A Cook's Plot

Red Meat & Pork

Venison Casserole with Dumplings

Just as we thought spring was arriving, we seem to have been plunged back to mid-winter again… but this warming casserole has cheered me up a bit. I cooked it in dinky little individual Le Creuset pots, but of course it would work just as well in one big casserole pan too.


  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 500g stewing venison
  • seasoned flour
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • 300ml beef stock (I use Knorr Stock Pot because it has lots of flavour but isn't overly salty)
  • a tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • a teaspoon of ras el hanout spice mix
  • about 8 crushed juniper berries (worth using just for the aromatic aroma of gin as you crush them!)
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • a tsp of olive oil
  • some chopped parsley


Fry the chopped leeks in a large, non-stick saute pan in olive oil until soft. Meanwhile, toss the stewing venison in seasoned flour. Add to the pan and brown the meat, a few cubes at a time (don't be tempted to put all the meat in the pan at once, because too much liquid will be released and it will steam rather than fry). Pour over the red wine, beef stock and red wine vinegar. Add the ras el hanout spice mix and the crushed juniper berries. Then cook, covered, at 160C (fan oven) for about 2 hours until the meat is very tender. About half an hour before the end of the cooking time, mix the self-raising flour with an egg yolk, the olive oil, 4 tbsp of cold water and some chopped parsley to a soft but not sticky dough and roll into walnut-sized balls with floured hands. Float in the top of the casserole and cook for 20 mins with the lid off.

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