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October 1, 2014 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Game to eat – venison, pheasant, partridge, wood pigeon – at Apley Farm Shop

cuts-of-meat-venison2014-09-20, Pigeon 1Not only is it 1st October & therefore the start of the pheasant season, but Apley Farm Shop now has locally-sourced venison in stock. Partridge & pigeon are already on the chiller shelves. Mark Lowe, Apley butcher, sent me this image last week saying ‘Look what’s arrived by pigeon post’ !

To get you started, here is a delicious venison recipe from BASC :

Braised whole shoulder of venison with haricot beans, sweet peppers & tomato cassoulet


2 medium shoulders of venison (fallow or roe), 1 large onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 2 red chillies, 4 Romano peppers, 4 fresh plum tomatoes, 1 can of haricot beans, 2 glasses of white wine, 1 sprig of rosemary, 1 litre of game or chicken stock, Light olive oil


  1. Season and pan fry the shoulders so as to seal the whole joint. If you find it tightens up and is not fitting into your cooking pan, make a cut into each of the muscles and this will allow it to fold up better.
  2. Once the shoulders are sealed remove from pan and then fry off the finely diced onions and garlic for two to three minutes. Then add the finely chopped chili and half of the coarsely diced peppers. Turn down to cook for another two to three minutes.
  3. Now turn up flame and add the wine, reducing down by half.
  4. Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, the rosemary and the chicken stock, then place the shoulders back in the pan. The liquid should just cover the joints, and bring to the boil.
  5. Place in oven at 160°C for 1 hour and 30 minutes, then add the rest of the peppers, the haricot beans and the chopped de-seeded, de-skinned fresh tomatoes. Place back in the oven for another 30 minutes at 120°C.
  6. Remove from the oven, take the joints out of the sauce and reduce to required consistency.
  7. The meat should just fall off the bone. Serve with lashings of the sauce.

When you’re ready for more, look at the Game to Eat Campaign where they have a great selection of recipes

Take a look at the deer image here above & accompanying description below of the different venison cuts.

Cuts of meat for venison

No. 1. Cuts of meat include the shoulder, used for roasting; it may be boned and stuffed, then afterwards baked or roasted.

No. 2. Cuts of meat include the fore-loin, used for roasts and steaks.

No. 3. Cuts of meat include the haunch or loin, used for roasts, steaks, stews. The ribs cut close may be used for soups. Good for pickling and making into smoked venison.

No. 4. Cuts of meat include the breast, used for baking dishes, stewing.

No. 5. Cuts of meat include the scrag or neck, used for soups.

“The choice of venison should be judged by the fat, which, when the venison is young, should be thick, clear and close, and the meat a very dark red. The flesh of a female deer about four years old, is the sweetest and best of venison. Buck venison, which is in season from June to the end of September, is finer than doe venison, which is in season from October to December. Neither should be dressed at any other time of year, and no meat requires so much care as venison in killing, preserving and dressing.”

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