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How To make Rich Venison &Amp; Mushroom Stew


2 lb Good stewing venison

(trimmed weight) 1 Onion
3/4 lb Small flat mushrooms
2 1/2 fl Red wine vinegar
2 1/2 fl Water
3/4 pt (scant) beef or game stock
Butter Oil Flour Sugar Bay leaves

FOR THE FORCEMEAT BALLS-------------------------- 8 oz Fresh breadcrumbs
8 oz Grated suet
2 Lemons (grated zest only)
1 1/2 tb Lemon juice
1 lg Egg
3 tb Fresh chopped parsley
Cut the venison into large chunks and marinate for about 24 hours in the water and vinegar with 2 bay leaves and plenty of pepper. Make the forcemeat mixture, seasoning it well and binding it with the lightly beaten egg. Shape into 24 small balls, fry briskly until golden- brown and crisp and reserve. Then fry the mushrooms hard in a very little hot fat. Remove and reserve separately. Drain and dry the meat well, reserving the marinade. Dust the venison with well-seasoned flour and brown and seal in batches. Transfer it to a 4 pint flameproof casserole; ideally this should be no more than 8 inches in diameter across the top. Chop the onion finely and fry gently. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons flour, pour on the marinade liquid and the stock over the
meat and season with salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a bare simmer, cover tightly and cook over the lowest possible flame (or in a low oven if you prefer) until the meat is deliciously tender and the gravy is dark and rich. Shoulder meat may need as little as 1 1/2 hours, lesser cuts of meat will need considerably more. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. When ready, remove the bay and check seasoning. Cool and refrigerate overnight if not to be served on the same day. To finish the dish, bring everything back to room temperature. Add the prepared mushrooms to the stew, pushing them well down into the gravy, then cover the surface with the forcemeat balls and bake - without a lid to keep the forcemeat balls really crisp - at 400 F (200 C) gas mark 6 for about 25 minutes. Source: Philippa Davenport in "Country Living" (British), November 1988. Typed for you by Karen Mintzias -----

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