As we approach the colder months, casseroles and stews are commonplace that use the best seasonal produce. This delicious hearty casserole is a simple one pot dish that combines root vegetables, spelt grain and fresh venison from Sharpham Park, perfect for
a cold autumnal evening.
1: Using a sharp knife, prepare the vegetables for the dish. If you are using a whole venison haunch, instead of pre diced venison, cut into 1-inch pieces then coat in flour before placing to one side.
2: Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a stock pot and transfer the venison to the pot. Brown the meat over a high heat before adding the vegetables, spelt grain and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
3: Stir in the tomato puree, thyme and rosemary, ensuring the meat and vegetables are evenly coated. Add bay leaves and cinnamon sticks before pouring in the beef stock and stout beer. Place the lid on top and simmer for 2 hours. Alternatively, place in a preheated oven at 180℃ and cook for 2 hours. After 1 hour, give the casserole a stir to prevent burning and to check the level of the stock as it will start to reduce. Place the lid back on and return the casserole to the hob or oven for the remaining time.
4: Peel and cube the butternut squash then place in a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and mix in the chopped garlic. Place in oven at 180℃ and roast for 5 minutes. Boil the pearled spelt for 20 mins then drain and place to one side. Once the butternut squash has roasted, stir in the spelt and add a pinch of sea salt.
5: Once cooked, remove from oven and extract bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. Stir in spinach and place the lid back on the pot to let the spinach wilt. Serve hot with butternut squash or sides of choices.