Prue Leith’s venison casserole with barley, cabbage and apple salad

Venison casserole with barley, cabbage and apple salad is an inspired idea to feed a crowd for Christmas Eve, Boxing Day and beyond.

Prue Leith Venison casserole
Chris Alack


Venison casserole

1kg venison shoulder, trimmed and diced into 5cm cubes


1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stick, sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
6 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
290ml red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
6 peppercorns


5 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp oil
30g butter
2 medium onions, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
165g button mushrooms
225ml beef stock
1 tbsp cranberry sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
55g fresh cranberries
15g sugar
165g cooked whole chestnuts
1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1. Mix the marinade ingredients with the meat and refrigerate overnight.H Preheat oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.

2. Lift the venison out of the marinade with a slotted spoon. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Strain the marinade and reserve the liquid.

3. Toss the meat in the seasoned flour. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat, frying in batches. Place the meat in a casserole pot. Scrape any sediment stuck to the pan with a little of the marinade to loosen after each batch and pour into the casserole. Heat a little more oil between batches if needed.

4. Melt the butter, fry the onions and garlic until the onions are starting to colour. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add to the meat.

5. Place the casserole on the heat, add the rest of the marinade and beef stock and bring to the boil. Add the cranberry sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and place in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is really tender.

6. Meanwhile cook the cranberries with the sugar in 2-3 tablespoons water until just soft. Strain off excess liquid.

7. Add the chestnuts and cranberries for the last 5 minutes of cooking.

8. Garnish with parsley before serving.

Barley cabbage and apple salad


1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper


1/2 a savoy cabbage, cored, halved and finely sliced

250g cooked barley
1 eating apple with skin on, sliced down each side of the core and tossed in a squeeze of lemon
200g red grapes, halved
salt and ground black pepper
50g mixed nuts, toasted

1. To make the French dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine. 

2. Combine all the salad ingredients except for the toasted nuts and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the dressing just before serving and garnish with the toasted nuts.

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prue leith recipesPrue: My All-time Favourite Recipes is published by Bluebird, price £25. To order a copy for £20 until 1 December with free p&p, visit or call 01603 648155. 

Recipe: Prue Leith. Food styling: Clare Lewis. Styling: Sue Radcliffe