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Game Hotpot Recipe
An excellent way of using mixed game items you might have been given, or might be lurking in your freezer.
However, this dish is good enough to be worth the ingredients to be properly-sourced. It's also very easy to make and can be made ahead of time and reheated. It goes very well with our recipe for Braised Red Cabbage (q.v.) and good mashed potatoes would sop up the juices.
You can use the meat weights as a guideline, if you don't have quite so much venison, you could use the same weight of rabbit, hare or pigeon instead.
For 4 generous helpings:
600g/1 lb. 6 oz Diced Venison
The meat from two pheasants or 3 partridges, strimmed from the bones, and cut into chunks - or 4-6 pheasant or partridge breasts, each cut into 3 pieces
60g/2 oz Streaky Bacon, rind removed, then cut into 5cm/2 ins pieces
2 medium Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoon (30ml) Vegetable Oil
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and finely-chopped
½ a teaspoon dried Thyme or a Bouquet Garni for Game from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk (http://www.gourmetherbs.co.uk/)
600ml/1 pint Game or Beef Stock (if using whole pheasants, the bones can be used to make this)
2 tablespoons (30ml) Red Currant Jelly
1 tablespoon (15ml) Tomato Purée
900g/2 lbs Potatoes, peeled and thinly-sliced; Desiree or King Edwards are perfect for this dish
Salt (the quantity will depend on the saltiness of your stock), generous grinds of black pepper
30g/1 oz Butter, melted
For the Marinade:
400ml/15 fl oz Red Wine
150ml/5 fl oz Red Wine Vinegar
2 Bay Leaves
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
6 Juniper Berries, squashed under the blade of a wide knife
Equipment needed: An oven proof casserole with a close-fitting lid.
1 Put the meat into a bowl or plastic container - carefully checking that you have removed any small bones - then add the remaining marinade ingredients.
2. Mix thoroughly, making sure all the solid ingredients are covered. Refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours, but overnight if possible.
3. Strain the solid ingredients, keeping the marinade liquid.Heat half the oil, over a medium heat, in a wide frying pan
4. Fry the meat and the bacon, in batches, turning it until its colour changes and it is sealed all over. As it browns, remove the meat to a large bowl. Add more oil as need be.
5. Heat the oven to 160ºC/325º/Gas 3.
6. Cover the bottom of the casserole with a layer of potatoes, follow this by a layer of mixed meat followed by a layer of onions and a scattering of garlic. Build the casserole in this way, until all the meat, onions and garlic have been used.
7. Finish with a layer of potatoes.
8. Heat the strained marinade, stock, red currant jelly, tomato purée, your chosen herb/s and a little salt and plenty of freshly-ground black pepper. Then pour this liquid of the hotpot.
9. Brush the melted butter over the potatoes, cover with the lid, and cook in the oven for 1½ hours.
10. Remove the lid from the casserole and increase the oven temperature to 200º/400º/Gas 6, and cook for a further ½ hour.