Venison stew with orange, thyme and Orkney cheddar dumplings Serves 4

What You Will Need


  • 1kg venison dice (haunch)
  • 3 carrots - diced
  • 1 celeriac - diced
  • 1 orange - zest
  • 3 oranges - juiced
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 100g flour (to dust the meat)
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 onion - chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic - remove the skin
  • Salt & pepper
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 bottle of red wine (does not have to be premium, but ensure it is not a cheap wine)
  • 25g butter
  • 50g bacon lardons
  • 100g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 50g grated Orkney cheddar
Venison stew with orange, thyme and Orkney cheddar dumplings

Venison Stew

Pre-heat oven to 160°C.

Pre-heat a heavy bottomed pan, meanwhile, season the venison on all sides with salt and pepper and dust the venison meat lightly with the flour.

Add the oil to the pan making sure its smoking hot.

Add the venison and the butter. If it's too much, do it in two batches. Really allow the meat to colour all over as this will help keep the flavour. Once coloured all over, strain the meat in a colander and discard the liquid fat.

Keep the pan and return to the heat. Add oil and then add the celeriac, bacon lardons, garlic, carrots, onion and juniper and then sweat for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add the bouquet garni and the meat and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add the orange juice and reduce by half. Cover the meat in red wine and bring to the boil and skim.

Add the chicken stock and boil again. Season, place into the oven and cook for 1.5 hr.


When stew is cooking prepare the dumplings.

In a small bowl mix together the flour and baking powder.

In a separate bowl mix the rest of the ingredients.

Add the liquid to the flour with a couple of drops of water if needed.

Roll into balls and place onto the stew cooking for a further 15 mins.

Top up with a little fluid if needed.

The meat should flake when ready.