Mixed game is a great introduction to game, especially if you are feeling unsure about trying a whole pheasant or partridge. It usually consists of a mixture of any or all of pheasant, partridge, venison and hare, and is available as a pre-diced mixture in many supermarkets and, in season, at farm shops and farmers markets. It makes wonderful rich stews, casseroles and pies, warming and comforting at this time of year.
For this casserole you will need (to make two generous servings)
350-400g mixed diced game
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tbs sunflower or rapeseed oil
150g Chantenay carrots, trimmed and halved
150g chestnut mushrooms, wiped and quartered
200ml beef stock
1 tbs plain flour
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
a few thyme sprigs, leaves stripped and chopped
parsley to garnish
Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the game meat and fry quickly until browned. Lift from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to the slow cooker pot. Add the butter and heat until foaming, then add the onion and cook quickly until softened, stirring well to scape up any bits of meat stuck to the pan. reduce the heat to very low (I generally turn it right off because I'm a coward about the possibility of lumpy gravy) and blend in the flour then gradually add the stock. Return to a high heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, taste and season, then pour over the meat in the slow cooker pot. Add the carrots, mushrooms, bayleaf and thyme, mix well, cover and cook on auto for 6-8 hours.
To serve, remove bayleaf, garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potato and a green vegetable - Savoy cabbage is specially good with this.
You can vary this by using wine, ale or stout as part or all of the liquid, mixing in some cooked chestnuts towards the end of the cooking time, or replacing the balsamic vinegar with brandy. The rind and juice of an orange is a particularly tasty addition if you take the brandy route!
I'm linking to the Slow Cooked Challenge at Farmersgirl Kitchen and Baking Queen74