We’ve been eating deer meat in this country for centuries. Game is reasonably priced, low in fat and is thought to be low in cholesterol. It’s also delicious and because they roam freely it’s not intensively farmed either. Don’t let thoughts of Bambi put you off. You can place it in your usual beef recipes, for example in a chilli or casserole.
Venison meatballs in a walnut and pomegranate molasses sauce
To make the sauce, fry 2 finely-chopped onions gently in a little oil, until soft (about 15 minutes). Add 200g chopped walnuts and 500ml venison or beef stock, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes, topping up with water or stock if it starts to get too dry. Stir in 50ml pomegranate molasses or fruit jelly and continue cooking the sauce for a further 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the sweet/sour balance with lemon juice or sugar. To make the meatballs mix 600g venison mince with 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp turmeric in a food processor until a paste is formed. Add 1 chopped onion and pulse again until thoroughly mixed. Season with salt and pepper and form into 24 small meatballs. Roll in flour and brown all over. Drain off excess oil, then add to the walnut and pomegranate sauce and cook gently for about 10-15 minutes. Serve with basmati rice and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds on serving.