Venison Sausage Casserole with Red Wine, Juniper Berries, Redcurrant Jelly and Fresh Thyme is a rich, luscious casserole loaded with meaty sausages, lashings of thick gravy bursting with layers of flavour from slow cooking and of course a fine range of ingredients.
Collect together your equipment (see Recipe Notes below) and ingredients.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron casserole over a moderately high temperature and brown the sausages on all sides. Remove from the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan – you may need to do this in batches.
As the sausages brown, cut the bacon into small pieces and slice or finely chop the onions.
Add the bacon and cook until lightly browned and crispy. Remove from the pan.
Turn the heat down to moderate, add the butter and chopped onion and cook until very soft and caramelised – around 15 minutes. Stir from time to time, scraping up the wonderful, flavourful sticky bits left from the sausages and bacon. Keep an eye on it; you may need to turn the heat down as the onions cook.
Add the garlic and juniper berries and cook for a further 5 minutes. You will create more sticky bits!
Add around 4 tablespoons red wine to de-glaze the pan. Stir well and scrape up those all important sticky bits.
When the wine has evaporated, add the flour and mustard powder and cook stirring for 2 minutes.
Add the remaining red wine, stirring well and bring to the boil. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the half the stock and bring to a simmer.
Now add the sausages, bacon, rosemary, bay leaves, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to the pan. Add more stock if necessary. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 50 – 60 minutes.
Add the redcurrant jelly, to taste, and any any more stock as desired. Adjust seasoning, if necessary – you may wish to add the sugar and more salt.
To serve: delicious served with potatoes, either roast, creamy, mashed or mashed sweet potatoes, some pan-fried mushrooms (see below) and some green vegetables of your choice. We also love some Yorkshire Puddings on the side.
Mushrooms: melt around 50g unsalted butter in a frying pan over a moderately high temperature and add 250g sliced mushrooms and some fresh thyme and a grinding of some salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring from time to time, for around 5 minutes until browned and lightly caramelised.
Serve as a side dish or stir through the casserole before you serve.