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Give James Mackenzie's venison suet pudding recipe a go over a wintry weekend and you will be rewarded with an adorably hearty dish. It takes time to slowly braise the meat and steam the puddings, but good things come to those who wait

Method
1.
To prepare the filling, add some rapeseed oil to a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the meat in batches until evenly browned
2.
Once seared, remove the venison and add the vegetables to the pan. Once they begin to colour, return the venison to the pan with the juniper berries, thyme and red wine
3.
Bring to the boil, pour in the stock and return to the boil. Place a lid on the pan and gently simmer and braise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until the meat is tender
4.
Once the venison is cooked, strain off the liquid into a clean pan and bring to the boil. Combine the butter and flour to form a paste, or 'beurre manie'. Add the beurre manie in knobs to the sauce, whisking constantly to achieve a gravy consistency. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the heat
5.
You will need to prepare the suet pastry in advance so that it has plenty of time to rest. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl with the suet, a generous pinch of salt and some chopped sage leaves. Mix together, then add enough water to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for 1 hour
6.
Butter the dariole moulds. Roll out the pastry to approximately 5mm thick, then cut out rounds of pastry using small plates (or the size suitable for your moulds) and cut a small V shape into the circles - this will enable the pastry to fit into the moulds snugly
7.
Press the pastry into the moulds - there should be enough overhang to cover the puddings once filled
8.
Add the venison filling to the moulds - the mix needs to be cool when you fill the moulds or the pastry will melt. Gather up the pastry overhang and press the edges together to seal
9.
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3, or preheat a steam oven to 100% steam
10.
If not using a steam oven, place the puddings in a deep ovenproof dish and pour in some hot water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Cover the dish and puddings with tin foil and seal tightly. Place in the regular oven for 2 hours. If using a steam oven, prepare the puddings in the same way and cook for X Hours/minutes
11.
To prepare the garnish, place the bacon onto a greased tray and bake in the oven until crispy. Cut the celery into 10cm long pieces and add to a large saucepan with the carrots, butter, thyme and enough stock to cover
12.
Place a cartouche over the vegetables and cook until tender - the liquid should have evaporated and the vegetables nicely glazed
13.
Just before serving, place a pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once the butter is foaming, sauté the mushrooms and finish with some chopped parsley and chives
14.
Turn the puddings out of the moulds into the middle of serving bowls and arrange the vegetables around them. Serve with some hot gravy and some crispy bacon
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Venison suet pudding recipe with a spicy and rich red wine, a medium and round red wine, or a full bodied red wine

Ingredients

Venison filling

Suet pastry

Garnish

Equipment

  1. Steam oven
  2. 4 large dariole moulds

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James Mackenzie's venison suet pudding makes the most of autumnal flavours in this comforting dish

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