Venison casserole with cherry beer and cheesy dumplings

Audio Description

Login here to listen to the audio description

Venison casserole with cherry beer and cheesy dumplings

Slow-cooked casseroles, stews and braises are a personal favourite as they develop layers of flavour. This venison casserole is cooked with root vegetables and a fruity flavoured beer replacing the traditional red wine and redcurrant jelly which are used in a lot of game dishes. Adding the umami packed blue cheese dumplings takes it to a whole new level.

Venison is a delicious alternative to beef and is lower in both fat and cholesterol. The casserole works best with tougher cuts from the shoulder and neck – you can get your butcher to dice it up for you. I recommend a traditional Belgian cherry kriek beer, as the tart fruit flavours really add a great flavour to the casserole, but Samuel Smith Organic Cherry Fruit Beer gives a slightly sweeter finish if you prefer. Both are delicious when used in the recipe and served alongside the finished dish.


800g diced venison shoulder

2 white onions, peeled and finely chopped

3 celery sticks, washed and finely chopped

3 or 4 large carrots, peeled and sliced

600g small waxy baby potatoes, washed, cut in half

300g baby button mushrooms, wiped clean

200ml olive oil

100g plain flour

1 quality beef stock cube

350ml cherry beer

1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 bay leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings

200g self-raising flour

100g suet or cold butter

150g Stilton, thoroughly chilled then grated

1 free-range egg

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Small bunch of parsley, washed and finely chopped, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4. Generously season the venison with salt and pepper, and transfer to a large plastic bag with the flour. Seal and shake to cover the venison pieces. Reserve any remaining flour to add to the cooked onions below.

Heat half of the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan and fry the meat in batches until browned on all sides. Carefully remove from the frying pan and place in a large oven-proof casserole dish.

When finished, deglaze any sticky bits in the pan by adding a splash or two of beer and stirring gently with a wooden spatula. Pour this into the casserole dish.

In a separate frying pan, heat the rest of the oil and gently cook the carrots, onions and celery until soft. Add any remaining flour and the tomato paste and cook for two more minutes stirring continuously.

Transfer to the casserole dish and add the remaining beer and stir together. Add the potatoes, mushrooms, herbs, stock cube and just under half a litre of freshly boiled water, stir again and top with silver foil or a lid and place in the oven.

Prepare the dumplings by mixing all the dry ingredients. Crack in the egg and mix with sufficient cold water to make a firm dough. Divide into eight equal balls.

After 45 minutes, carefully remove the casserole from the oven, take off the cover, and add the dumplings. Return to the oven with the lid and cook for another 45 minutes. Carefully remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before spooning into bowls. Sprinkle on the parsley and serve.


Whats' Brewing Archive
view archive
What's On
view events