Hilary's Wild Venison Casserole
I am lucky to be able to get venison at my local Farmers' Market. I invented this dish - as far as I am aware, this is an original created by me. The black beluga lentils go really well with the venison as they are both quite earthy flavored. If black beluga lentils are not available, Puy lentils can be used.
- 2 pounds venison, cut into cubes
- ¾ cup full-bodied red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cotes du Rhone, Zinfandel, Shiraz or Barolo)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon allspice berries
- 4 cloves pickled garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 red onions, chopped
- 1 cup beluga lentils, soaked in water
- 8 ounces pearl onions, peeled
- 1 ½ cups chopped carrots
- 1. Place the venison cubes into a large resealable bag. Add the red wine, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, seasoned salt, allspice berries and pickled garlic. Seal the bag and turn to distribute the ingredients. Refrigerate overnight to marinate.
- 2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
- 3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the red onions; cook and stir for a few minutes. Add the venison and continue cooking until it is browned. Pour in the marinade from the bag and allow to simmer over low heat while you prepare the lentils.
- 4. Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan. Fill with enough water to cover the lentils by at least 1 inch. Cook until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer the lentils to the Dutch oven. Add the pearl onions and carrot chunks and cover with a lid.
- 5. Bake in the preheated oven until the venison is very tender, about 1 hour.