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Serves 2-4

Wintery months call for comforting meals to warm the soul. This delicious slow-cooked venison and ale stew is a great way of making the most of seasonal game and deliciously rich flavours.


  • 1 kg of diced venison haunch or shoulder, or alternatively use beef
  • 500ml real ale (try Welbeck Abbey Brewery Ale, Ernest George for a rich deep flavour)
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 25g flour
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 25g butter
  • 8 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, halved if large
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based casserole dish or deep frying pan and brown the meat, then remove to a plate and keep warm.
  2. Fry the shallots and mushrooms for a few minutes until the shallots have softened and are slightly golden. Add the meat and any juices back to the pan and sprinkle over the flour.
  3. Pour over the ale and add the carrots, bay leaf and thyme, stir everything together.
  4. Put a lid on the pan, then bring to the boil briefly before simmering very slowly for about 2 hours 30 mins.
  5. Add the beef stock and continue to simmer for another hour or until the meat is tender. Season to taste with salt and black pepper towards the end of cooking.
  6. Serve with a helping of buttery mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables or but buttered cabbage.