Thursday, 21 January 2010

Hale and Hearty, Scottish Venison and Vegetable Stew

Scottish Venison and Vegetable StewThis is the sort of hale and hearty, traditional Scottish stew that would regularly have been consumed in Rabbie Burns' time, made not necessarily with venison but - perhaps more commonly - with maybe beef or lamb. As Burns' birthday of course fell at one of the coldest times of the year in Scotland, it is not difficult to imagine him and his family seated around the open fire, upon which a stew such as this simmered in a cast iron pot.

This is therefore a recipe which is prepared as it would have been centuries ago. There are no modern chemicals in it (as there rarely are in my recipes) and there are no complicated appliances required in order to make it. This recipe quantity should provide a great meal for two people at any time of year but particularly on a cold, Winter's night.


1lb diced Scottish venison loin
1/2lb small potatoes
1/2 turnip
1 large carrot
2 pints fresh beef stock
2 tbsp plain (all-purpose, in USA) flour
1oz butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


The first step is to put the beef stock on to heat while the venison is prepared. The venison chunks should be washed in cold water to remove the excess blood, then dried with paper kitchen towel or a clean tea towel. The flour should then be added to a bowl, seasoned well with salt and pepper and the venison pieces dipped in to coat them lightly. The butter should be melted in the stew pot and the venison added to quickly brown and seal over a medium heat. The hot stock should be poured in, brought back to a simmer and the simmer maintained for two hours, with only an occasional stir required as well as a check on the liquid level. Hot water should be added, as and if required.

The skin should be left on the potatoes but the turnip should be peeled and the carrot scraped. The vegetables should then be chopped to an approximately uniform size of about one inch chunks. After the venison has been simmering for two hours, the vegetables should be added to the pot along with more water if required and the stew simmered for a further half hour before being served immediately in bowls, while still piping hot.

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