This is a fantastic recipe for venison shoulder, neck or leg and doesn't require too many ingredients to cook or any fancy techniques.
Ingredients - Serves 8+ people
- 1.5-2lb of venison shoulder, leg or neck diced in to 1" cubes
- 3-4 medium onions (coarsely chopped)
- 1 cup of flour
- 2-4 tsp black pepper (coarsely ground is best)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 1 veg stock cube
- 3-4 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
- 3 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tbsp of English mustard
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 4 cloves of garlic (crushed/chopped)
- 3 leeks (sliced)
- 4 big carrots (chopped)
- 1/2 a swede (cubed 1/2")
- 1-2 cups of pear barley (soaked overnight)
- Olive oil or any other oil/fat (for frying)
- 4 large potatoes (peeled and cut in to ~1" cubes)
- 1/4-1/2lb of butter
- 4 onions (sliced)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of beef suet
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tsp black pepper
- 1 cups of water
- 1 tsp of thyme
- 1/2 tsp sage
Start by mixing your flour, black pepper and salt in a bowl and then add the meat. Coat the meat thoroughly in your seasoned flour and then fry in a couple of tbsp of very hot oil, moving occasionally. You should develop a brown crust on parts (that's flavour).
When you start to see a brown crust developing on your venison cubes, add the chopped onions a fry for about 10 minutes.
Add 2 pints of water, the mustard, garlic, barley, stock cubes, thyme, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce; then bring to a boil. Once you reach the boiling point, simmer for about 40 minutes before adding the vegetables. Add the celery and swede first for 10 minutes and then the leek and carrot can be added. Simmer for around 1-1.5 hours, adding water as necessary.
To add some green vibrance to the dish, you could add some garden peas 5 minutes before the end.
Peel and boil your potatoes for 10 min, turn down the heat and simmer for a further 10 min or until they are soft. Then drain.
While your potatoes are boiling, fry your sliced onions slowly in 1/2 the butter until they are soft and dark brown for the most part.
Combine the potato with the onion along with your ingredients by mashing them thoroughly together.
Sir the dry ingredients together and add water until a very thick batter is made, somewhere between cake mix and pastry dough. Spoon the mix on to the top of the stew in approximately golf ball sized blobs for the last 5-8 minutes, cover with the pan lid and raise the heat to steam your dumplings. If you like your dumplings crunchy, place the pan under the grill (broiler USA) and brown them.