Combining the venison with Asian flavours produces a rich, aromatic stew. The crushed vegetable topping with ginger and garlic makes a perfect match.
1 kilogram diced braising venison (I used Denver Leg)
1 tablespoon each sesame oil and vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground Chinese 5-spice
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, chopped
250 grams button mushrooms, quartered
100 grams streaky bacon, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
finely grated zest ½ an orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 cup beef stock
2 teaspoons cornflour
1 tablespoon cold water
Preheat the oven to 150˚C.
Venison: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
To cook: Put the oil, onions, mushrooms, bacon and salt in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft.
Add the venison, scraping in all the bits left in the bowl and combine with the onions. Don’t brown the meat.
Add all the remaining ingredients and stir together. Press a piece of baking paper over the meat then cover tightly with a lid or foil.
Braise for 1½ hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Combine the cornflour and water until smooth and stir into the venison. Cover again and braise for a further 20 minutes until the meat is tender.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
To serve: Divide the venison between ovenproof serving dishes and top with the Asian mash. Drizzle with a little melted butter and top with half a fresh chilli if desired. Bake for about 20 minutes until the top is golden.
Pantry note: Kecap/Ketjap Manis (pronounced Ketchup Manis) is a sweetish, thick soy sauce made with palm sugar and seasoned with star anise and garlic. A popular ingredient for Indonesian cooks, it is used as a condiment or as a substitute for dark soy sauce. Available in the international section of good supermarkets and specialty food stores.