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Slow Cooked Venison and Rhubarb Stew…. gluten free of course

Published 22 May, 2008

Everyone has one lurking at the back of their cupboard. If not their cupboard, then perhaps an older relative. Slow cookers were in vogue in the 70's but became dust catchers as people moved on to newer cooking methods, such as the revolutionary microwave oven.

In a fit of nostalgic curiousity, a slow cooker was borrowed from an aunty and tonight's delightful gluten free venison and rhubarb stew was created. A random pack of stewing venison was quietly resting in the freezer, crying out for an inspired recipe, and this is an amalgamation of the beef and rhubarb stew, and a couple of other venison recipes...

2 small leeks, finely sliced
1 onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 rashers back bacon, cut into small strips
5 large rhubarb stalks, cut into 1cm slices
6 dried juniper berries, crushed (I guess you could use a splash of gin instead)
450g stewing venison
1 large sprig rosemary
3 fresh bay leaves
1 small cinammon stick
1 pint chicken stock (approx)
2 x 450g cans, drained, of pinto and/or flageolet beans (or similar)
4-6 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly (depending on sweetness)

Gently sweat the leeks and onion for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and bacon and cook for a further 3 minutes. Push to one side to make space to brown the venison. Brown the venison for 5 minutes or so. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil.

Carefully transfer the stew to the slow cooker, (with a capacity of at least 2.5 litres). Cook according to your slow cookers instructions, but I did it on high for 5 hours, but would probably take 8-10 hours on low.

If the gravy is a little thin, thicken with cornflour - in a cup, put a tablespoon of cornflour and add a small amount of gravy, stir until smooth, then add slowly to the stew, stirring continuously.

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