Venison and Chocolate Casserole

Stuck for ideas for a Valentine themed dinner? Whether it’s romantic inspiration you need or you just enjoy experimenting in the kitchen , we think we’ve come across a pretty special recipe from Taste of Game: Venison and Chocolate Casserole.

Red meat and chocolate – what a luxurious combination! You don’t need to feel too guilty either as venison is so low in fat compared to other red meats – bring on the chocolate. This dark velvety casserole is simply delicious.


  • 500g diced venison haunch
  • 50g bacon lardons
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 6 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 banana shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 8 Chantenay carrots –
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 flat mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 700ml red wine
  • 500ml venison or beef stock
  • 30g good quality dark chocolate, melted
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tbsp. red currant jelly
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees, Gas mark 2.
  • Pour half the olive oil into an oven-proof dish gently warm, add the bacon lardons, cook for 4 minutes and remove from the heat.
  • Put the diced venison and flour in a bowl and toss well, once coated shake of any excess flour, then place the oven proof dish back on the heat and brown the venison in the pan.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil, garlic, shallots and celery and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the carrots, mushrooms and herbs.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, then add the red wine and bring to the boil. Add the beef stock and season with salt and pepper
  • Cover and cook for 1 ¾ – 2 hours in the oven at a low heat until the meat is meltingly tender.
  • Once tender remove from the oven and strain the meat and vegetables in a sieve, keeping the liquid.
  • Put the liquid back in the pan and bring back to the boil by placing on the hob. Once boiling, whisk in the redcurrant jelly, butter and chocolate, then pour over the venison and vegetables and stir well.
  • For a little extra spice, you could try adding a hint of chilli powder or crushed chillies to the sauce, it complements the chocolate beautifully: naughty, but nice!
  • Mashed celeriac makes the perfect accompaniment.

If this is a romantic treat, make sure you’ve laid the table, lit the candles, warmed your dinner plates and left the red wine to breathe.
Bon appétit!

Don’t forget that venison is widely available in supermarkets and local butchers, or you could try substituting the venison with beef.

To melt chocolate:

  • Break chocolate and place into a heatproof bowl
  • Sit over a pan of barely simmering water (a bain marie) and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally.
  • Once melted, use as required.

Adapted recipe and image courtesy of Taste of Game

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