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Venison casserole with thyme dumplings

Published on September 1, 2015
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Chris Hicks of The Catherine Wheel in Marshfield shares his recipe for rich venison casserole with fresh thyme dumplings

Venison casserole

Serves 8

You will need

  • Cubed venison 900g
  • Flour for coating
  • Olive oil
  • Root vegetables 900g
  • Onions 2 small, chopped
  • Celery 4 sticks
  • Bay leaves 4
  • Butter 1.5 tbsp
  • Game or meat stock 1.5 l
  • Tomato puree 4 tsp
  • Chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g tins
  • Red wine 2 glasses
  • Salt and pepper

For the dumplings:

  • Self raising flour 225g
  • Beef or vegetable suet 115g
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion 1, finely chopped
  • Fresh thyme 4 tbsp, chopped
  • Parsley handful, chopped
  • Cold water


  1. Lightly coat the venison in seasoned flour and fry in olive oil over a high heat to brown. Add the mixed vegetables, onions and celery and fry for a few more minutes.
  2. Add in the garlic, bay leaves, butter and stock and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven and cook at 160°c/gas 3 for an hour.
  3. Remove and add the puree, tomatoes and wine. Season and stir then place back in the oven for a further 90 minutes.
  4. To make the dumplings, mix all the ingredients together and add the water, a little at a time, until the mixture is bound but not sticky. Roll into 8 balls. Place the dumplings in the casserole and cook for the final 40 minutes.

Insider’s tip: ‘Venison seasonality depends on breed and sex. Fallow and roe bucks are your best bet in September and October.’

Also try

Chef Dave Jenkins reinvents the classic beef wellington recipe with his exciting venison version, perfect for Sunday lunch

‘This recipe is a rich winter dish, and we make it with the best Cornish game: venison from the Tregothnan estate,’ says Giles Eustice