Scotland has a large population of native red deer; this makes venison traditionally very popular and in more recent years, commercial deer farms have shown up especially in the West Highlands. Being very lean, venison is considered a very healthy meat to eat but can easily become dry, and or tough, if not cooked in a proper fashion. Generally, venison is best cooked slowly, such as in a casserole or braised in stock. This recipe illustrates slowly braising the venison in beef stock and traditional Scottish vegetables.
Ingredients (Serves One)
About ½ pound or 6 oz venison loin (cut in cubes)
2 cups fresh beef stock
1 small onion (cut in quarters)
1 medium carrot (peeled and sliced in rounds)
Pinch of fresh, dried thyme
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large potatoes ( peeled and cut in large cubes)
6 Brussels Sprouts
A knob of butter (to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the oil in to a large skillet or medium saucepan and allow the oil to heat on medium heat. In a small bowl, add the flour and season with pepper (to taste). Drag the venison cubes in the flour mixture to coat them well, then place them in the heated oil and stir to brown and seal them just for about 2-5 minutes. Once you have browned and sealed the meat, add the quartered onion and sliced carrots, stir to incorporate, then add the beef stock and thyme. Bring this mixture to just boiling and continue to simmer on low heat for at least two hours, or until the venison is tender, stirring occasionally. You may need to add a small amount of beef stock or hot water towards the end of the cooking process.
About a half hour before the venison is ready, add potatoes in to boiling salted water and simmer until soft. Drain well when they are ready and mash with a little butter, (to taste).
Add Brussels sprouts to boiling salted water and simmer for eight to ten minutes, depending upon the how big the sprouts are. Try to time the sprouts to be ready at the same time as the potatoes.
Dollop the mashed potatoes with a large spoon on to the dinner plate and carefully form in to a circle. Arrange the sprouts around the edges of the mashed potatoes and spoon the braised venison on top.