1kg venison shoulder meat, trimmed and cut into 10 cm dice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 juniper berries, crushed
A handful of thyme sprigs
60g unsalted butter
60ml rapeseed oil
3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
1 whole head of garlic, peeled and chopped
1kg floury potatoes (such as Maris Piper), peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
500ml red wine
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tomato purée
300g carrots, peeled and sliced
300g parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 hard Conference pears, peeled and sliced
600g curly kale, washed and picked
Soured cream and chopped parsley to serve
Place the diced venison in a large mixing bowl and season well with salt, pepper, juniper and thyme. Heat the butter and oil in a deep, heavy pot over a moderate heat and fry the meat, a few pieces at a time, until sealed and caramelised. Each batch will take about 5 minutes.
Return all the meat to the pot and add the onions, garlic and half the potatoes. Stir well over a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Pour in the red wine and water and stir in the mustard and tomato purée. Cover the pan with a good tight-fitting lid and simmer over a steady gentle heat until the meat is tender, approx. 2 hours.
After 2 hours, add the remaining potatoes along with the carrots, parsnips and pears. Put the lid back on the pot and leave to cook for a further hour.
Just before you are about to serve, blanch some curly kale in a large pan of salted boiling water for 6–8 minutes; drain well.
To serve, pile the stew onto serving plates, top each portion with a dollop of soured cream and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley and serve the kale alongside.