Venison Casserole

A rich casserole – further enhanced by the addition of dumplings. Perfect for a slow cooker / Aga.



500 g venison – diced into bite sized chunks                           Olive oil for frying

1 large onion – coarsely chopped

2 carrots peeled and chopped

2/3 tbsp plain flour (I use gluten-free)

2/3 tbsp redcurrant sauce / jelly (cranberry tastes equally as good)

Red wine – 1 cup full




Fry the onions and venison for a couple of minutes to soften the onions and seal the meat


Add chopped carrots


Add flour and stir thoroughly


Add wine, redcurrant jelly / sauce and sufficient water to cover the ingredients









Once all ingredients are in the pan pop the lid on and put in the oven and cook on a low heat for a couple of hours  – the longer the better (I leave it in the bottom oven of the Aga all day). One hour before serving increase the temperature of the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 180 C and then after half an hour remove the lid (and add the dumplings) to allow the gravy to thicken.



Chilli with a hint of chocolate 

On a cold evening nothing warms me through like a steaming bowl of chilli. It can be made really quickly, freezes well, tastes even better on the second warm up and fills the house with wonderful aromas.  I always add chocolate to my chilli dishes….the Aztecs were on to something 🙂


1 tbsp olive oil                 1 large onion – chopped             500 g lean mince

400 g can chopped tomatoes    410 g can red kidney beans – washed and drained

1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder     1 tsp paprika    1 tsp ground cumin

5 squares of dark chocolate


Heat the oil in a large oven proof pan. Add the onions and cook until soft.  Add the mince and stir untill browned. Add the tomatoes, kidney beans and spices and stir thoroughly. If the mixture seems dry add half a tin of water. Before putting the chilli into the oven to finish cooking add the chocolate  and stir until melted.

Serve with rice and a bowl of melted cheese laden tortilla crisps.

Meat…or not?

I have been contemplating for a while to try a meat free diet. Not just on a whim, more of an experiment to see the impact on my health. I have always thoroughly enjoyed meat dishes and do wonder how I will find this new diet approach. One thing I am very much aware of is that over the last couple of weeks I have felt my digestion processes to be much more sluggish (not wanting to be too graphic!) and over the last few weeks I have eaten more meat than I usually would. Is this related I wonder?

There are such a lot of conflicting views out there with everyone having strong opinions –  some say to help us live longer then all animal products should be avoided; some state that red meat is harmful whilst others say as omnivores we are designed to eat meat and should.

For me, I want to feel healthier. Actions I have taken so far – being gf and eating miminum fructose have made me feel better.. and so for the next 4 weeks (miminum) this is the additional change I will try.

Here goes…