Simple Venison Casserole...with Chocolate

I picked up a pack of casserole venison in our local butcher during the week as the ideal thing to put in the slow cooker on Saturday, to cook whilst we spent the afternoon in the rugby club celebrating the opening of the new pitches.

Not the cheapest meat, I opted only to buy a 500g pack between five of us and bulk it out with something.  I settled on this recipe with button mushrooms, as I am not a fan (as I might have mentioned) of overly stewed carrot and celery.   Only one child baulked at them.

Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
500g casserole venison
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 large clove of garlic, finely sliced
50g smoked bacon offcuts or 2 rashers smoked bacon, diced
200g button mushrooms
200ml red wine
1 beef stock cube, crumbled
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
Boiling water

At the end of the cooking time:-
4 heaped tsp cornflour
4 cubes dark chocolate
Salt and pepper, to taste

Fry the cubed venison in the olive oil in batches to brown it.  When brown, place in the warming slow cooker.  Fry the onion, garlic, bacon and mushrooms in the pan after the venison.  When it begins to brown or catch add the wine, stock cube and redcurrant jelly.  Bring to the boil and pour into the slow cooker.  Top up with about 200ml boiling water so the meat is just peeking out.  Stir, cover, and leave on Auto for about 6-8 hours.

When ready to eat, pour back into the pan you used to fry everything in if still available.  Mix a little water into the cornflour until it is the consistency of double cream and stir into to the simmering stew to thicken.  Melt the chocolate into the sauce (mainly done to win the kids over admittedly), check the seasoning and serve with mashed potato, or pasta if you think you'll still need additional help winning the kids over!