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Venison Stew with Fruit

The fruit sauce and scented spices in this recipe complement the sweet, succulent gamey flavour of the venison beautifully, while the beer adds to its richness. Venison is best bought in the autumn or winter, when the meat is likely to be young and fresh. Ask the butcher to bone the meat if it has not already been done. Serve with rice or potatoes.
Preparation time : 1 hour,
Cooking time : 2 hours,
Calories per serving: 675

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
3 lb (1.4 kg) shoulder or leg of venison, boned
2 medium-sized onions
4 cloves garlic
1 small green chilli pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground oregano
14 oz (400 g) tin chopped tomatoes
1 3/4 pints (1 litre) beef stock
1 pint (570 ml) dark beer
2 Granny Smith or other dessert apples
6 oz (175 g) pineapple (preferably fresh)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon chilli powder (or cayenne)
1/3 pint (190 ml) water
3 tablespoons peanut or groundnut oil or any vegetable oil

method

1. Chop the onions coarsely, crush the garlic and chop the chilli pepper very finely.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic and chilli for 10 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally. Drain, remove and set aside. Put the cumin and oregano into a small pan and heat gently until they release their scent. Put aside.

3. Cut the venison into 1 in (25 mm) cubes and brown them in the remaining oil. Add the onion mixture and spices. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock and dark beer to the meat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until it is tender.

5. While the meat is cooking, peel the apples and pineapple (if using fresh). Dice coarsely and puree in a blender with the cinnamon, vinegar, allspice, salt, sugar and chilli powder with 1/3 pint (190 ml) water. Heat peanut or other oil and saute the mixture for 3 or 4 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates.

6. When the meat is cooked, take it out of the liquid and lay it on a warm dish. Add the fruit mixture to the casserole, mix with the liquid. If a thicker sauce is preferred, mix 1 teaspoon of cornflour with a little water and stir it into the cooking liquid.

7. Simmer the sauce gently for 5 minutes, stirring it continuously. Pour the sauce over the meat, and serve.

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