Venison mince buorguignon

Not evry long ago I saw that Annika at the Swedish food blog had been making a boeuf bourguignon with beef mince and I thought that was a nice thing to try. But then I remembered I had a kilo of lovely venison mince (from fallow deer) in the freezer from Sweden and tried the recipe with that.

As usual though, I made a few changes, but not all of them because I wanted to. For starters I had to use streaky bacon instead of lardons, because I couldn’t find any lardons in my local supermarket. Shame on you Sanisbury’s.

I also cooked the dish in my slowcooker while I was at work, and that worked really well.

Because venison mince is very lean (like all game) it really works to either cook it with some more fatty ingredients, like cream or to serve it with something richer. I went for the latter, because you should not have cream in a bourguignon! Instead I made a very creamy potato purée with lots of butter to serve with it. It was the perfect combination and also how Annika served hers with beef mince. Thank you for that suggestion!

Below is my own version of this dish, but I found all the inspiration here. If you fancy a proper Boeuf Bourguignon instead, then try the ultimate recipe by Julia Child.

Venison mince buorguignon, serves 4- 6

1 kg venison mince

1/2 bottle red wine

200 ml water

2 tsp concentrated beef stock

1 bouquet garni

3 whole cloves of garlic

2 sprigs thyme (taken off the stem)

2 tbsp tomato purée

salt, black pepper

Step 2:

another dash of red wine

2-3 slices carrots

2 tbsp maizena (corn starch to thicken)

1 tbsp tomato purée

season to taste with stock, salt and pepper

100 g button mushrooms

100 g lardon (or streaky bacon)

Brown the mince in butter and transfer to the slowcooker. Add wine, stock, water, garlic, herbs, tomato purée, salt and pepper. Turn it on low heat and leave it for 8 hours. Transfer the pot to the stove (or pour the stew into another pan) and add the wine, carrots, tomato purée and maizena/corn starch. Bring to the boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes to thicken and for the carrots to cook. In the meantime, fry the mishrooms in butter on high heat, then the lardons/bacon and add to the pot.

Season to taste with sugar, herbs and salt and pepper. Serve with a buttery potato purée (cook waxy potatoes until very soft, mix with a plenty of butter with a stick blender, season with salt and pepper) and creme fraiche. If you have leftovers the stew will only taste better the next day.

Slowcooked pig’s cheeks with white wine, thyme, mustard and cream

To slowcook meat has its advantages. Because it is best done with more flavoursome but tough cuts of meat, the result is always tasty very tender meat.

For me I probably started slowcooking big cuts for roasts. Even less tough meat benefits from gentle cooking and more time and lower temperature in the oven. After that I made stews like Boeuf Bourguignon, soon after I tried pulled pork and by then I was totally hooked.

So I bought a Crockpot slowcooker and have never looked back since. 🙂

These cheeks were first browned in a frying pan then transferred to the Crockpot, to which I added white wine, a bay leaf, thyme sprigs, half an onion and water. I left it on the low setting for about 10 hours and by the time I got back home the flat smelled amazing.

The meat was very tender but I still let it rest while I added cream and mustard to the sauce. It doesn’t take much to throw a lovely supper together when it almost cooks itself…

Slowcooked pig’s cheeks with white wine, thyme, mustard and cream,serves 1-2

Step 1:

4 pig’s cheeks

butter/oil for frying

100 ml white wine

150 ml water

4 thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1/2 red onion cut into wedges

Step 2:

100 ml cream

100 ml milk

2 tbsp white wine

1,5 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tbsp soy sauce

gravy browning

salt, white pepper

Brown the meat in a frying pan. Place in the slowcooker and add the other ingredients from step 1. Put the lid on and turn on the low heat and leave it for 9-10 hours. If you are using an oven then place the casserole dish with the lid on in a cold oven and turn it onto 80-90 degrees. Check on it after 6-8 hours.

Remove the meat from casserole dish and let it rest covered with tin foil while you make the sauce. Pour all the liquid from the pot into a saucepan and add milk and cream and bring to the boil. Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste. Once the sauce has thickened pour it through a sieve. Serve with pressed boiled potatoes and the tender lovely meat. Vegetables are optional.

Boeuf Bourguignon in the slowcooker

Since I bought my crockpot a while back it has provided me with some nice stews and a lot of pulled pork.

But would it work with the ultimate stew – the famous Julia Child Boeuf Bourguignon?

It did! I mean, it doesn’t cook itself like many other stews, but once you’ve done all the prepping, you can definitely leave the rest to the slow cooker.

I did all the chopping and frying in the morning, turned on the crockpot and went to a friend’s house for the afternoon. When I got back in the early evening, I fried some mushrooms and added them to the pot and got the potatoes roasting. Other than that supper was labour free.

Boeuf bourguignon in the slow cooker, serves 4

60 g streaky bacon

olive oil

450 g stewing steak, cut into cubes

1 small carrot, sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

salt & black pepper

10 g plain flour

230 ml red wine (Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, Burgundy, Chianti)

130 ml beef stock

2 tsp tomato paste

1 clove garlic, pressed

1/4-1/2 tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

150 g button mushrooms

Cut the bacon into lardons. Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in water. Drain and dry. Preheat oven to 230C.

In a frying pan, sauté the bacon in oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Leave frying pan aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.

Dry the beef; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at the time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely brown on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

In the same fat, brown the sliced carrot and onion. Place the bacon, meat, carrots and onions in the slow cooker pot and toss with salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Place casserole uncovered in the middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole and turn the oven off.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Turn the slow cooker on low heat and leave it for 5 hours.

Before serving, fry the mushrooms. Place a frying pan over a high heat with some butter and oil. As soon as you see that the butter foam hasbegun to subside, indicating that it is hot enough, add the mushrooms (washed, well dried, left whole if small, sliced or quartered if large). Toss and shake the pan for 4 to 5 minutes. During this the mushrooms will first absorb the fat. In 2 to 3 minutes the fat will reappear on their surface, and the mushrooms will begin to brown. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from the heat.

If the sauce is too thick, remove the meat and add some stock. Check the seasoning. Put the meat back. Add the mushrooms and heat up. If the sauce is not thick enough, remove the meat and reduce the juices. Check seasoning, put the mat back, add the mushrooms and warm up to serve. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.


Pulled pork in the slowcooker, and what to serve with it

I have made pulled pork a few times now and I am, to say the least, addicted to it. And it works best to do it in the slowcooker. Just load it in the morning, turn it on low and you will have the most tender meat by the time you get home from work. When home in the evening, I removed the meat from the sauce and reduced the sauce, pulled the meat apart with forks and mixed it with the sauce. That took five minutes so I could concentrate on the trimmings instead. We had Nick over for dinner when I cooked this last so I might have gone a bit crazy with the trimmings. But this is what I like to serve it with every time:

  • homemade salsa
  • guacemole
  • grated cheese, like Monterey Jack
  • greens; little gem, cucumber, tomatoes, red bell peppers
  • slaw
  • nice bread
  • wheat tortilla triangles fried in butter – yum yum!
  • nachos
  • sour cream

We were so full afterwards we didn’t even contemplated the dessert I had lined up. So DO try this if you haven’t already. It is so so good! för guds skull det. Så grymt gott!

Lamb stew with red wine, cream, mushrooms and thyme

Last week I did what one is suppose to do with a slowcooker – I made it cook dinner for me while I was at work. And it worked a charm.

I browned the meat the night before and seasoned it. The following morning I added the meat, red wine, water , garlic and a bay leaf, put it on the lowest setting and left it for 10 hours.

When I opened the door to the flat in the evening, it smelt wonderful. I just reduced the sauce, added cream, thyme and fried mushrooms and served it with a swede and potato mash.

It was absolutely wonderful and the meat just fell apart it was so tender. I highly recommending a slowcooker, as it takes less energy than having the oven on, and it feels safer leaving it on during the day. But you can make this stew in a regular oven too, I would probably put the temperature to 80C maximum and leave it in there for at least 5-6 hours.

Because of the low cooking temperature, the meat releases a lot of liquid, so I highly recommend to take out the mat and reduce the sauce on the hob until it has thickened up. This also concentrates the flavour and I would recommend this with all kinds of dishes, including i.e. pulled pork, where you shred the meat and mix it with the juices. It works better when it is less watery.

Lamb stew with red wine, cream, mushrooms and thyme, serves 3-4

500 g stewing lamb (on the bone, in pieces)

butter for frying

salt, black pepper

400 ml red wine (for cooking you can use old opened bottles, so don’t throw any leftover wine away, save it for a stew instead)

1 garlic clove

1 bayleaf

100 ml water

200 g button mushrooms, cut in four

200 ml single cream

50 ml red wine

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/2 tbsp mild chilli sauce

1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce

colouring agent

salt, pepper

Brown the meat in the morning or the night before, in butter. Season. Before leaving the house in the morning, add the meat, wine and water to the Crockpot . Also add garlic and a bay leaf. Stir and turn the slowcooker on at the lowest heat. Put the lid on and leave it until you come home 9-10 hours later.

Then fry the mushrooms ans season. Remove the meat from the sauce and put the whole casserole on the hob (if you have a gas hob at least) or use a small sauce pan to redue the sauce on high heat. Stir occasionally and once it has thickened add the spices and seasonings. Colour until light brown. Add the meat and mushrooms. Heat ut up again if necessary and serve. A root mash, potato mash or boiled potatoes work well.