Venison and parsnip hotpot

Venison and parsnip hotpot

By
From
Mark Hix On Baking
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Hotpots need not be made with lamb or mutton only – game meats like deer, wild boar or even rabbit all make for great-flavoured, hearty versions. Venison is a generic term, covering different species of deer including the roe deer, red deer, fallow and muntjac, all of which vary in size and have different eating qualities. Butchers often tend to mix up venison cuts, which can result in you having a pot full of pieces of meat with lots of different cooking times. Ask for meat that comes from a single cut to make sure this isn't the case.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 800-1kg venison piece, cut into rough 3–4 cm chunks
salt
pepper
plain flour, for dusting
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
450-500g onions, peeled and thinly sliced
60g unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, for brushing
800ml beef stock
1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, chopped
500g large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
500g parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Season the venison chunks with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan with half of the vegetable oil, add the venison a few pieces at a time and fry until nicely coloured, then remove to a colander to drain.
  3. Clean the pan, add the remaining vegetable oil and heat. Add the onions and fry over a high heat until they begin to colour, then add the butter and continue to cook for a few minutes until the onions soften. Dust the onions with a tablespoon of flour, stir well, then gradually add the beef stock, stirring to avoid lumps. Scatter over the rosemary, bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  4. To assemble the hotpot, cover the bottom of a deep oven-proof casserole dish with a layer of potatoes and parsnips. Follow this with a layer of meat moistened with a little sauce, then add another layer of potatoes and parsnips. Continue in this way until the meat and most of the sauce has been used, finishing with a final layer of overlapping potato and parsnip slices. Brush the top with a little of the sauce.
  5. Cover the casserole with a lid and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 140°C and cook slowly for a further 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
  6. Remove the lid and turn the oven back up to 220°C. Brush the potato topping with a little melted butter and return to the oven for 15 minutes or so to allow the potatoes to brown. Serve with pickled red cabbage (as they do up North), seasonal root vegetables or greens.
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