- 2 juniper berries
- 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed (1cm cubes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the dumplings
- 100g self raising flour
- 50g suet
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp oregano
- 5tbsp water
- Setup you Egg for direct cooking with the temp at about 180°C.
- Heat the olive oil in your Dutch oven, adding the onion, garlic, celery and carrots. Fry until the onions soften, about 10 minutes. Stir them every minute or two to stop them catching.
- Coat your cubed venison lightly in the plain flour.
- Once the onion has softened add the venison and fry for another 6 minutes, stirring every other minute.
- Change the setup of your Egg to cook indirect, plate setter feet up with the stainless grid on top. Keep the temp at 180°C. Add a could of hickory chunks if you want a smokey flavour to your stew.
- Add the bay leaves, tomatoes and stock to your Dutch oven.
- Simmer for 2 hours. The temp of your Egg may drop to around 150°C, this is fine, it’s the liquid evaporating.
- Mix all the dry ingredients of your dumplings in a bowl. Add the water and stir until everything comes together.
- Add the thyme, Worcestershire sauce, chocolate and Dijon mustard to the stew. Leave for 5 minutes and then stir to make sure the chocolate has melted.
- Taste and add any necessary seasoning.
- Add the cubes potatoes and stir in.
- Divide the dumpling mix into 8, roll them into balls and place the dumplings on to the top of the stew.
- Cook for a further hour or until the dumplings have puffed up.
- Serve in a bowl with some garden peas.
Cook the stew in a Dutch oven (a large cast iron pot). Leave the lid off for the whole cook.
You can use your own kitchen pots such as le Creuset but be aware they’ll get a smoke coating which takes a lot of scrubbing to get off.