Warm up this winter with nourishing venison in this hearty, savoury braise.
1 kilogram diced venison
sea salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 brown onions, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons each dried oregano, ground cumin and smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
sea salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon each sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar and brown sugar
2 whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons each tomato paste, wholegrain mustard, adobo sauce from the peppers and plain flour
½ cup red wine
¾ cup good-quality beef stock
CRISPY GARLICKY CRUMBS
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1½ cups fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons finely
Venison is one of nature’s nutritional powerhouses. Low in fat and saturated fat, it’s a source of high-quality protein, so it aids growth and cell repair and helps you feel full for longer. Venison’s high levels of easily absorbed iron are essential for overall health and staving off anaemia and fatigue – and venison contains more iron than beef or lamb. Its rich stores of zinc are important for immunity and brain development, and it’s also a good source of B vitamins, including B12, riboflavin and niacin – all of which are important for sustaining energy levels and boosting immunity through the cooler months.
In fact, New Zealand venison is something of a hero meat. Raised in the open pastures of our countryside, in a natural, free-range environment, New Zealand venison is free from hormones or steroids, so you can feel good about putting it in your body. Plus, because Kiwi deer farmers have such a strong focus on sustainable farming practices, you’re doing the right thing for the planet, too.
We love venison in this sumptuous wintery braise, full of irresistible smoky flavours and tender meat. But it’s easy to cook in a variety of ways. As a naturally lean meat, venison requires no trimming before cooking, so it’s great for quick meals on the go. Try it flash-fried and sliced across the grain to fill tacos or sandwiches, replace your regular beef steak with a delicious venison medallion, drape slices over a salad or mince it for burgers with plenty of thyme, garlic and onions. It also makes a glorious roast, first seared in a pan, then roasted at a lower temperature than usual until just tender. For more recipes and inspiration, visit nzvenison.com/recipes
Preheat the oven to 120°C regular bake.
Trim any silverskin off the venison and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole dish and add the onions, bay leaves, garlic, oregano and spices with a splash of water. Add a good pinch of salt, cover and cook for 10 minutes over a medium-low heat, stirring often and adding a splash more water if needed. (The water will evaporate off.) Combine the vinegar, sugar, chipotle peppers, tomato paste, mustard, adobo sauce and flour in a bowl, then stir in the wine. Add to the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock, season and bring to the boil. Add the seasoned venison to the pot, stir to combine and heat until it just comes to the boil. Press a circle of baking paper down onto the meat then cover the dish tightly with a lid or foil. Place in the oven and cook for 50 minutes, stirring after 30 minutes.
CRUMBS: Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the crumbs until golden and crisp, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and parsley and season well. Scatter over the venison when serving.
Cook’s note: We served the venison with mashed potatoes and flash-fried green beans.
Perk up tonight’s dinner with New Zealand’s healthiest red meat. Find New Zealand venison in supermarkets nationwide and online. nzvenison.com