Monday 7 April 2014

Venison stew with chocolate and chilli

Early Spring, with it's constantly changing moods, can bring about a melancholy in me. I have to remind myself that life isn't just about bright sunshine and balmy Summer evenings; that we need the rain, wind and grey moments too. I am impatient for the sun. I am in fact impatient for everything, bordering on intolerant at times. When something is clear to me, I want to impose that clarity on the whole world. This is an immaturity in me, reality can be seen and expressed in many different ways and everyone has their own process. I am learning to let go. Feeling my impatience, anger and sadness as strongly as I can and then accepting that it makes no difference, and that's how it's supposed to be, so I can relax. I made a late Mother's Day lunch for my mum and the family yesterday. They came an hour and a half early, catching me by surprise and I very nearly ruined it, but luckily managed to relax and accept the situation in the end. The main course was this stew
I had a hunch that venison and dark chocolate would work, especially with a chilli kick. And the red wine. These strong flavours together are a dream. Fry the carrot, onion, celery and ginger first for about 5min in the olive oil. Add the venison chunks and the chilli, seal the meat for a couple of minutes then add the paprika, ground ginger and cumin, stir and fry for another minute, add a splash of water. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the wine, cover and simmer for about half an hour. Add the red pepper and chocolate. Simmer some more. If it looks dry then add more red wine. It needs about 2 hours in total, until the meat is so soft that it's falling apart, but make sure you stir it every 20min or so and make sure it's not drying out, adding splashes of wine when you need to. Right at the end add the fresh coriander and serve - it works well with sweet potato mash you see up there. For dessert we had Anja's chocolate mousse, which is the best chocolate mousse in the world, and I will tell you about next time

Ingredients (serves 4)

400g venison, in bite-sized chunks (remove any stringy bits)
6-8 squares dark chocolate
1 onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, grated
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 red chilli, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Approximately 1/3 bottle red wine
Handful chopped fresh coriander
Mild oil for frying
Salt and pepper

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